Film Fest 52

7:00pm Wed Aug 14
"Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook"
6:00pm Complementary Wine
7:00pm Film & Post Discussion

Rigged is a stark and shocking reveal of the systemic dismantling of voting rights and how this threatens to destroy America’s democracy. Shot during the chaotic 2016 election, the film identifies and unpacks a shrewd ten-part strategy developed by Republicans over the last ten years to suppress votes across America at mass scale to ensure they remained in power, in particular targeting the growing numbers of non-white and younger voters that could jeopardize GOP success in the future.

Rigged chronicles how some Republican operatives and politicians assembled what amounted to a voter suppression playbook: from purging American citizens from voting rolls; to the implementation of insidious Voter ID laws designed to lock millions out of the voting process: to new and deliberate impediments and intimidations to deter people from casting their ballots. This film also reveals the fear-mongering at the core of the Republican strategy, documenting how some GOP activists developed an elaborate but entirely false narrative of widespread voter fraud to justify the need for new and draconian voting restrictions.

 

7:00pm Wed Aug 21
OSCAR CONTENDER:
LETTER FROM MASANJIA
6:00pm Complimentary Wine
7:00pm Film & Discussion

Letter from Masanjia begins when mom of two, Julie Keith, finds an SOS note in a box of "Made in China" Halloween decorations from an Oregon Kmart. The desperate note was written by a political prisoner named Sun Yi, from inside China's notorious Masanjia labor camp. On the crumpled page that travelled over 5000 miles, he details being jailed for his spiritual beliefs and how he is being subjected to torture and brainwashing tactics. His message goes viral and miraculously leads to the closure of China's entire labor camp system. But their story is far from over.

Peabody-winning Canadian filmmaker Leon Lee is not welcome in his native country because of his prior films about China's human rights abuses. So, in Letter from Masanjia, he teaches Sun Yi to use camera equipment via Skype. For over a year, Sun Yi secretly captures harrowing footage of his daily life as a human rights defender, leading up to his tense run from the Chinese authorities. Meanwhile, just outside Portland, Julie Keith is struggling with her own dilemmas as a mother newly embroiled in this cause. Together, these unlikely heroes expose China's ongoing persecution against millions whose ideology differs from the Chinese government.

 

7:00pm Wed Aug 28
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
Close Out The Summer With Some Cool Jazz
6:00pm Complimentary Wine
7:00pm Film & Discussion

A revelatory, thrilling and emotional journey behind the scenes of Blue Note Records, the pioneering label that gave voice to some of the finest jazz artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

"A Smart, Exhilarating Look at an Influential Label...This documentary directed by Sophie Huber makes a point right off that Blue Note Records is still very much a thing of the present...This tidy, thoughtful film gets at jazz's joy and pain." - Glenn Kenny, The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)

"Jazz may be a quintessentially American art form, but it is Europeans who make some of the best jazz documentaries, with the captivating 'Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes' being the latest case in point. Potently directed by Switzerland’s Sophie Huber..." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"Damn-near immaculate music documentary" - Leslie Felperin, The Guardian