Wednesday, June 11, 2014

American Revolutionary at Laemmle Pasadena this month!

In 2010, I was fortunate to become connected to American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs as a transcriptionist. I got to listen closely to quite a bit of raw interview footage as well as interviews with some of the people whose lives she's touched in her long, long involvement in civil rights and community organizing in Detroit.

I missed the Los Angeles premiere last year because I was in the midst of my transition from LA to Cambodia to Oakland. I finally had the opportunity to see the film when it came to the Bay Area as a Gala Presentation for CAAMFest 2014.

Having done quite a few hours of transcription, and knowing that it was only a small portion of how much footage there was in total, I have a new depth of appreciation for the amount of work it takes to produce such a film. I enjoyed recognizing some of the bits that I'd transcribed, and was astounded at how much is left on the cutting room floor. 
Before my involvement with the documentary, I had little awareness of Grace Lee Boggs beyond knowing vaguely of her from the Blacklava "roots" shirt on which she appears alongside Philip Vera Cruz and Yuri Kochiyama (I got to share some Asian American history with the Executive Director of GirlVentures recently when I wore the shirt in honor of Yuri Kochiyama's recent passing). 

American Revolutionary provides a glimpse into her early life and her journey, the evolution of her ideas, but still left me with similar questions that her autobiography Living For Change left me with, this yearning to get a sense of who she is beyond the theory and practice of activism, her emotional life. I don't think she is intentionally evasive to those questions, though; she has been a student of philosophy all her life, centers her thoughts around activism and the theories behind them, and her discourse is framed around that. 

And ultimately, perhaps that is what makes her such a compelling subject-- the thoroughness of her commitment to social change, that she seems to live and breathe movement, that she seems constantly consumed with gathering and synthesizing ideas to create revolution. It is a way of being and way of living that I respect deeply; by the amount of critical and community acclaim the documentary has received, I am one of many. 

If you are in the Los Angeles area and didn't get to see American Revolutionary at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest, see it in its theatrical run June 20-26 at Laemmle Pasadena

No comments:

Post a Comment