A new documentary, “Homeroom,” shows how Oakland High School’s Class of 2020 faced a year of pandemic uncertainty with resilience and perseverance, amplifying calls to end policing in schools even as those schools shut down and their personal milestones were relegated to virtual spaces.
Aging is often obscured from movies, or portrayed in ways that perpetuate stereotypes about what aging is. The films at the Legacy Film Festival on Aging counter that by exploring more fully what it means to get older.
Millions of Americans have stepped in as caregivers for loved ones with illnesses or injuries that mean they need help with daily living. The work is generally unpaid and often invisible to the world outside the family. Some of these caregivers are children. A new documentary, “Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation,” highlights young people who are taking on these roles in their families. Director and co-producer Richard Lui, a news anchor at MSNBC and NBC News, talked with “Civic” about why and how young people are stepping in to do this work and what it means to be a caregiver.
“Sky Blossom” will screen at CAAMFest on May 18 at 6 p.m. It will also air on MSNBC May 29 and 30, and will reach a theater in every state on May 26.
“Caregiving for my own father is what probably opened my eyes to this.
An installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts called “Mourning is an Act of Love” uses non-traditional forms of documentary film as well as poetry and photography, which visitors can view from the outside of the building, to explore concepts like memorials, grief and public space. Documentary filmmaker Susannah Smith, who curated the exhibit, and filmmaker and cinematographer Melinda James talked with “Civic” about mourning and connecting at a time when people are isolated by pandemic restrictions. Smith said there have been several deaths among her family and friends in recent years. “The main way that I dealt with it, that felt constructive, was really sharing stories and being with people and that kind of collective process,” she said.
But the pandemic hindered mourners’ ability to gather. “The pandemic has shifted the ways that we are able to mourn the ways that we come together, collectively and as a community,” James said.
The Bay Area Reporter distributed its first edition on April 1, 1971. While publisher Bob Aaron Ross may have chosen April Fool’s Day as a light-hearted start for the gay community’s latest bar “rag,” the newspaper would go on to do serious journalism, covering the major events of the post-Stonewall era.
At this year’s SF Urban Film Fest, several programs examining homelessness include activities in which participants will be asked to connect with perfect strangers. In one case, they’ll be prompted to write love notes or put together care packages. Multimedia journalist Yesica Prado and Fay Darmawi, the film festival’s founder and executive director, curated the events and discussed on “Civic” how participants might gain new perspectives on homelessness.
San Francisco’s new poet laureate, Tongo Eisen-Martin, is a city native raised by local organizers, and his work is deeply political. On “Civic,” Eisen-Martin reflected on national politics in the wake of the summer uprisings against police brutality and racism, the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the presidential inauguration.
A new documentary, “Playing for Keeps,” posits that humans benefit greatly from playing and suffer when we are deprived of play. Isabella Miller, who prior to the coronavirus pandemic would regularly go swing dancing, and David Miles Jr., the proprietor of San Francisco’s Church of 8 Wheels, are featured in the film and joined “Civic” to reflect on how they play and how that has shaped their lives.
A new documentary, “Dennis: The Man Who Legalized Cannabis,” retraces Dennis Peron’s path from being discharged from the military to organizing to pass a ballot measure that allowed for medical cannabis in California.
Seventy-six years ago, the San Francisco Ballet introduced “The Nutcracker” to America. This year, the company will introduce the “Nutcracker Online” — a virtual holiday experience for the era of COVID-19.
S.F. Ballet is just one of many local arts organizations that have adapted their holiday offerings for a socially distanced season. It’s not easy to capture the spirit of live performance without an audience, but constraints have bred creativity and opened new channels of artistic expression.
The San Francisco Mime Troupe has been performing socially conscious and often very funny productions in Bay Area parks since 1959 and was preparing for its summer series of live shows when the COVID-19 pandemic made that impossible.
The Troupe has been releasing half-hour radio plays for the last 10 weeks and now, with the first series, “Tales of the Resistance,” coming to an end, we wanted to find out how the move from live to radio play has worked out.