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Ernestine De Soto is a Chumash Native American whose mother Mary Yee was the last speaker of her native Barbareño language. In 6 generations, her family reaches back to the days the Spanish arrived in Santa Barbara and made first contact. Ernestine tells this history from the perspective of her female ancestors, making her a unique link with the past.
When African-American swimmer Simone Manuel won a 2016 Olympic Gold Medal she inspired a new generation of minority swimmers in America so the myth that 'Blacks Can't Swim' is exactly that a myth; but where does this rumour originate from? A short film (34 minutes) directed by award winning filmmaker Mysterex.
An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writings -- spanning five decades -- articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century.
A New Color joyfully profiles the life and work of celebrated artist Edythe Boone whose colorful murals portray some of the major events of our time and illustrate the transformative power of art. From humble Harlem roots, the indefatigable Boone pursued her love of art and her dream of someday creating a new color -- "a color that no one had ever seen before." Boone moved her family to Berkeley in the 1970's from Harlem to avoid the growing crack epidemic. In the Bay Area, she was drawn to community mural projects that channeled her artistic talent into public advocacy for racial and social justice, including the landmark MaestraPeace mural on the San Francisco Women's Building.
This is an experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 groundbreaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African diaspora. The conference brought together an array of dynamic scholars, activists, and cultural workers including Essex Hemphill, Kobena Mercer, Barbara Smith, Urvashi Vaid, and Jacqui Alexander to interrogate the economic, political, and social situations of diasporic lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender peoples. The video brings together the highlights of the conference and draws connections between popular culture and contemporary black gay media production.
Centered around the life of Liliana, a daughter entering her first year of high school, Hannah Weyer follows the back-and-forth movement of the family between their home in Texas near the borderlands and the California agricultural fields. Despite the best efforts of the school systems to accommodate students like Liliana, the social and emotional life of this young woman is constantly in flux. This is an important work revealing the difficulties of girl life on the border.
On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight — to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it.
Life on the rez has never been easy, and for girls at the beginning of the 21st century, some issues seem further from resolution than ever. Mohawk Girls captures the lives of three exuberant and insightful Mohawk teenagers as they face their future. The unwritten rules of their close-knit community decree that those who move away risk their credibility, or worse, their rights as Mohawks. Those who stay give up the possibilities offered by the "outside world."
Nadia Kamel’s Salata Baladi is a documentary with a simple premise: recorded family history. However, while the premise itself may be simple, Kamel’s film successfully touches on complex social and political tensions that have and continue to affect Egyptian society. Responding to an increase in negative rhetoric directed at perceived “others” in her native Egypt, Kamel set out to document her own diverse family history by recording the memories of her mother, Mary Rosenthal.
How do we create a history from a past that was hidden? Swimming with Lesbians dives into the darkest depths to find the answer. The film looks at an upstate New York community's efforts to create an LBGT historic archive. Extraordinary lesbian activist Madeline Davis uncovers the lives and histories collected for this archive"”some sad, some quirky, some tender"”and all richly imagined through the Blue Sky lens. The film share's Davis's mission to create a lasting legacy for the LBGT community: "We are ephemeral. This is for the ages."
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the inspiring story of the Green Belt Movement of Kenya and its founder Wangari Maathai, the first environmentalist and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S.- educated Professor Maathai discovered her life's work by reconnecting with the rural women with whom she had grown up. Their lives had become intolerable: they were walking longer distances for firewood, clean water was scarce, the soil was disappearing from their farms, and their children were suffering from malnutrition. Maathai thought to herself, "Well, why not plant trees?" She soon discovered that tree planting had a ripple effect of empowering change. Countering the devastating cultural effects of colonialism, Maathai began teaching communities about self-knowledge as a path to change and community action.
Maria Irene Fornes was one of America's greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many know her only as the ex-lover of writer and social critic Susan Sontag. The visionary Cuban-American dramatist constructed astonishing worlds on-stage, writing over 40 plays and winning nine Obie Awards. At the vanguard of the nascent Off-Off Broadway experimental theater movement in NYC, Fornes is often referred to as American theater's "Mother Avant-Garde." When she gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignites her spontaneous creative spirit and triggers a decade-long collaboration that picks up where the pen left off.