Baton Rouge to Jackson ’63 is an exceptional, bold, and deeply affecting illustration of a growing sub-genre of urgent political cinema: the radical re-enactment of historical violence, echoing one another with a jarringly precise confluence. The films also tend to be deeply cinematic, with exponential rather than additive formal approaches, projecting their vitality that much further. What does this say? More than anything, that our broadly held illusions of progress–especially on the Left–are nothing but so much stifling air. In material reality, nearly nothing has changed. Which leads one down another path: stop fetishizing heroic movements of the past, especially when their tactics, their methods, their ethos—while highly inspiring—are nothing but points of entry. Objectively so. I find myself thinking of the line in Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn”, “Do things gradually, but bring more tragedy.” How much more gradually are we going to change the things we all know are obviously wrong and are causing horrific, daily harm? And how are we going to speed along that change? Which brings us abruptly to the present moment: a place where there still isn’t meaningful help for poor people, again flooded catastrophically and forced to live under intolerable circumstance, but somehow there’s all that money to clothe those abusive cops, head to toe, in high tech armor using military weapons and vehicles, to beat back anger over another “death by police” of the same people who are now totally abandoned. The next phase of cinematic innovation surely must be the radical enactment.

Dan Albright is a filmmaker committed to bold, authentic media that provokes thought and action. He is from Denver and currently based in Boston. His short documentary A Living Wage premiered at the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2016 and was shortlisted for the BAFTA US Student Film Award. Before graduating from Emerson College, Dan was the programmer of the student film society Films from the Margin.

Dan Albright is a filmmaker committed to bold, authentic media that provokes thought and action. He is from Denver and currently based in Boston. His short documentary A Living Wage premiered at the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2016 and was shortlisted for the BAFTA US Student Film Award. Before graduating from Emerson College, Dan was the programmer of the student film society Films from the Margin.

ALTON STERLING! SAY HIS NAME! PHILANDO CASTILE! SAY HIS NAME! 

ALTON STERLING! SAY HIS NAME! PHILANDO CASTILE!

SAY THEIR NAMES! 

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"I chose to allow the video to go live because I wanted everybody in the world to see what the police do. It is not right. It is not acceptable. I did it so the world knows these police are not here to protect and serve us. They are here to assassinate us. They are here to kill us because we are black." - Lavish Reynolds (Girlfriend of Philando Castile)

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NEW THIS SUMMER!

Moments of Silence - by Lydia Moyer

While silence pervades Lydia Moyer's masterful new film, it has a great deal to say indeed. A supercut of 7 years of moments of silence in the U.S. House of Representatives for victims of mass shootings, it is a scathing indictment of a government unconcerned with protecting the lives of its own citizens, in the face of escalating yet preventable mass shootings. With Orlando still an open wound, and fears of the next shooting forever lurking at the edges of our consciousness, Moyer's film speaks truth to power, truth to hypocrisy, and calls bullshit on the substitution of "symbolic gestures" for social change. It is a simple, vital, necessary work, silent yet deafening.

The Forcing Nos. 1&2 - by Lydia Moyer

In The Forcing No. 1 and No. 2, Lydia Moyer intervenes in a presumed natural and social order. There is a tension between aggression and fragility found between and around each of Moyer’s edits. Offset sound and image reveal the seams and cracks within a series of natural and urban environments. These cracks open wider, questioning the politics of each environment, meditating on constructed spaces, boundaries and power. 

Lydia Moyer is a visual artist and media maker who lives and works in central Virginia where she is an associate professor at the University of Virginia. Her work has been shown widely in festivals and galleries, including The European Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck, Germany; The Impakt Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands; video-dumbo in Brooklyn; the PDX Festival in Portland, Oregon; the Black Maria Festival in Jersey City; Printed Matter in New York City and the Center for Book and Paper at Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to her individual practice, she makes work under the name Hateful with artist Tory Wright and is an active member of the Printmaker’s Left, an international group of artists that produces collaborative books.

Lydia Moyer is a visual artist and media maker who lives and works in central Virginia where she is an associate professor at the University of Virginia. Her work has been shown widely in festivals and galleries, including The European Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck, Germany; The Impakt Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands; video-dumbo in Brooklyn; the PDX Festival in Portland, Oregon; the Black Maria Festival in Jersey City; Printed Matter in New York City and the Center for Book and Paper at Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to her individual practice, she makes work under the name Hateful with artist Tory Wright and is an active member of the Printmaker’s Left, an international group of artists that produces collaborative books.

