A Concerto is a (Beautiful) Conversation with Michael Morgan

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Editor’s note: On August 20, 2021 Michael Morgan unexpectedly passed away at age 63 from an infection. In the weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital he had conducted at the San Francisco Symphony and Bear Valley Music Festival. The Oakland Symphony paid tribute to him.)

In April, 2021, ten documentary short subject films were short-listed for this year’s Oscars. At their best, documentary shorts tell a compelling story that, while lacking in length (they must be under 40 minutes) still manage to grab and hold us, leaving us richer for the experience.

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Lessons Learned

By C.J. Hirschfield

This meme regarding the controversial teaching of critical race theory in schools showed up in my Facebook feed this week: “If black and brown children are old enough to experience racism, white children are old enough to learn about it.”

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Fruits of Labor

By C.J. Hirschfield

On the day of this writing, 13,464 trays of strawberries were harvested in California, the state that produces 83 percent of the strawberries grown in the U.S. Who picks them? Kids as young as 12.

 

Poster by Maribel Martinez and Yen Tan

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BEING A CENTURY OLD DOESN’T STOP BETTY REID SOSKIN AND ANNA HALPRIN FROM ROCKIN’ OUR WORLD

BY C.J. Hirschfield

Writer Pearl S. Buck said that “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.”

Two of the remarkable Bay Area women featured in the 10th annual Legacy Film Festival on Aging have seemingly done just that, and they’ve used their collective 200 (!) years of rich experience to arrive at a place where they now choose to enlighten and inspire.

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A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

By Andrea Chase

In conversation after a watch party for A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION, co-subject and co-director (with Ben Proudfoot) Kris Bowers said that part of the reason he wanted to make the film because the Emmy™-winning composer thought his grandfather, Horace Bowers, Sr., was a hero. A hero who should be celebrated. He also wanted to have an in-depth conversation with him while the 91-year-old was still with us. The result is a tender and intimate portrait of strength, joy, and how family shapes us.

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Bedlam: The Shame Is On Us.

By C.J. Hirschfield

California has spent $13 billion in the last three years to tackle a massive homelessness problem made worse by the pandemic, yet its approach is fragmented and incomplete, the state auditor said in a report released this month. Homeless people suffering from mental illness– who make up over 40 percent of the people on the streets in Los Angeles alone– were not mentioned at all in the report’s summary.

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