May 31, 2019
ArchCity Defenders, a non-profit civil rights law firm based in St. Louis, is announcing the films and dates for its second annual summer Racial Justice Film Series. Beginning on June 27, ArchCity Defenders will present Brother Outsider, Time: Kalief Browder Story (Episode 1) on July 18, and a double feature Where the Pavement Ends and The Kinloch Doc on August 15.
“We are so excited to bring back the Racial Justice Film Series this summer, which has enabled ArchCity Defenders and our partners to continue providing opportunities for learning, reflection, and critical community dialogue,” said Blake Strode, Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders. “The three films featured in the series speak to a number of deep and enduring challenges that we must face head-on if we are truly committed to the cause of racial justice. We hope that attendees will enjoy and be inspired to act.”
“While the topics in this film reflect a reality that can be politicized – racism, civil rights, economic injustice – the approach the film takes is non-didactic and restrained,” said Jane Gillooly, Director of Where the Pavement Ends. “The intent is for the storytelling to accumulate through the revelation of small often personal details so that the viewer is putting the pieces of history together in the moment of watching. The film guides the audience and without question, it has a point of view. Yet, we felt a responsibility to leave space for the spectator to find their own experience in the film and determine an opinion.”
Brother Outsider, directed by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, chronicles the life of openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, best known for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, D.C..Time: The Kalief Browder Story is a 6-part series that traces the tragic case of Kalief Browder, a Bronx teen who spent three horrific years in jail, despite never being convicted of a crime. ArchCity Defenders will be screening the first episode, entitled “The System,” which highlights issues of cash bail, pretrial detention, and shows Kalief Browder seeking justice from New York City for his 3-Year imprisonment at Rikers Island and wrongful arrest. Where the Pavement Ends, directed by Jane Gillooly, explores the charged relationship between the historically all-black town of Kinloch and its formerly all-white neighbor Ferguson. Through the eyes of former/current residents, former and current local officials, and scholars, The Kinloch Doc seeks to show the implications of two major political decisions – a city merger and the Lambert Airport buyout – on the life of this north county suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. This short doc is directed by Alana Flowers.
Each screening will feature a Q&A following the film and is intended to spark a community conversation that connects the stories and themes within the film with current and historical realities in St. Louis.
The film screenings will be held at Fellowship STL, and will be free, open to the public, and designed to promote community engagement. Doors will open at 6:30 with the screenings beginning at 7pm. Light refreshments and drinks will be available. To follow the film series on social media, find ArchCity Defenders on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and use #RJFS.
In 2018, ArchCity Defenders held its first Racial Justice Film series (with KDHX) featuring three compelling documentaries: Marvin Booker was Murdered, Whose Streets? and Major!. Each of the films featured stories that connected with the experiences of ArchCity Defenders’ clients and the organization’s mission of combating state violence and the criminalization of poverty. Notable panelists featured in last year’s Q&A included artist and rapper Tef Poe, organizer and activist Kayla Reed, academic Dr. Kira Hudson Banks, advocates with the LGBTQIA community like Jay-Marie Hill, filmmaker Wade Gardner, and the Rev. Spencer Booker and Gail Booker.
Z. Gorley, Communications Director at ArchCity Defenders