The Area

The Area is the five-year odyssey of a South Side Chicago neighborhood, where more than 400 African-American families are being displaced by a multi-billion-dollar freight company. The film follows homeowner-turned-activist Deborah Payne, who vows to be “the last house standing,” and the RowRow Boys, teen friends who must start a new life across gang lines.

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Complicit

A courageous factory worker struggling with leukemia helps a group of young Chinese workers who have also been poisoned while making our favorite cell phones and electronic gadgets. The lushly photographed film takes the audience on an 8,000-mile journey to the world’s electronics factory floors and the neighborhoods and hospitals surrounding the world’s largest electronics supplier, Foxconn in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Complicit reveals the human costs of global outsourcing while highlighting the choices made by a group of inspired activists seeking change.Complicit was shot below the radar in the midst of an unprecedented human rights crackdown. The film is a character-driven, inspiring tale of young activists facing huge odds in their effort to reform China's toxic electronics industry. Yi Yeting faces seemingly insurmountable and dangerous challenges, battling to survive occupational leukemia, while helping 39 teenaged female workers from a smartphone factory in a similar situation, poisoned by benzene and n-hexane.

Connecting via the internet Yi brings his fight against benzene - from his hospital room, where he helps other workers, to Silicon Valley and the international stage, persuading Apple to ban both benzene and n-heane. The audience sees both the countryside where the workers come from, and the world’s mega-sized factory floors, revealing the situations under which China’s youth population has shifted by the millions in search of a better life. Ultimately an inspiring tale, Complicitshows when courage and commitment meet social media there's no limit to what one can accomplish -  even in authoritarian China. 

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Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route

A veteran mailman provides an intimate glimpse of Detroiters’ resistance to boom and bust capitalism and structural racism.

Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Routeexamines the rise, demise, and contested resurgence of the City of Detroit through the lens of African-American mail carrier, Wendell Watkins, and the committed community he faithfully served for thirty years.

In Detroit 48202 we take a journey with Wendell along his route and listen in on his conversations with his customers – the resilient Detroiters who share stories of resistance: pushing back against racial segregation in housing; challenging industrial and political disinvestment; and living on reduced pensions as a result of the 2014 municipal bankruptcy. Our characters also share stories of hope and propose creative ways to re-imagine an inclusive, productive, equitable and re-invigorated city.

We also meet legendary labor organizer, General Baker, Historian Thomas Sugrue, and Urban Planner June Manning Thomas, who provide a thread of analysis and historical context. Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route is urgent. It asks: will the resurgence of Detroit center on a high tech, and increasingly white downtown or, will it focus on the vast stretches of neglected neighborhoods that continue to deal with a 40% poverty rate, water shutoffs, tax foreclosures, poor transportation, and a school system in crisis?

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Globurbia: Suburban Place-making amidst Diversity

Toronto, with half of its population born outside of Canada and speaking more than 140 languages, is well known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Its ethno-cultural diversity is often manifested in urban landscapes with long-lasting imprints of ethnic-oriented facilities and institutions. With increasing suburbanization of immigrant populations, the stereotypically homogeneous suburban landscapes have been transformed by ethnic communities who bring new identities and new meanings to the space. This documentary explores the evolution of ethnic neighbourhoods in Toronto's suburbs and how ethnic communities have played a role in suburban place-making and the challenges they face. It raises critical questions for municipalities in terms of how to engage diverse communities equitably and inclusively, how to enhance the advantages of urban diversity, and how to manage unprecedented social, cultural, economic, physical, and political changes that challenge conventional suburban planning.

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Dreaming in Somali: New Americans in the Twin Cities (Trailer)

Dreaming in Somali follows the lives of four Somali Americans in the Twin Cities, widely regarded as the “Minnesota Miracle” for its successful integration of the largest Somali population in the country. By providing an intimate look at our subjects’ triumphs and challenges, the film brings to light the complex issues New Americans across the nation are facing where changing demographics often engender fear and foster misconceptions about refugees, immigrants and Muslims.

(Trailer for film will screen with Globurbia)

Maynard

Academy Award Nominee, Director Sam Pollard constructs the story of Maynard Jackson Jr, the first African American Mayor of a major southern city, Atlanta. The Obama before Obama. In 1968 after the assassinations of MLK Jr. and Robert Kennedy, he announced his candidacy for the Georgia U.S. Senate against known segregationist, Herman Talmadge. His loss ultimately ignited a movement in the south that was started by Dr. King then picked up by Maynard. The “enforcer” of affirmative action and voter turnout, Maynard crafted successful diversity, inclusion & engagement templates still practiced today, and transformed the reputation of Atlanta from the “heart of the confederate south” to a cosmopolitan world-class city.

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Priced Out: 15 Years of Gentrification in Portland, Ore –

Priced Out is an investigative and personal look at housing discrimination and the pain of losing a community to gentrification. The film explores the complexities and contradictions of gentrification and life after the era of “the ghetto.” The documentary powerfully illustrates how government policies and market forces combine to destroy and rebuild neighborhoods. Some embrace new investment at first, but few are left standing when new money moves in and old residents find themselves priced out.

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