protest

CRIES FROM SYRIA — Evgeny Afineevsky Interiview

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CRIES FROM SYRIA had already made its HBO debut when I spoke with Evgeny Afineevsky on March 16, 2017. He was in San Francisco, though, to do a Q&A after a screening here. Afineevsky is a garrulous, upbeat man, quick with a smile and a hug, but when he talks about the dangers of American… Read More »

HOOLIGAN SPARROW — Nanfu Wang Interview

Nanfu Wang, San Francisco, CA, 1/4/17

There is a difference between understanding that covering a human rights protest in China will be problematic, and actually experiencing the surveillance and intimidation that goes with that territory.  That’s one of the first things I talked about with Nanfu Wang, whose documentary, HOOLIGAN SPARROW, has been short-listed for this year’s Oscar ™.  It was… Read More »

Bill Siegel Recounts THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI

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When I spoke to Bill Siegel on September 19, 2013, it was the day that Bradley Manning, the soldier who had leaked classified documents to Wikileaks, had announced a change of name to Chelsea Manning, an announcement that, for some, was as newsworthy as the actions that had led to her arrest and conviction. It… Read More »

HOWARD ZINN: YOU CAN’T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN

HOWARD ZINN: YOU CAN’T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN is a robust telling of the historian’s life and times that does the spirit of the man credit. First Run Feature has re-released the 2004 documentary with a plethora of bonus features, and were smart enough to realize that the only thing better than this… Read More »

David Cross Takes the HITS

David Cross was off coffee because of a stomach ailment when I talked to him on February 5, 2015 just before his film, HITS, kicked of SFIndieFest. Opting for tea, and overcoming his distaste for the bergamot in his Earl Gray, he was a lively conversationalist as we discussed his maiden effort writing and directing a feature film.… Read More »

TALK TO ME

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“Wake up, God damn it!” is how TALK TO ME begins and that’s exactly what is going to happen to its lead characters, the people in their orbit, and the entire city of Washington D.C. The story may be formulaic, albeit based on actual events, but stars Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor take charge of… Read More »

Sam Greene Monitors THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND

As a post-Baby Boomer, Sam Greene was barely alive when most of the events discussed in his documentary, THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, occurred. Perhaps because he was able to come to the project without the emotions that colored that era that resulted in the balanced portrait he and partner Bill Siegel have created of those troubled… Read More »

Kasi Lemmons Says TALK TO ME

There is a piquant contrast between the calm, almost nurturing personality of filmmaker Kasi Lemmons and that of radio pioneer, Petey Green, the bombastic subject of her film, TALK TO ME. But, as I discovered when I talked to her on June 5, 2007, there is the same drive, the same commitment, and the same passion for what she… Read More »

Brett Morgen and the CHICAGO 10

The Yippies at the 1968 Democratic Convention gave themselves body and soul to protesting the injustice. The same can be said of Brett Morgen’s determination to make his documentary about the riots and the trial that resulted from them more than just a look back at an interesting moment in American history. When I spoke to him on February 21, 2008, the relevance of those… Read More »