FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 4-11
Tax Form Lies
Values and Interests
Sex and Security
WSF in Africa
Social Media Role
Cause of Fiscal Crisis
Gaza in Crisis
Zaps - 04/11
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Sundance Film Festival 2011 Brings on the Non-Fiction
Every year the Sundance Film Festival held in Park City, Utah presents independent films from around the world. While some of these features often come with studio backing, the documentaries, for the most part, are more independent of the studio system. Often their subject matter is controversial. While Sundance 2011 had a couple of not-so-independent documentaries (e.g. Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold), there were plenty of bold, important, nonfiction features.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 – Told with an occasional Swedish bent, Göran Hugo Olsson's moving documentary uses rare archival footage of leading African American activists, artists and thinkers to reexamine the evolution of the Black Power Movement. As timeless as ever, the words of Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Angela Davis still hold considerable weight after all these years of struggle.
Crime After Crime – In 1983 Deborah Peagler was sentenced to 25 years for the murder of her abusive boyfriend. During her incarceration, a California law paved the way for two rookie attorneys to come to her aid. When they found evidence that could set her free, some powerful people in the Corrections Department did not care for being corrected and stuck to their guns. Purchased by the Oprah Winfrey Network during the festival, this documentary is an emotional roller coaster ride through the California court system.
Hot Coffee – Speaking of corrupt legal practices, Susan Saladoff uses the notorious McDonald's coffee lawsuit as the genesis for her tragic tale into the corporate takeover of the courts. A scalding documentary on tort reform, business-friendly judges, the public relations machine hired by corporations to demonize a victim, and the general ignorance of a public frequently up in arms about "frivolous" lawsuits, one should not be surprised that the machinations to damn this documentary are all ready to target Saladoff and the film upon release. Unfortunately, unlike many of the progressive documentaries at Sundance, this one does not seem to offer much hope.
The Interrupters – Speaking of hope, in the latest film by Steve James (Hoop Dreams), former gang members attempt to interrupt the violence in their Chicago territories by any peaceful means necessary. This violence includes things like: two brothers who want to kill each other, a teenager seething with anger, another ready for revenge. Gaining impressive access into the lives of his subjects, this 190-minute documentary is at once personal and epic.
Miss Representation – In her 85-minute documentary, writer/director Jennifer Siebel Newsom makes it clear that females, now more than ever, are objectified in mainstream media. She documents the ways that this is reaching and teaching a whole new generation of women that their value rests in the eyes of others. One of the damning results is that more girls are depressed. Not only are they depressed, girls are learning to compete against other girls—usually for some guy's attention. Fortunately, the documentary, which has been picked up for distribution, offers ways in which women, if they want to improve their lot in this country (as well as their daughters'), can start banding together and getting actively involved in politics.
Position Among the Stars – Winner of the Special Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2011, previous Sundance winner (Shape of the Moon, 2005) Leonard Retel Helmrich takes us into the Jakarta slums of Indonesia. Focusing on the Shamsuddin Family, Retel's "single shot cinema" continues his microcosmic illustrations of a country filled with corruption, riddled with addiction and conflicts between religions, an increasing disparity of wealth, and how one family copes with the modernization of a country. Amazingly insightful and made with remarkably unobtrusive filmmaking, the documentary is a perfect example of cinéma vérité.
Sing Your Song – Susanne Rostock's documentary is a glowing tribute to entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte. Inspired by the radical African American actor Paul Robeson and his experiences in a segregated country, Belafonte broke barriers in Hollywood the way he did in the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—sometimes bringing the two together toward significant social progress.
Women Art Revolution – In the 1960s, the feminist art movement exploded to confront the patriarchal tide that had swept America into the illegal invasion of Vietnam, young soldiers into early graves, and women into continued second class citizenship. From there, one of the most important art movements in American history has taken on new and challenging forms. Forty years in the making, writer-director-producer-editor Lynn Hershman Leeson (Strange Culture) shot hundreds of hours of interviews with artists, historians, curators, and critics who have made or supported the movement. This is top choice material about feminism, art, resistance, and women who are unapologetically non-submissive to a sexist society.
John Esther writes about culture and politics via cinema. His work has appeared in Z Magazine and numerous other publications.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.