On Sept. 9, 1971, over 1,200 inmates at the Attica correctional facility in Attica, NY, seized the yard at the maximum-security prison, took more than three dozen guards and civilian employees hostage, and demanded more humane treatment and better conditions. For five days, the world watched as TV news cameras covered the story from both outside and inside the prison, as journalists and a team of negotiators converged at the scene. But when law enforcement was ordered by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to retake Attica, the resulting massacre by state police left 29 inmates and 10 hostages dead — the deadliest violence Americans had inflicted on each other in a single day since the Civil War. Before the smoke from the tear gas cleared, police tortured inmates behind the walls. No charges were ever brought against authorities for the killings of inmates and guards. It was the largest prison rebellion in U.S. history.
Now, on the 50th anniversary of the Attica uprising, Emmy-winning director STANLEY NELSON and producer and co-director TRACI A. CURRY examine one of the most shocking incidents in the nation’s history in the extraordinary, in-depth documentary ATTICA. Through original interviews with former inmates, family members of the hostages, and those who witnessed it first-hand, Nelson (Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple) and Curry (producer of Nelson’s Boss: The Black Experience in Business and ESPN 30 for 30: Vick and a longtime MSNBC producer) bring us back to a moment that resonated for decades, utilizing hundreds of hours of footage and never-before-seen archival tapes from inside the prison. ATTICA captures the personalities, politics, emotions, and tragedy that stands as a wake-up call — then and now — about the need for prison reform and the responsibilities of justice.
Miles Davis: Horn player, bandleader, innovator. Elegant, intellectual, vain. Callous, conflicted, controversial. Magnificent, mercurial. Genius. The very embodiment of cool. The man with a sound so beautiful it could break your heart.
The central theme of Miles Davis’s life was his restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. It made him a star—it also made him incredibly difficult to live with, for the people who loved him most. Again and again, in music and in life, Miles broke with convention—and when he thought his work came to represent a new convention, he changed it again. Miles’s bold disregard for tradition, his clarity of vision, his relentless drive, and constant thirst for new experiences made him an inspiring collaborator to fellow musicians and a cultural icon to generations of listeners. It made him an innovator in music—from bebop to “cool jazz,” modern quintets, orchestral music, jazz fusion, rock ‘n’ roll, and even hip-hop.
Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, and rare photos, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool tells the story of a truly singular talent and unpacks the man behind the horn.
‘Mega Unione Suprema’ is a grotesque and condensed journey willing to expose the commercial stereotypes and storytelling mechanisms that shape contemporary communication and film industry, to exhibit how the market has taken over the discourse and transformed it into mere communication of so-called “messages”. It is an experimental anti-film in the form of an ad, part of the YAY.RED art project (a brand which only promotes itself, and having as its only product to sell nothing but the advertisement of the brand itself). ‘Mega Unione Suprema’ is realized only using the poorest material one can find in communication: the stock footage. The film is created by combining and editing footage, music, images and graphics, to obtain YAY.RED self-referential advertisements. ‘Mega Unione Suprema’ is therefore a series of such senseless advertisements, which are at the same time the product themselves and the advertisement of the product.
Born out of Director Sharon Lewis’s own muted struggle with not fitting into neat racial/ Queer/ Christian boxes, ‘With Wonder’ takes an intimate look at the journey of members of the Queer, Christian community of colour and their attempts to answer the question: “Can you be both Christian and Queer?” In this film we hear and see diverse members of the LGBTQI+ community, including high profile queer activists and Queer clerics, in places like Jamaica, New York, London, and Los Angeles. They each have their own unique ways of amplifying their voices and finding their way back to spiritual health, despite the shaming tactics of some Christian institutions. ‘With Wonder’ is a love letter to God from the LGBTQI+ community of colour.
‘Riddim’ paints a cross portrait of three young Guyanese urban dancers. For them, dance is a vector of integration and social recognition. They symbolise the power of appropriation of an entire generation, the emergence of an identity of its own.
A boy lends his friend a prosthetic arm for the day. As the moon inches closer and closer towards the sun, the friend sees something in the water…
‘Don’t think about earthquakes’ is a meditation on day-to-day life in Haiti as it is, without the weight of outsiders’ dominating narratives of poverty and destruction from the 2010 earthquake. Shot from a moving vehicle on the artist’s phone, footage of people interacting in the space is framed and slowed down so we can observe their movements and perhaps draw parallels with our own.
‘You Can Always Come Home’ is a short film that explores the domestic realm through the eyes of young children. It highlights themes such as celebration, ritual, family, and love through Black spatial occupation of the kitchen and front porch. Tangent to the film is a poem written by artists Reginald O’Neal and Arsimmer McCoy that furthers the investigation and liberation of Blackness in the architected environment.
Ara, a young, bedridden girl, is trapped in her room. The nights are easier for her as the moon gives her comfort and revives her. One night a lunar visitor helps her transcend her physical bonds and find the answers she so desperately needs.
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