Alive Inside

 

Free screenings of the Sundance award-winning documentary, “Alive Inside,” will be presented on December 7 at the Ellen Driscoll Playhouse in Piedmont, and on December 10 at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland.

The film features the work of social worker Dan Cohen, and his determination to address dementia with music. One by one, we are introduced to a series of elderly people who’ve barely said a word in years, who don’t recognize their own children, who do nothing but sit in their nursing homes with little or no interaction with others. Then Cohen provides them with iPods filled with the music of their youth and suddenly they become gloriously happy and alive. The Los Angeles Times calls the film, “…joyous, unexpectedly uplifting…its power is indisputable…”

Current trends in care for persons with dementia have become less medical and more focused on the whole person.   Individualized music has entered the picture as more caregivers see the impact it can have for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Cohen and others discuss how mainly economic barriers in the healthcare system prevent music and other non-traditional therapies from gaining wider use.   As one gerontologist says, “the money spent on drugs dwarfs what it would take to deliver personal music to every patient in America.” Because music doesn’t count as a medical interaction, “an inexpensive personal music system takes a lot more paperwork than a thousand-dollar antidepression pill.”

The screenings will also feature discussion sessions with Grace Liu, Site Director for the East Bay Alzheimer’s Association, as well as suggestions for how caregivers and family members can get involved in providing personalized music to patients.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont.

Free reception at 6:30 PM, screening at 7:00 PM,  discussion at 8:15 PM.

Saturday, December 10, 2016
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland

Screening at 3pm, discussion at 4:15pm

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AUDRIE & DAISY

AUDRIE & DAISY is an urgent real-life drama that examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two underage young women find that sexual assault against them has been caught on camera and distributed online. From acclaimed filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk AUDRIE & DAISY – which made its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival – takes a hard look at America’s teenagers who are coming of age in this new world of social media bullying, spun wildly out of control.

The film was co-produced by documentary filmmaker and Piedmont High School alum Sara Dosa, who will be in attendance to facilitate a discussion after the film on Oct 27. The directors were motivated by what they saw: “We are struck by the frequency of sexual assaults in high schools across the country and have been even more shocked by the pictures and videos, posted online – almost as trophies – by teens that have committed these crimes. This has become the new public square of shame for our adolescents. Unfortunately, the story of drunken high school parties and sexual assault is not new. But today, the events of the night are recorded on smartphones and disseminated to an entire community and, sometimes, the nation. Such was the case for Audrie Pott [from Saratoga, CA] and Daisy Coleman [from Maryville, Ohio], 15- and 14- year-old girls, living thousands of miles apart but experiencing the same shame from their communities.”

We invite you to this moving and meaningful film so that you can understand more about the world teenagers live in today. The discussion afterward should add to your understanding and answer some of your questions.

Two FREE Screenings:

Thursday, October 27
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave, Piedmont
6:30 PM Reception, 7 PM Screening & Discussion

Saturday, October 29
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street between Telegraph & Broadway

3 PM Screening,  4:30 PM Discussion

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3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series proudly presents our first documentary film of the 2016-2017 series: “3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets”, directed by Marc Silver.

On November 23, 2012, four boys in a red SUV pull into a gas station, after spending time at a mall buying sneakers and talking to girls. With music blaring, one boy exits the car and enters the store, a quick stop, for a soda and a pack of gum.  A man and a woman pull up next to the boys in the station, making a stop for a bottle of wine. The woman enters the store, and an argument breaks out when the driver of the second car asks the boys to turn the music down. 3 1/2 minutes and ten bullets later, one of the boys is dead.

This riveting documentary is one story of the devastating effects of racial bias and the search for justice. Negative portrayals of black men and boys in the media lead to irrational fears; these implicit biases can prove deadly. The film dissects the aftermath of this fatal encounter using powerful footage which shows intimate scenes with the boy’s parents, the police interrogation footage, and interviews with others at the scene that night. You are on the edge of your seat during the trial testimonies.

We chose this film to bring audiences into the discussion of racial bias and gun violence.

This documentary won the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Social Impact: “If you have paid any attention to the news, you know that we are a nation in crisis. As jury, we feel that, it is important to recognize a film that, because of the close collaboration between the filmmakers and their subjects, lets the audience examine that crisis, lets the audience consider the consequences of that crisis, and invites us all to consider this very difficult question: why are young black men so often the objects of fear?  This documentary matters”.

2 free screenings:
Wednesday, September 28
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont
  Free reception at 6:30pm, screening at 7:00 pm, 8:30 pm facilitated community discussion

Sunday, October 2, at 3 – 4:30PM
New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland

appropriate for ages 12 and up

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F R E E

Love dance? Come see the power for young people of participating in a performance troupe, featured in the Appreciating Diversity film for May.

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series, in association with CHIME, a Piedmont parent support group for arts in the schools, is proud to present the film F R E E, a feature documentary which follows five of the teens in the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company in Oakland.

Each year the students of Destiny Arts co-create a performance piece that asks them to dig deeply into their lives. Candid discussions of poverty, alienation, HIV status, sexual abuse, and gang violence arise as dauntingly complex, if not insurmountable, obstacles to happiness. Destiny Arts provides a safe haven for the teens to share their stories, to build community, and to express themselves artistically.

Despite the challenges the students face, under the careful guidance of Destiny’s artistic director Sarah Crowell, F R E E reveals how collaborative performance art can be a foundation for personal strength, liberation and hope.

