On Screen @ La Biblioteca
Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice
By Caren Cross
Abby Ginzberg is an amazing woman! After practicing law for 10 years, she decided that she wanted to be a documentary filmmaker. She switched careers and has produced over 30 films. She has captured the stories of trailblazing women and minority judges and has made more than 10 films about discrimination in the legal profession. Reel Docs is pleased to present Abby’s newest film, Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice. And, as is the custom of Reel Docs, the director will be present to participate in a Q&A following the film, as well as a Margarita Reception in which the audience members can speak with Ms.Ginzberg personally.
Film: Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice. Wed & Thu, Feb 8 & 9, 5pm. Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A. 80 pesos
San Miguel audiences will be particularly interested in the story of Cruz Reynoso. He was born into a Mexican, Spanish-speaking farm worker family of 11 children. During his extraordinary life, Reynoso has been one of those rare individuals who are not only shaped by history, they make history. Sowing the Seeds of Justice paints a portrait of a man who felt the sting of injustice as a child and later, as a lawyer, judge and teacher, fought for over five decades to eradicate discrimination and inequality for all.
The film shows Reynoso’s struggle to be educated, leading to his graduation from Pomona College and from UC Berkeley Law School. He later became the first Latino law professor in the country. His ascent to the California Supreme Court was a singular achievement, when Governor Jerry Brown appointed him as the first Latino justice on that bench. Then, in a heated recall campaign whose central issue was the death penalty, Reynoso and two other justices lost their seats.
Ginzberg’s award-winning film has been in innumerable film festivals. It won an Accolade Award, which recognizes filmmakers who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, as well as a Gold Davey Award.
It has been described as “…a documentary masterpiece…” “…An inspiration…” “…Riveting…” (Michael J. Fox at the Mill Valley Film Festival.)
By Cindy Norman
This Satsang Film Festival hit movie won the Sundance Audience Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature. Join us for an incredible journey around the world, as we explore the power and mystery of happiness. How do we balance the allure of money, fame, and social status with our needs for good relationships, health, and a sense of contentment? Happy is a documentary that deals with many of the fundamental issues we face in today’s society. A short discussion follows the film.
Film: Happy. Sat, Feb 11, 2pm. Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A. Donations 70 pesos
Does money make you happy? Kids and family? Work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?
Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award nominated Genghis Blues now brings us Happy, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
Happy combines cutting-edge science from the new field of “positive psychology” with real-life stories of people from around the world whose lives illustrate these findings. We see the story of a beautiful woman named Melissa Moody, a mother of three, who had a “perfect life” until the day she was run over by a truck. Disabled for nine years and disfigured for life, amazingly she is happier now than before her accident. Manoj Singh, a rickshaw puller from the slums of Kolkata who lives in a hut made of plastic bags with his family, is found to be as happy as the average American. Through these and other stories Happy leads us toward a deeper understanding of how we can all live more fulfilling, healthy, and happy lives.
In the Wake of the Flood
Hosted by Audubon de México
Tue, Feb 7, 3pm
In the Wake of the Flood
By Julieta Moreno
In anticipation of Margaret Atwood’s February visit to San Miguel for the San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival, Audubon de México will screen In the Wake of the Flood, Canadian documentarian Ron Mann’s film that follows Margaret Atwood’s international book tour to promote The Year of the Flood, her dystopian novel about a cult of spiritual gardeners who survive an environmental apocalypse known as the “waterless flood.”
But this isn’t your everyday promotional book tour. For at 70, Atwood, one of the acclaimed literary voices of this generation, is determined to do something meaningful about something she cares passionately about: raising consciousness, through action, of the destruction being wrought on birdlife by human activities.
For her tour, Atwood conceives and executes an ambitious and engaging theatrical version of her book in each of the communities she visits, joining volunteer performers in a grassroots production drawn from the text of her novel. The book is partially constructed around a cycle of 14 hymns scattered throughout the book that seek to shake the human race into an awareness of the fragility of the natural world and our vital connection to it. Atwood teamed with Los Angeles composer Orville Stoeber to write a new style of devotional music influenced by country ballads, gospel, jazz, and folk.
Atwood’s idea in bringing a live version of her book to an audience was to go beyond identifying environmental and social ills – concerns such as climate change, pollution, economic inequity, and racism. Rather, she sought to inspire her audience into awareness and civic action.
The resulting film, In The Wake of the Flood chronicles Atwood’s journey, offers glimpses of the theatrical performances of her book, shares her rugged and adventurous childhood, and features conversations with some of the like-minded fellow travelers she encountered along the way. These include a community gardener, an eccentric bird watcher and, most notably, Bill McKibbon, an environmental activist and founder of the climate change organization 360.org. It also features archival footage of legendary activists such as Rachel Carson and Euell Gibbons combined with animated sequences to tell a story of warning and hope.
Through it all, Atwood emerges as a sage elder whose sensibility and humor is always in the foreground, as she shares her life and eco-fable with her audience and us.