A Costly Lesson - by Alex Johnston

Alex Johnston’s A Costly Lesson, is a strange, spare, mournful bird: an artifact of a forgotten past that arrives on the schedule of this week’s newsreel. It constitutes the scant findings of Johnston’s investigations into the 1913 suffocation of 8 black convicts in a Texas prison. Rather than reading as a document of a past time, it reads like a transcript of our nightmare present: black teenagers in prison, abusive work conditions, racist cops, a murderous response to resistance, 8 dead teenagers . . . and nobody does anything about it. Johnston does what he can. He honors them with dignity, beauty, restraint. He answers the questions he can: who, where, when, how. All that is missing is why. Yet he answers that too, almost automatically, by answering the preceding questions themselves. One of the true horrors of racism in the U.S. is that it obliterates questions of why as part of its existential firestorm. If a victim of violence in the United States is young, black, and poor, justice is in short supply. It’s a lesson we learn over and over. It’s a lesson we never seem to learn.

Alex Johnston is a filmmaker and scholar based in Santa Cruz, CA. His films have screened at a wide variety of venues, including Other Cinema in San Francisco, the the New Orleans Film Festival, Iowa City Documentary Film Festival, Thin Line Film festival, and the Miners' Colfax Medical Center, a convalescent home for retired hard rock and coal miners in rural New Mexico. He is a managing editor of NOW! 

Alex Johnston is a filmmaker and scholar based in Santa Cruz, CA. His films have screened at a wide variety of venues, including Other Cinema in San Francisco, the the New Orleans Film Festival, Iowa City Documentary Film Festival, Thin Line Film festival, and the Miners' Colfax Medical Center, a convalescent home for retired hard rock and coal miners in rural New Mexico. He is a managing editor of NOW! 

One Document for Hope - by Margaret Rorison

Margaret Rorison’s One Document for Hope, pits the sterile and procedural narratives of a Baltimore City Police Scanner against images from the precious moments of gathering, celebration, mourning and protest in response to the 2015 death by police of 25 year-old Freddie Gray. The juxtaposition of these elements, institutional dispassion versus community action, makes legible the power of the latter to confront and resist the former. As its title implies, Rorison’s film is ultimately a hopeful one, a celebration of the radical possibility of collective action, and of the necessity of speaking truth to power Now!

Margaret Rorison is a curator and filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has screened at various venues and festivals including, Anthology Film Archives, Ann Arbor Film Festival, CROSSROADS, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, The Maryland Film Festival, Mono No Aware VI & VII, Sonic Circuits Festival, Microscope Gallery, The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and The High Zero Festival.  Rorison is the co-founder and curator for the experimental film series, Sight Unseen.

Margaret Rorison is a curator and filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has screened at various venues and festivals including, Anthology Film Archives, Ann Arbor Film Festival, CROSSROADS, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, The Maryland Film Festival, Mono No Aware VI & VII, Sonic Circuits Festival, Microscope Gallery, The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and The High Zero Festival. 

Rorison is the co-founder and curator for the experimental film series, Sight Unseen.

Marseille Aprés La Guerre - by Billy Woodberry

Marseille Après La Guerre, an exquisite short film by legendary L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Billy Woodberry, is both the first salvo of Now! and an embodiment of its values and sensibilities. The piece is materially modest but formally stunning. Told almost entirely through a series of stunning still black and white images, it offers an astonishing portrait of dock workers in Marseille just after the war, and a reflection on the political awakening of the "father of African film," Ousmane Sembene. A lyrical description of a disappeared world, Marseille Après La Guerre is redolent of a radical past, while inspiring us to consider the shape and texture of a present and future politics of emancipatory solidarity.

Billy Woodberry is one of the leading directors of the L.A. Rebellion (also known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers). He is best known for directing the 1984 feature film, Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), which was honored at the Berlin International Film Festival. His new film, And When I Die I Won't Stay Dead is about the poet Bob Kaufman.

Billy Woodberry is one of the leading directors of the L.A. Rebellion (also known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers). He is best known for directing the 1984 feature film, Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), which was honored at the Berlin International Film Festival. His new film, And When I Die I Won't Stay Dead is about the poet Bob Kaufman.