Brooklyn Reconstructed Film Series
Often referred to as
the unofficial “sister city” to Brooklyn, New York, Oakland has much in common
with its East Coast counterpart, the good and the not so good.
And much like it’s sister city, Oakland’s history is still growing, developing and “redeveloping” through controversial processes like gentrification. Although much may not be known about gentrification and what makes it dysfunction, Oakland residents have seen and felt the effects of it for much of the last decade, through programs such as former Mayor Jerry Brown's "10K Initiative,” which brought new residents to the downtown district in the name of remaking Oakland's image. This re-imaging also brought with it the dislocation of some of the city's most diverse and long-time residents as a consequence.
Oakland has since seen a sharp decline of its African-American inhabitants. Both coasts, East and West, and everyone in between, are being affected and threatened by this phenomenon. A few questions that hang in the balance for many of the nations inner-city residents: Are these changes to “improve” the city for the better or for the worse? What is our role in the process? In the face of foreclosures, gentrification and emminent domain, what and where is the power of the people?
“Brooklyn Reconstructed” is the new film series launched for the New Parkway Theater in Oakland that will focus on the issues of gentrification and redevelopment in communities much like Brooklyn. Presented by Top Ten Social, FilmWax and Broaklyn Film & Theater Co., the six feature films will highlight the social impact of issues like gentrification, eminent domain, public subsidies for luxury developments, political corruption, rising rents and neighborhood revitalization.
series intends to explore new means of staying in front of the gentrification
game rather than falling behind and becoming victims of it - and one way to do
that is through education and conversation. After the opening night’s screening, Tuesday, Dec.
11, there will be discussion led by a panel of regional activists, scholars and
civic leaders to encourage this very thing.
The film series is also being co-presented by community partners: Balance Edutainment, Beats, Rhymes, & Life, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, FilmWax, Kinship, KPFA, KQED, Mayor's Office of the city of Oakland, Oakland In the Black, Oakland Film Society, Oakland Local, Owl n Wood and Red, Bike & Green. "Brooklyn Reconstructed" will introduce various lenses on the history happening right in front of our eyes; history that we can have a hand in shaping.
The monthly installation is being presented, in part, so that the conversation about gentrification and redevelopment stay in the foreground of our consciousness, rather than fade into the background, drowned out by the day-to-day grinds of mere survival.
"Brooklyn Reconstructed" runs monthly through April
9. Shows run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St. in Oakland. Tickets available at http://broaklyn.org/.
Showing Dec. 11:
The first film in the series, "The Fillmore" tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall (and rise again?) of San Francisco's premier black community, as it faced the nationwide juggernaut known as urban renewal. Director: Rick Butler
Learn more at pbs.org/kqed/fillmore (partial screening)
"The Vanishing City"
Told through the eyes of tenants, city planners, business owners, scholars and politicians, this film by DeRosa and Senko exposes the real politic behind the alarming disappearance of New York’s beloved neighborhoods, the truth about its finance-dominated economy and the myth of “inevitable change.” Director: Fiore Derosa and Jen Senko
Learn more at youtube.com/watch?v=BUfZqJefWo0
Guest speaker panel moderated by Davey D; Broaklyn Film & Theater Co. kickoff party following
Next screening will look at Immigration. More information at broaklyn.org.