Tear it Down: Dismantling White Supremacy Shorts Program

  • Documentary, Indie, Music, News, Political
  • 6 Short Films

Sponsored by Hanky Panky

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This program will be available for viewing March 1st - 31st

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare that which already plagued our country, including police brutality, structural racism, and economic inequality. We’ll take a look at people organizing and taking action to tear down systems of oppression. You’ll see stories of activists organizing to fight white supremacy in the many forms it takes, whether that is hair discrimination, mass incarceration, or continued disrespect for indigenous communities and their sacred land.

Short Films

We Can't Breathe - Directed by Miranda Winters & Rocky Romano

During a global pandemic, the killing of one man sparks the biggest social movement in history. Cities all over the world erupt in protest, fueled by centuries of racial tension. In Los Angeles, a queer black woman is determined to capture the movement through her lens, so she hits the streets, camera in hand. What she discovers is a diverse world of impassioned protesters from all walks of life, coming together to make themselves heard.

Online Premiere

Standing Above the Clouds - Directed by Jalena Keane-Lee

Standing Above the Clouds follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope. The film follows the stories of each of the women through a crucial journey of self and collective empowerment, while facing the complexities of raising their daughters and families through this time and putting their bodies on the line to protect their revered and divine mountain, Mauna Kea.

I'm Free, Now You're Free - Directed by Ash Goh Hua

I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9. In 1978, Debbie, then 8 months pregnant, and many other MOVE family members were arrested after an attack by the Philadelphia Police Department; born in a prison cell, Mike Africa Jr. spent just three days with his mother before guards wrenched him away, and they spent the next 40 years struggling for freedom and for each other. In 2018, Mike Africa Jr. successfully organized to have his parents released on parole. “I realized that I had never seen her feet before,” was a remark he made when he reflected on Debbie’s homecoming. This film meditates on Black family preservation as resistance against the brutal legacies of state sanctioned family separation.

All That You Can't Leave Behind - Directed by Ufuoma Essi

All That You Can’t Leave Behind is an experimental appropriated video archive film that explores the relationship between black women’s collective experience with music, history and the act of reclamation.

Oil & Water - Directed by Anjali Nayar

Selina Asekon Chumchum always started her day the same way, by chasing the chickens off the roof of her modest hut just outside of Lokichar, Turkana – her ancestral home. That was, until one morning large trucks started filing by. UK based Tullow Oil had actually struck oil and was – without consultation – building oil drilling facilities across the region.

When the new “development” came to light, there was much discussion about whether oil wells would actually help Turkana. Chumchum moves to mobilise the women in her area to ensure that together their voice is heard; despite resistance from the men in their community, they continue to oppose the corporation that threatens to snatch away their sovereignty and way of life.

Tangled Roots - Directed by Samantha Knowles

Tangled Roots follows Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott as she fights to pass a bill that would ban black hair discrimination statewide. Against a national backdrop of similar bills being proposed, heard, and passed across the country, as well as countless examples of black men and women being fired, expelled, and maligned for their hair, Representative Scott aims to dismantle a system of discrimination against black people who are penalized for something seemingly innocuous — their hair. In a state legislature where she is currently the only black woman and the first to be elected in 20 years, she faces an uphill battle in combatting a larger system of discrimination and racism that has been entrenched in the state – and the country – for centuries. Tangled Roots examines both the history and consequences of black hair discrimination, as well as the urgent need to eradicate it.