Louder than a Bomb

Our summer film, LOUDER THAN A BOMB, is an inspiring documentary about a diverse group of teenagers working together. It’s about passion, competition, teamwork, and trust.  It’s about the joy of being young, and the pain of growing up. It’s about speaking out, making noise, and finding your voice. And it’s also about poetry.

Every year, more than six hundred teenagers from over sixty Chicago area schools gather for the competition. Rather than emphasize individual poets and performances, the structure of Louder Than a Bomb demands that kids work collaboratively with their peers, presenting, critiquing, and rewriting their pieces. To succeed, teams have to create an environment of mutual trust and support. For many kids, being a part of such an environment—in an academic context—is life-changing.

The film documents four teams confronting stereotypes as they prepare for and compete in the event. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the tempestuous lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. This is not “high school poetry” as we often think of it. This is language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance.  How and why they do it—and the community they create along the way—is the story at the heart of this inspiring film. Directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel.

Ages 12 and up.

2 FREE SCREENINGS:
Piedmont: Thursday,
  July 10, 2014
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont
6:30 pm: Free reception with light refreshments
7:00 pm: Screening of film
8:40 pm: Community discussion

Oakland: Saturday, July 26
New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland
3:00 pm

Inequality For All

A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, this film features Robert Reich,  UC Berkeley professor, best-selling author, and former Clinton labor secretary, as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man who’s overcome a great deal of personal adversity and whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself. Reich uses humor and a wide array of facts to explain how the issue of economic inequality affects each and every one of us.

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

2 Free Screenings
Piedmont: April 23
Ellen Driscoll Theater

325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont 94611
6:30 Reception | 7:00 Screening (110 minutes)

Oakland: April 26
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street, Oakland 94612
3:00 PM: Screening (food for purchase)

Linsanity

Linsanity is documentary about the rise of star Asian-American basketball player, Jeremy Lin. Director Evan Jackson Leong wanted to show how Lin dealt with racism in college sports and the NBA. Lin, a high school all-star in Palo Alto, received no college scholarship offers. Despite being a star on his basketball team at Harvard, he was not drafted by the NBA. Nevertheless he broke into the NBA after playing for in the Summer League, and played first for the Golden State Warriors, his home-town team. Lin was the first American of either Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Lin was waived by the Warriors in late 2011, but was picked up by the New York Knicks. They also were planning to waive him before the contract deadline February 10, 2012. But “because we were playing so badly”, the Knicks coach finally gave Lin a break.

Linsanity is about what led up to that break, and what followed. It’s about an entire nation of basketball fans going “Linsane.” Lin scored more points in his first 5 NBA  starts than any other player in the modern era, and created a legitimate public frenzy.  The film explores his family background, how his parents came from Taiwan and how he was guided by faith, desire, and love of the game.

The film is presented by the Piedmont Asian American Club & Appreciating Diversity Film Series (sponsored by Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Piedmont League of women Voters & DiversityWorks.)

2 Free Screenings
In Piedmont on March 19
Ellen Driscoll Theater

325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont 94611
6:30 Reception | 7:00 Screening | 8:30 Discussion

In Oakland on March 22
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street, Oakland 94612
3:15 PM: Screening and Discussion

Waiting Room

The Waiting Room  goes behind the doors of Highland Hospital’s over-crowded, under-resourced emergency room as medical staff struggle to care for a community of largely uninsured patients.  Hard choices are made as victims of gun violence take their turn alongside cancer patients and numerous others waiting hours and sometimes days for treatment.  The film weaves the intimate stories of several patients – as well as the dedicated hospital staff carrying for them – as they cope with the complexities and deficiencies of our current health care system.  The filmmaker, Pete Nicks, will field questions after the showing. The showing is co-sponsored by the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, the Piedmont League of  Women Voters and DiversityWorks.

The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle both declared The Waiting Room one of the top 10 movies of 2012.

“Magnificent… it lifts the veil on a world often described in terms of squalor and despair, finding the inherent dignity and perseverance therein.”  The Washington Post

“Extraordinary access to the people in and around the waiting room of a public hospital in Oakland.”  The San Francisco Chronicle

Free Screenings
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Ellen Driscoll Theater,
325 Highland Ave, Piedmont 94611 (near Oakland Ave.)
6:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Screening | 8:20  Community discussion with director of the  film, Pete Nicks

Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 3 pm
New Parkway Theater, 
474 24th Street,  Oakland, 94612 (near Telegraph Ave.)
www.thenewparkway.com 

Poor Kids

Poor Kids – A film by Jezza Neumann
This moving documentary focuses on the children in three American families in the Quad Cities, a great American crossroads along the border of Iowa and Illinois. Told in the words of the children themselves, this one-hour documentary offers a unique perspective on America’s depressed economy after the financial crisis of 2008,  and the impact of unemployment, foreclosure and financial distress.

As Brittany, one of the children, says, “It could happen to you. It only takes one slip up, one thing to go wrong…. And it might be nothing to do with you, nothing to do with the way you’re leading your life. But even a natural disaster can take you down to ground zero”.

Winner of the Robert F Kennedy Award for Television Journalism 2013

Two free Screenings

1.   Thursday, September 26, 2013
@ Ellen Driscoll Theater (Havens Elementary School)
325 Highland Ave / Piedmont 94611
6:30 pm: Reception with light refreshments | 7 pm: Film | 8:00 pm Discussion
____

2. Saturday, September 28, 2013
@ The New Parkway
474  24th Street / Oakland 94612
3:00 pm Film | 4:00 pm Discussion
Food available for purchase

poor kids


The Loving Story

At a time when the Supreme Court is considering the fate of laws that prohibit gay marriage, this documentary tells the story of the battle fought by an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, to marry in their home state: Virginia. Until their landmark Supreme Court case was decided in 1967, Virginia prohibited interracial marriages. Today, this case seems prehistoric – yet the newlyweds were awakened in their bed in the middle of the night by flashlights shining in their faces. When they explained they were married, “Not here, you’re not”, and taking them to jail was the sheriff’s response.

“In a rich collection of 16-millimeter film, old news clips and still photographs, the Lovings don’t look like two people caught up in a cause; they seem like two people caught up in each other.” The New York Times

The other heroes of this amazing story are the two very young ACLU lawyers who persevered to bring the case from their receipt of Mildred’s modest letter asking if there was anything they could do, to their arguing the case before the highest court in the land.

“It ranks alongside Let Us Not Praise Famous Men in its stark beauty and searing honesty.” A perfect way to celebrate Black History Month, or Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Location: The New Parkway Theater at 474 24th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Screening: 7pm, with facilitated discussion afterwards form 8:30 – 9.00pm
(food is available for purchase at the Theater)

www.lovingfilm.com

Salaam Dunk!

Basketball is much more than a game in SF filmmaker David Fine’s stirring documentary about an Iraqi women’s basketball team at the American University of Iraq — Sulaimani (AUIS) in Kurdistan. For the young women on the team, most of whom have never touched a basketball or been allowed to play any sport, it is a blissful release from the realities of a war-torn nation.

They come from all ethnicities and sects — Arab, Kurd, Christian, Sunni, Shiite — but the joy they discover in playing and working with the young American man who coaches them reveals an Iraq united in a way we don’t see in the headlines.

David Fine will attend the screening, and be there to fill you in on how Salaam Dunk was made, and what’s happened since.

Thursday, March 29, 2012
6:30 PM Doors open and informal reception | 7:00 PM Film screening
8:20 PM Discussion with filmmaker David Fine
Free