This stirring, up-close documentary follows a group of Oakland teens who find personal liberation and mutual support through dance. These dynamic young people face the very real challenges of poverty, alienation, HIV, sexual abuse, and gang violence, but they are dedicated to tell the truth, even if it hurts, because the truth will in some degree set them free. Free captures their struggles as they turn the courage, determination, and stamina demanded of their lives into a contagious joy. – CM
Directed by David Collier and Suzanne LaFetra | USA 2014 | 73 min
Plays with: STAND, Melanie D’Andrea, 21 min
World Premiere!! Local Filmmaker
This intriguing and thought provoking experimental documentary crawls over, under and inside the leftover ‘dead zones’ of the California road and freeway system, finding an eclectic mix of people who inhabit, explore, and re-purpose these liminal spaces, sometimes uncovering a world to call their own. Urban planners, artists and engineers reflect on the sociological considerations about the built environment, including interviews with KALW’S Roman Mars (host of the popular architecture and design podcast “99 Percent Invisible”) and John Law (co-founder of Burning Man and the Cacophony Society). -CM
Directed by Whit Missildine | USA 2015 | 52 min
Plays wth: Broken City Poets, Ariane Wu, 29 min
West Coast Premiere!!
Following 1995’s Clueless, Hollywood made hundreds of movies exploring the teenage psyche. Most were set in the drama-rich landscape of high school, complete with jocks, cheerleaders, freaks, geeks, and countless sub cliques in between. Narrated by cult teen star Fairuza Balk, this stylish film takes us into the soul of the teen movie, as seen through the eyes of 200 modern coming-of-age classics, exploring themes of alienation, loss of self, and scouring the often amusing myriad of emotional tempests that dominate the teenage years. -CM
Directed by Charlie Lyne | UK 2014 | 89 min
A Spike Lee Joint, DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator, Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. He however is not a vampire. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. A reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film “Ganja & Hess”, which played as a Critics’ Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.
Director: Spike Lee/123 minutes/Country: USA