The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks (1969, 107 min.). Newt Winger is an African American teenager living in rural Kansas in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He generally confronts the prejudices of the era with pride and an even temper, unlike his hotheaded friend Marcus Savage. As circumstances slowly pull Newt and Marcus further apart, Newt witnesses a murder—one committed by Marcus’s father Booker. When Newt’s decision to come forward as a witness leads to Booker’s death, Marcus ambushes and confronts Newt with a gun—resulting in a vicious fight. Newt wins the fight but spares Marcus’s life, only to watch helplessly as Marcus is shot and killed by a racist sheriff “[The movie] does nothing else so well or so lovingly as celebrate the life of a small Kansas town where, 40 years ago, the races lived in real, if uneasy, accommodation,” (The New York Times).