9-Man is a story about streetball battle in the heart of Chinatown featuring a chaotic, Chinese-only game played competitively in parking lots and alleys since 1938. Through revealing verite scenes, archival material and primary source interviews, the film broaches conversations about Chinatown's Bachelor Society, the Chinese Exclusion Act, cultural belonging and loss, masculinity, genetic disparity in sports, immigrant culture, the Chinatown diaspora, microaggressions, reverse racism, Asian-American identity politics, self-doubt and social isolation.
Director Ken Eng's documents his father's first trip back to the rural Chinese village where he was raised since immigrating to the US in the 1970s. Father and son visit various family members who stayed through communism and who are now part of the "new middle class." A film about a father's journey back home and a son's journey into his own heritage.
For 80-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She is among the earliest poets to have incorporated urban black English into her poetry; she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color. In BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, Sanchez's life unfolds in a documentary rich with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work. With appearances by Questlove, Talib Kweli, Ursula Rucker, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Jessica Care Moore, Ruby Dee, Yasiin Bey, Ayana Mathis, Imani Uzuri and Bryonn Bain, the documentary examines Sanchez's contribution to the world of poetry, her singular place in the Black Arts Movement and her leadership role in African American culture over the last half century.
Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, Edythe Boone embodied that truth as an activist, an educator, a great-grandmother, and foremost an artist. When a deeply personal tragedy ignites a national outcry, everything that Edy has worked so tirelessly for comes into question. From humble Harlem beginnings herself, the indefatigable "Edy" has for decades introduced underserved youth and seniors to the transformative power of art. Having helped her students use mural making to grapple with the disproportional shootings of young black men, the issue hits home when her nephew Eric Garner dies in police custody, his last words: "I can't breathe." The tragedy evokes the powerful and deep questions that many artists and activists face: has her nearly eight decades of social justice work meant something? Has it been worth the sacrifice? Can building multicultural bridges through art bring about positive change? Edy's reaction shows the depth of her clear-eyed, compassionate commitment to building a just and peaceful community. A New Color illuminates the social issues of our time and shows how the work of one woman reverberates throughout a community to inspire a powerful chorus: "Our lives matter and we will not be disempowered by those who judge us for our age, gender, or the color of their skin."
A documentary that uses Harper Lee's 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird as a lens to view race, class, gender and justice -- then and now. Woven through OUR MOCKINGBIRD is the story of two extraordinarily different high schools in Birmingham, Alabama who collaborate on a remarkable production of the adapted play, To Kill a Mockingbird.
At a popular bakery cafe, residents of New York's Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma L?pez has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.