Room To Breathe is a surprising story of transformation of struggling children in a San Francisco public middle school as they are introduced to the practice of mindfulness meditation.
The film focuses on four troubled children in Marina Middle School in San Francisco: an African American boy trying to cope with his brother’s murder; a highly social Latino girl with no interest in academics; a tough and disruptive Latino girl who is frequently in trouble with school administrators; and a defiant Latino boy who sees himself as unfairly persecuted by his primary teacher and other school officials. The film shows chaos in the classroom – children fooling around, shoving, pushing, and yelling. They are disrespectful and uncontrollable.
How can teachers help these children develop the social, emotional, and attention skills they need to succeed in and out of the classroom? Instead of just forcing the children to listen, the school administrators decide to experiment with “mindfulness,” a new program in self-reflection that is being introduced to a handful of public schools across the nation.
While the mindfulness instructor’s efforts are initially met with defiance, contempt for authority figures, and poor discipline, the teacher from Berkeley helps the four children and their classmates take greater control over themselves. A new sense of calm begins to permeate their worlds, in class and at home.
The root of the children’s problems may be unique to each person, but the practice of mindfulness meditation has positive influence on all of them. Room To Breathe is an inspiring film that demonstrates a simple method that appears to have the potential to transform the ways in which children relate to their peers, their teachers, and their world, to reduce violence and bullying, and to create marked improvements in academic performance.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
6:30 PM Doors open, reception| 7:00 PM Film screening
8-9pm PM Discussion
Room to Breathe Official Trailer from Sacred Planet Films on Vimeo.
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)
With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean—Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known. She begins staying away from home,starts skipping school, and risks losing her shot at the college track career she had always dreamed of. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring. Off and Running follows Avery to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the lengths people must go to become themselves.
“A unique and very American coming-of-age story that delves into the psyche of race through a fresh and careful dissection of a family’s struggle.”
-Tribeca Film Festival
Thursday, May 3, 2012
6:30 PM Doors open, free snacks, coffee and tea | 7:00 PM Film screening
8:20 PM Community discussion facilitated by ADFS
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
This is a special event, please note the different location. All are welcome.
Date and Time
January 16, 2012, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611 (Map)
– Music by Oaktown Jazz
– Presentations by Piedmont Unified School District students
– Potluck Lunch: People are encouraged to bring a dish to share that reflects their heritage
(side dish, salad, dessert or bread).
– We will show a new film about Dr King at about 1:30pm: “At the River I Stand”
For more info contact LoisCorrin@gmail.com or call 510-420-1534.
AT THE RIVER I STAND
The 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King
Produced and directed by David Appleby, Allison Graham and Steven Ross
This moving documentary recounts the two months leading to Martin Luther King Jr.’s death in 1968, after he had come to Memphis to support the strike of 1300 Memphis sanitation workers.
Spring 1968 in Memphis marked the dramatic climax of the Civil Rights movement. At the River I Stand skillfully reconstructs the two eventful months that transformed a strike by Memphis sanitation worker into a national conflagration, and disentangles the complex historical forces that came together with the inevitability of tragedy at the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This 58-minute documentary brings into sharp relief issues that have only become more urgent in the intervening years: the connection between economic and civil rights, debates over strategies for change, the demand for full inclusion of African Americans in American life and the fight for dignity for public employees and all working people.
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary, New York International Film & Video Festival
“America’s embattled public education system provides kindling for numerous negative news stories—school shootings, drugs, gang violence. Accidental Hero: Room 408 provides a powerful exception to those stereotypes. Following an East Bay public high school teacher and his class, the film tells the story of Tommie Lindsey, an extraordinary man who is changing lives by introducing his students to a little known academic sport called “forensics.” Accidental Hero has important messages about the tremendous potential that young people from diverse backgrounds can realize when they are given the support of good teachers and ample educational tools.”
(56 minutes) by Terri DeBono and Steve Rosen
Welcome to the world of forensics: students train and compete in oratory, debate, and dramatic interpretation of events. By letting students draw on their cultural backgrounds – sometimes pent up pain or anger – the teacher channels emotions into spellbinding performances in this engrossing documentary. Film contains strong language.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
6:30 PM Reception with light snacks | 7:00 – 8:00 PM Film Screening
8:00 – 9:00 PM Community Discussion