In April, National Poetry Month, the Friends of Thomaston Public Library’s Friday Night Film Series honors poets. All films are screened on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. in the Thomaston Academy building, open to the public free of charge, but donations are accepted. Light refreshments are served. 

On April 7, the documentary “Fear and the Muse: The Story of Anna Akhmatova” (1991, 60 minutes) will be shown. The poet Akhmatova (1889–1996) was a well-known figure among artists and literati of pre-revolutionary Russia. During the Soviet revolution, her work, full of strong feelings for old Russia, made her a political target that placed her family and friends in danger. She was forced to live in fear and poverty, and although her poetry was banned by Stalin she continued to write for decades. The film tells Akhmatova’s story, using historical footage, interviews with poets and critics, and examples of her poetry read by actress Claire Bloom.

On April 14, the film will be “The Belle of Amherst” (2005, 116 minutes). Julie Harris reprises her Tony Award–winning role as iconic 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson in this one-woman show. The poet’s life is recollected through her work, diaries and letters.

On April 21, “Orpheus” will be screened (1950, 95 minutes). This 1950 update of the Orphic myth by Jean Cocteau (“Beauty and the Beast”) depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais) scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife Eurydice (Marie Déa) and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal.

On April 28, the film is “The Mirror” (1974, 107 minutes). The film’s award-winning director, Andrei Tarkovsky, the son of a famous Russian poet, was born in 1935 and grew up in and around Moscow during the Second World War. This non-linear autobiographical film is his most personal meditation on time, history and the Russian countryside. In a series of episodes and images, he captures the mood and feeling of the period just before, during and after the war.

The Thomaston Academy building is handicapped-accessible from the rear entrance.