Last Tuesday evening on KPOO fm's "The Community Worker", I had the pleasure of interviewing acclaimed actor and producer Danny Glover and Dan Sturman, director, producer of the Oscar hopeful documentary "Soundtrack for a Revolution". Also joining us for the discussion was Jackie Wright, president of Wright Enterprises on the upcoming screening of the film at Third Baptist Church on Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday this Friday, January 15th. They've also unearthed some new, never seen before footage for this documentary. "Soundtrack for a Revolution" tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music -the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.
Directors Sturman and two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag (co-directors of 1997's "Nanking"), pair provocative vintage footage with emotional interviews with the men and women who endured the threats, the dogs, the night sticks, and the fire hoses, among them Georgia congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Julian Bond and many more. But ultimately the filmmakers want the music to do the talking, so they've also gathered Richie Havens, Wyclef Jean, Joss Stone, John Legend, TV on the Radio, the Roots, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and others to let loose on modern renditions of those timeless songs.
The freedom songs evolved from slave chants, from the labor movement, and especially from the black church. The music enabled blacks to sing words they could not say, and it was crucial in helping the protesters as they faced down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. The infectious energy of the songs swept people up and empowered them to fight for their rights. "Soundtrack for a Revolution" is also among the 15 documentary films being considered for a nomination. On February 2nd. the five films that make it to the nomination level will be announced and Oscars will be presented March 7, 2010.
In one scene, described in a recent press release, "a young black man sits politely at the "whites only" counter in a diner as white men berate him, throw food at him, and eventually beat him. But when he hits the floor, another man takes his place at the counter. Watching this ghastly footage, captured during the bitter days of segregation, it seems impossible to imagine anyone willing to endure such senseless brutality. But pair images like this with soul-stirring folk songs like "I'm Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table," "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize," and "We Shall Overcome," and suddenly anything seems possible. "Soundtrack for a Revolution" tells the story of the American civil rights movement through the music that fortified protestors as they struggled for equality..."
The screening is also a fundraiser for the NAACP, which is being held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s actual birthday, January 15th at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco. Danny Glover will also will be on hand before the screening which will also have a special VIP reception in his honor.
"Soundtrack for A Revolution Oscar Nomination Hopeful Celebration"
VIP Reception with Danny Glover catered by FAZ Restaurants 6:00 p.m. January 15, 2010
(VIP Ticket includes Preferred Screening Seating)
Film Screening at 7 p.m.
Q&A with Danny Glover, filmakers Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman moderated by San Francisco Filmmaker Jacquie Taliaferro follows screening. You can purchase tickets online at fla.vor.us/groovetickets for "Soundtrack for a Revolution" or call 1-877-714-7668
A special appeal will be made for the survivors of the Haitian Earthquake. The audience will be requested to write checks to Hollywood Unites for Haiti www.hufh.org, a foundation founded by Jimmy Jean-Louis "The Haitian" on NBC's "Heroes" and to the American Red Cross.