The Invisible War

The Invisible War is a film about the all too common, profoundly distressing problem of sexual assault in the American military. The film gets some of its power from the statistics alone: the military estimates that one in five women and many men in the military has been the victim of sexual assault.  Victims are often discouraged from reporting such crimes because the attackers are their superiors, or those further up the chain either implicitly or even explicitly threaten their jobs and their careers.  Reports that are made are often ignored; instead, women are dismissed or even prosecuted themselves.

Many of the victims in this film grew up in military families, with a strong respect for the military and its traditions. The interviews of the women are remarkable. You will witness their courage, their candor and their struggle to make the military change its manner of handling reports of abuse. At a time when the military is a crucial source of employment and training for so many aspiring young people, and it is popular to tout “supporting our men and women in uniform,” the goals of these victims should be important to us all.

Called “haunting” by Time Magazine, “heartbreaking” by The Washington Post, and “unforgettable” by salon.com, The Invisible War was named one of the New York Times’ best ten films of the year.  Their review concluded, “This is not a movie that can be ignored.”

(The film includes victims’ descriptions of violent attacks but no violent or sexual images. It is recommended for ages 14 and older.)

Two free Screenings

1.   Wednesday, November 13, 2013
@ Ellen Driscoll Theater (Havens Elementary School)
325 Highland Ave / Piedmont 94611
6:30 pm: Reception | 7 pm: Film | 8:00 pm Facilitated community discussion
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2. Saturday, November 16, 2013
@ The New Parkway
474  24th Street / Oakland 94612
3:00 pm Film
Refreshments available for purchase


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
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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


Room To Breathe

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

Free

Room to Breathe Official Trailer from Sacred Planet Films on Vimeo.

Out in America

“Out in America”  directed and produced by Andrew Goldberg.

“Out In America” delivers a compelling, multi-layered portrait of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans through their own words and experiences. The film connects common themes running through numerous personal stories about growing up, coming out, nurturing relationships, overcoming social and familial challenges, fighting discrimination and HIV and achieving individual status and respect in America.

After the film, the Queer- Straight Alliance at Piedmont High School will discuss challenges for young people  who  are out or not yet out in America.  This film allows audience members to view and share in the touching quality of the relationships shown in the film.

Two free Screenings

1.   Wednesday, April 24, 2013
@ Ellen Driscoll Theater (Havens Elementary School)
325 Highland Ave / Piedmont 94611
6:30 pm: Reception | 7 pm: Film | 8:20 pm: Facilitated community discussion
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2. Tuesday, April 30, 2013
@ The New Parkway
474  24th Street / Oakland 94612
6:30 pm

Lives Worth Living

A film by Eric Neudel
In Piedmont March 13 and Oakland March 19.

It’s been 23 years since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Today, we take for granted the curb cuts that allow wheelchairs to roll, buses that lower to bring on the disabled, and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, among many other changes. The Act mandated all these accommodations — because before this, the disabled were on their own.

Lives Worth Living shows us the struggle for visibility and access by disabled people in the United States. The movement started here in Berkeley and spread across the country.

The film features Fred Fay, a quadriplegic who refused to live on the sidelines just because he couldn’t walk, and Ed Roberts, who fought for access to UC Berkeley and started the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley — and the Ed Roberts Campus now commemorates his life’s work

Lives Worth Living is told as an oral history, using archival footage. We see protestors climb from wheelchairs and drag themselves courageously up courthouse steps; we watch as quadriplegic activists maneuver their chairs in front of public buses that are not equipped to accommodate them.  The film ends with the dramatic battle for the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in America’s history. The thousands of individuals who came together to change attitudes and laws demonstrated the power of humanity, cooperation, and self-determination, and what can be accomplished against seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

TWO FREE screenings:

1.   Wednesday, March 13, 2013
@ Ellen Driscoll Theater (Havens Elementary School)

325 Highland Ave / Piedmont 94611
6:30 PM Doors open: Reception | 7 PM Film | 8 – 9 PM Discussion
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2. Tuesday, March 19, 2013
@ The New Parkway
474  24th Street / Oakland 94612

6:30 pm

livies worth living photo 3


 

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

The Education of Shelby Knox

The film is the story of Shelby, a feisty 15 year old in Lubbock, Texas, and a devout Southern Baptist from a conservative Republican family. The only sex education taught at Shelby’s high school is abstinence, after then-Governor George W Bush passed a law outlawing any other type of sex education in the State.

However, Lubbock has some of the highest rates of pregnancy and STDs in the nation. Shelby joins a student group that wants to bring comprehensive sex education to Lubbock high schools, and from this experience becomes an activist. Interwoven with Shelby’s evolution is her changing relationship with her parents, who support her despite her movement away from their beliefs. This is a film told on many levels, from the personal to the political.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
6:30 PM Doors open, free reception| 7:00 PM Film screening
8:15 PM Discussion

Free