CONNEAUT — The Conneaut Public Library has expanded on their usual movie night at D-Day, and will air a second movie, this one, on Friday night.
“Traditionally, the library has gotten a license to show a movie,” Conneaut Library Executive Director Kathy Zappitello said.
This year, the library will be showing “The Longest Day,” starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Henry Fonda. The movie shows the events of D-Day, from both the Allied and German sides.
“The Longest Day” won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for three more.
The movie will start at dusk, around 9 p.m., on Thursday. “When it’s dark enough to show the film, the film will begin,” Zappitello said. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets, Zappitello said. The movie does have a three hour run-time, Zappitello said.
The movie will be raffled off before the event.
A second movie night will be held at the same place, on Friday night at dusk, with a special twist.
“D-Day in 14 Stories” tells the stories of soldiers and civilians who survived D-Day. The movie, filmed in Canada, includes reenactments and interviews with armed forces veterans from both sides, along with French Resistance members who were present in Normandy at the time.
The documentary features D-Day Conneaut’s own Higgins boat and its crew, Zappitello said.
“We have a corps of D-Day volunteers that drive Higgins boats, and they were asked to be part of a Canadian production,” Zappitello said. “We thought, ‘oh, let’s see if we can get the rights to show that, and add that onto our D-Day event this year,” she added.
Friday’s show will be the first time “D-Day in 14 Stories” has been shown in the United States, Zappitello said. The show will be streamed, which presented some challenges.
“We needed to be on a dedicated line, so that we don’t drop the connection,” Zappitello said.
“Sometimes we’re very autonomous in the way we think about history, and how it’s been presented to us and what we’ve retained from it. And everybody’s like that right, you have a very narrow perspective sometimes on world events? And the storming of the beaches of Normandy is certainly a world-wide event,” Zappitello said.
“It really simplified the invasion, the timeline, and the players in a way that the average person, like myself, can understand and have a through knowledge of D-Day, and it’s certainly appropriate for all ages,” Zappitello said. “This is something that I think would benefit a parent wanting to teach a child of what this event was,” she added.
“D-Day in 14 Stories” premiered on Canadian television on June 1, 2019, and was made by Yap Films.