THE BOYS WHO SAID NO!

 

By Andrea Chase

If there is a turning point in The Boys Who Said No!, it’s when a judge, decidedly not a part of the counter-culture of the 1960s and 70s, rules that a Vietnam War draft resistor should not go to prison for breaking the law. It is also a turning point in the history of the United States, albeit one far less high profile than the unrest and assassinations that dominated that era. And that is fitting in Judith Ehrlich’s enlightening and absorbing documentary that profiles the eponymous young men who used non-violence in their refusal to fight what they considered an unjust war. Successfully as it turned out. It makes for a film that speaks to the present as eloquently and as urgently to its audience as the resistors did to their audiences 50 years ago.

Continue reading

Alice Street: A Mural Becomes a Movement

BY C.J. Hirschfield

About my home town of Oakland, a recent Washington Post article wrote: “Protesters want to defund the police. Homicides and violence are spiking. In Oakland, ideology and practicality collide.”

It was a wonderful juxtaposition shortly thereafter to watch the excellent new documentary Alice Street, which shows Oakland at its multicultural, peaceful, protesting best.

Continue reading

River City Drumbeat: An Urban Heartbeat

By C.J Hirschfield

Many fine films tell the story of charismatic teachers who change lives, and they serve to inspire.  The new documentary River City Drumbeat is one of these films. Promoted as “a story of music, love and legacies,” it follows a dynamic African drumming corps for kids founded and taught by the magnetic Edward “Nardie” White as he prepares to turn the operation over to a successor after a 30-year run in urban Louisville, Kentucky.

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 5.09.44 PM.png

Continue reading

Last Chance U: Laney Eagles Rising

By C.J. Hirschfield

 

Throughout the world, the phrase “Oakland football” conjures up images of Raider Nation, fans who glory in looking as terrifying and tough as they can. But while the Raiders are gone, the Laney College Eagles are still flying high.  And thanks to the latest season of a popular Netflix series, a new image of the city’s football can emerge: A kinder, gentler one, that better reflects what we locals call Town Love. And the coach is Hella Oakland, focusing on community and guiding his scrappy (read that working-class) team members to be successful—in sports, and in life.

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 5.53.55 PM.png Continue reading

Healing The World One Film at a Time: Black Films Matter

Screen Shot 2020-07-17 at 8.27.03 PM

By Gary Meyer

Celebrate African American cinema and the African cultural Diaspora through a diverse collection of films – from emerging and established filmmakers. The San Francisco Black Film Festival presents movies reinforcing positive images and dispelling negative stereotypes while providing cinema artists from the bay area in particular and around the world in general, a forum for their work to be viewed and discussed.

 

For more than 20 years audiences have gathered to experience these movies but this year the festival has been reinvented as “Virtually, It’s Possible” uploading new movies twice a day through August 2, 2020 on the San Francisco Black Film Festival website.

Continue reading