Oakland Reconstructed: Angela Glover Blackwell & Fred Blackwell

A conversation with PolicyLink CEO/Founder Angela Glover Blackwell and San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell introduces opening film, THE GREAT FLOOD. The two have a candid conversation about the intersection of policy and the arts, and their significance on the economic vitality of communities. The Oakland Reconstructed series most recently featured two of Oakland's leading developers, Alan Dones of the Broadway Telegraph Redevelopment Project, and Mike Ghielmetti of The Hive and Brooklyn Basin redevelopment projects.



The Great Flood

The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its banks in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles to a depth of up to 30 feet. Part of it enduring legacy was the mass exodus of displaced sharecroppers. Musically, the Great Migration of rural southern blacks to Northern cities saw the Delta Blues electrified and reinterpreted as the Chicago Blues, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock and Roll. Using minimal text and no spoken dialog, filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer - guitarist Bill Frisell have created a powerful portrait of a seminal moment in American history through a collection of silent images matched to a searing original soundtrack.



UNOGUMBE

UNOGUMBE follows the plot of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde opera closely but moves the action from medieval England to present-day South Africa, where the background and poverty of the township is a striking metaphor for man’s inhumanity to man. Sung in Xhosa, with subtitles in medieval English, it is completely re-scored for African instruments. Noye (Noah) is now a woman and has to deal with a drunken husband, hold her family together as well as build the Ark and collect the animals. The opera is a tale for children; however the threat of global warming and its consequences make the flood seem a closer reality, and maybe a fitting end for man if he continues to display inhumanity and a lack of care for the world.



KEHINDE WILEY: AN ECONOMY OF GRACE

Famous for his vibrant reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring African-American men, New York-based painter Kehinde Wiley has turned the practice of portraiture on its head and in the process has taken the art world by storm. KEHINDE WILEY: AN ECONOMY OF GRACE follows the artist as he steps out of his comfort zone to create a series of paintings of women for the first time.Kehinde casts his models on the streets of New York and then enlists Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to create couture gowns for each woman. The film traces the artist’s process from concept to canvas as he reveals to us another side of black femininity.



Afronauts

Just after Zambian Independence in 1964, an ingenious group of villagers builds a homemade rocket in a wild bid to join the Space Race. As the launch date approaches, their astronaut—17-year-old Matha Mwambwa—must decide if getting into their precarious rocket vindicates her traumatic past or just makes her a glorified human sacrifice. Inspired by true events.



12 O'Clock Boys

The 12 O’CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore — popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police. In Lotfy Nathan’s wild, dynamic documentary (three years in the making), their stunning antics are envisioned through the eyes of young adolescent Pug – a bright kid from the Westside obsessed with the riders and willing to do anything to join their ranks. Premiering to critical acclaim at the SXSW and Hot Docs Film Festivals (where Nathan won the HBO Emerging Artist Award), 12 O’CLOCK BOYS provides a compelling and intimate personal story of a young boy and his dangerous, thrilling dream.



Oya: Rise of the Orisha

An exciting action packed film, written and directed by Nosa Igbinedion. The film resurrects mythical deities from African folklore, known as Orishas, into modern-day superheroes, focusing on Ade, one of the few people in the modern world who still has a connection with one of the gods Oya. Oya's job is to keep the doorway between the world of man and the world of the Orishas firmly closed for, if it is opened, the Orishas will wreak havoc upon the Earth as retribution for man's abandonment of them. To keep the door shut she must find the 'key' (a young girl with the potential to open the doorway) and keep her safe.



Evaporating Borders

An essay in five parts, Evaporating Borders offers a series of vignettes, poetically guided by the filmmaker's curious eye and personal reflections. Through the people she encounters along the way, the film dissects the experience of asylum seekers in Cyprus: A PLO activist and exile from Iraq is denied asylum within 15 minutes; neo-nazi fundamentalists roam the streets in an attack on Muslim migrants; activists and academics organize an antifascist rally and clash with the neo-nazis; 195 migrants drown in the Mediterranean. Poetically photographed and rendered, the film passionately weaves the themes of migration, tolerance, identity and belonging.



Virunga

In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth and home to the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas. In this wild, but enchanted environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers - including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a dedicated conservationist - protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo's rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they've worked so hard to protect, with the filmmakers and the film’s participants caught in the crossfire.



evolution of a criminal

After seeing his mother and stepfather struggle to make ends meet while living outside of Houston, Texas, filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe decided to help them by robbing a bank with two friends. Returning to his neighborhood several years after the crime, Monroe creates an incredibly intimate and personal journey of reflection and forgiveness while beautifully examining lower class struggles, the desperation of a teen under pressure, and the emotional impact that rippled in the aftermath of that day.



of good report

After engaging in an illicit affair with one of his pupils, teacher Parker Sithole spirals into an abyss of obsession that eventually turns to murder. A cinephile's passionate homage to classic film noir, OF GOOD REPORT is a serial killer origins story about how a social misfit turns into an inadequate man hellbent on satisfying his shameful lust. It is Little Red Riding Hood, told from the wolf's perspective.



Mala Mala

This film shows several stories of the transgender community in Puerto Rico, including April Carrion, well-known drag queen who participated in the reality show RuPaul's Drag Race. Mala Mala also includes the historic victory of the LGBT community with the approval and signature of Law 238-2014 (in Puerto Rico), which prevents discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.