I Didn’t See You There

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Updated October 27, 2022)

A monument to circus showman P.T. Barnum stands in Reid Davenport’s hometown of Bethel, Connecticut. “He got a pedestal,” says the director of I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE, the new documentary that premiered at the 65th SFFILM Festival, while the disabled filmmaker’s perspective is from the sidewalk. The film, a meditative and personal feature that invites the viewer to see the world through his eyes—and at his level– often refers to the corrosive legacy of Barnum’s freak shows and how society relates to those who are different.

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SIGN THE SHOW: A Benefit, Not a Burden

By C.J. Hirschfield

October 22, 2022

I can’t imagine being denied access to movies, plays, comedy shows, or concerts; you probably can’t either. And yet that’s how it is for 40+ million Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) Americans, whose attempts to get venues and artists to understand their need for consistent, high-quality professional and well-lit sign language interpreters are met with barrier after barrier.

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TOWN DESTROYER: When Art Offends

By C.J. Hirschfield

October 8, 2022

For a documentary to even-handedly and adroitly cover a complex, painful and controversial subject in just 52 minutes requires not only talent, but a clarity of vision, and cinematic compassion.

Award-winning Bay Area filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman have accomplished just that in their timely Town Destroyer, with its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival Saturday, October 8. Continue reading

FANTASTIC NEGRITO: A Cat With More Than Nine Lives

Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? album review | Louder

 

By C.J. Hirschfield                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     October 8, 2022

Xavier. Amin. Andrew. Blood Sugar X. Oakland’s Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, born Xavier Dphrepaulezz and now known as Fantastic Negrito has had many names, and even more lives. The new documentary Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, which has its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, traces his remarkable and unlikely journey, telling the story in chronological order, interspersed with song tracks and jam sessions that feature his unique blues/R&B/roots music. It all comes together beautifully. Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of the Big Red Panda?

By Mihaela Mihailova

On paper, Pixar’s Turning Red, a film about a thirteen-year-old Chinese Canadian girl whose entry into puberty causes her to transform into a large red panda every time she feels a strong emotion, is not for (or about) me. I am not of Chinese descent. I did not grow up in Toronto (or in North America, for that matter). My parents are not immigrants (I am). I have yet to transform into a large beast, unless we count persistent pandemic weight gain. More importantly, I am not one of Oscar-winning director Domee Shi’s friends and immediate family members. 

TURNING RED

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