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Standing Rock has caught the imagination of the world: A resurgent Indigenous movement, which has been leading many battles in the U.S. and Canada; a fighting veterans’ movement, re-emerging as a powerful force; a large contingent of young people of many colors from all over, selflessly devoting themselves to the struggle; networks being activated around the country and the world – all coming together in a coalition that, in the context of the global economic and financial crisis, just might be able to take on a powerful oil company that is threatening to poison the water and defeat it.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson is a documentary about a Black revolutionary organization in a revolutionary time. It is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen that intends to tell the history of an organization that shook the world and fundamentally changed the way that Black people in the United States have looked at themselves for nearly half a century. It’s screening in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael on Oct. 2. The Oakland screening is Saturday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m., Piedmont Theater, 4186 Piedmont Ave., followed by Q&A with Stanley Nelson and former Oakland Panther Steve McCutchen.
“Listen to Me Marlon” is a documentary film by Stevan Riley that takes a candid look at the life, activism and work of the legendary, charismatic and mercurial film icon Marlon Brando, whose career spanned five decades. The late Brando narrates the film exclusively with sound taken from hundreds of hours of audio that he himself recorded privately over the course of 40 years.
In the week before the March 11, 2011, earthquake at Fukushima, one person, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, did an extraordinary act that set Japan’s energy course in history for the next 100 years. He was able to convince the Japanese Parliament to pass a solar payment policy. This one policy shift is now making Japan one of the leading solar powered nations on earth – far ahead of California or the U.S. Number one in solar generation in 2014 was Germany.
San Francisco was well represented at Cannes this year. Native son Danny Glover sat on a panel about documentary filmmaking, while San Francisco’s Kevin Epps showed his film “Straight Outta Hunters Point 2” to its first international audience. The San Francisco Black Film Festival held a news conference with “Godfather of Independent Film” Robert Townsend.