Academy award nominated director David Collier and first-time director Suzanne LaFetra recognized the transformational power of Destiny’s programs when they happened to see one of the performances in 2010. “Not only was the show visually dazzling, but the youth artfully tackled issues of social justice and personal identity. These teenagers’ whole-body, whole-heart dedication to conveying truth was not just powerful, it was good,” said LaFetra.

2 free screenings:
Wednesday, May 4
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont
 Reception at 6:30pm, screening at 7:00 pm, followed by a discussion.

Saturday, May 7, at 3 PM
(time may change, depending on Warriors schedule).
New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland

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The Mask You Live In

Man up!  Don’t be a sissy!  Statistics tell us that compared to girls, boys are more likely to flunk or drop out of school, two times more likely to be in special education, and four times more likely to be expelled.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death for boys.

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is proud to present the award-winning documentary film, THE MASK YOU LIVE IN by Jennifer Seibel Newsom, which explores the pressure for boys to “act like men.” For this film we are pleased to have the Piedmont Parents Network (PPN), a support group for parents of Piedmont Middle and High School students, as our co-sponsor.

THE MASK YOU LIVE IN follows boys and young men as they confront messages from media, peer groups and even adults in their lives, encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance to create a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

The film includes interviews with experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media, offering substantial evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it. The Mask You Live In illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is sponsored by the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee and the Piedmont League of Women Voters.

 2 FREE Screenings

In Piedmont:  Thursday, March 17, 2016
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont
6:30 PM Free reception | 7 – 8:45 PM screening

In Oakland: Saturday, March 26, 2016
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street (near Telegraph), Oakland

3:00 pm

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At the River I Stand

Produced and directed by David Appleby, Allison Graham and Steven Ross

At the River I Stand is a poignant documentary set in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1960s, At the River I Stand, is a narrative about mobilization, determination and tragedy during the civil rights movement. It covers two very eventful months in 1968 that culminate with the success of the unionization of sanitation workers and the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis.

Narrated by Paul Winfield, At The River I Stand tells the story of how, after integration, African Americans were pushed to the bottom of society. With extremely low wages and poor working conditions it was only a matter of time before emotions strained towards the breaking point. In February 1968, the atrocious working conditions for African Americans came to a head with the death of two sanitation workers. With no insurance or worker’s compensation, their families were left with nothing but heartache and more desperate times. As a result, 1300 sanitation workers walked off the job in a strike that lasted 65 days. With the simple statement “I am a Man” the worker’s movement gained momentum and determination. The strike then received national attention as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought his Poor People’s Campaign to Memphis.

The documentary uses authentic black and white newsreel footage and still photos intertwined with poignant interviews of individuals, 30 years later, who had played a part in this movement. Although predominately from the African American perspective of the civil rights movement, there is interview footage of those who were opposed to unionizing African American workers in the 1960s. The interview of Jared Blanchard, who was a City Council member in 1968, was courageous, as he reminisces honestly about what he thought back then, showing a glimpse into what he was experiencing on the other side of the conflict. – “We believed we knew best for the black man – for at least a few weeks”.

An eloquent and powerful film, “At the River I Stand” is a very moving and inspirational film. It is a simple film with a lot to say about a complex issue. *

The Piedmont Diversity Film Committee chose this film because it’s an important historical film that informs us about today’s challenges in the labor movement; still struggling to earn a living wage and decent working conditions.

*Commentary by Jennifer Ceconni Education/film Consultant from F & H Film & History, An Interdisciplinary Journal.

There will be a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and legacy on January 18 at the Piedmont Community Center.

2 FREE Screenings
In Piedmont: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611

6:30 PM Reception w/light refreshments | 7 – 8:00 PM Screening, followed by community discussion

In Oakland: Saturday, January 23, 2016
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street near Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94612

Screening 3:00 – 4:00 pm, followed by community discussion

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The Hunting Ground

The statistics are staggering: one in five college women is sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators. Federal government efforts to remedy this failure have opened a national conversation about sex and sexual assault on campus. This film documents the reality behind those efforts.

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series* presents The Hunting Ground, by Academy Award nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, which chronicles the experiences of campus assault victims after they survive what they thought was the worst ordeal of their lives. The film exposes the reality of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States–the frequency of assaults, the institutional coverups, and the emotional toll on the victims and their families. This acclaimed documentary, which made its debut earlier this year at Sundance, is a “must see” for all parents of college-bound high school students, as well as the students themselves. Everyone should see it.

“A shameful indictment of some of our most admired institutions, including Harvard University, the aptly named “The Hunting Ground” paints a portrait of American colleges as dangerous for young women because of the high rate of sexual assault and the institutions’ virtually universal response: to blame the victims, treat rape as a “public relations management problem” and protect the colleges’ good names and lofty reputations.” Boston Herald, March 13, 2015.

In the film, rape survivors and their families testify to a story that has become all too common–those brave enough to report the crimes face disbelief, apathy, blame, and at times, harassment and retaliation from both their fellow students and the administrators whose job it is to protect them. On many campuses, the rules and procedures dealing with assault are outdated, uncoordinated among various committees, and do not require police or criminal investigation.

The filmmakers uncover an alarming effort on the part of universities and colleges to downplay and deny sexual assaults on their campuses to keep crime statistics low, public ratings high, and donors happy. They also follow courageous survivors who are striking back with an innovative legal strategy that uses Title IX legislation to make college administrations take notice, ignite a national debate over campus assaults and create a network of support for young women who refuse to remain silent.

2 FREE Screenings
In Piedmont: Thursday, October 29
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611

6:30 PM Free reception | 7 – 8:30 PM screening followed by discussion

In Oakland: Saturday, November 7
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street near Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94612
3:00 – 4:30 pm

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