Big Fight in Little Chinatown is a story of community resistance and resilience. Set against the backdrop of the unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses and community organizers whose neighborhoods are facing active erasure.
Coast to Coast the film follows Chinatown communities resisting the pressures around them. From the construction of the world’s largest vertical jail in New York, Montreal’s fight against developers swallowing up the most historic block of their Chinatown, big box chains and gentrification forces displacing Toronto’s community, to a Vancouver Chinatown business holding steadfast, the film reveals how Chinatown is both a stand-in for other communities who’ve been wiped off the city map, and the blueprint for inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods of the future.
We join Thaddeus and Nanci, a Native / Non Native Montanan couple, in the lead up to their wedding, as they face their biggest challenge yet. Thaddeus wants Nanci to convert to his Cheyenne way of life even if it forces Nanci into a subordinate role.
Both Nanci and Thaddeus were adopted as teenagers by families with different ethnicities: Thaddeus by a white Christian family, and Nanci by the Lakota tribe. It’s no coincidence they have sought shared experience and understanding in one another.
Thaddeus believes in returning to his Cheyenne culture and through running sweats he finds peace from the PTSD he suffers. Nanci wants to please him, to find a balance between life in the modern world and her Native traditions even if that means denying her independence.
Under the strain of trying to co-habit and survive together, we see the cracks in their values showing through. Cracks which reveal not just the trauma they suffered growing up, but the chain of oppression endemic in Montana.
German and Greek nationalists have paradoxically joined forces, and grown in numbers promoting a fascist agenda while on both sides, antifascists have risen to challenge them amidst a backdrop of global recession, finger-pointing and scapegoating.
Burning from the Inside charts the rise of the Greek Nazis ‘Golden Dawn’ – the ‘monstrous’ child of the crisis – the changes they brought to Greek society after their entry to parliament, their collaboration with German Neo-Nazis in the formation of ‘Black International’, and their fall two years later with the murder of the anti-fascist Pavlos Fissas.
Through the trajectory of the party, we question the political and social structures of Greek leadership that fomented the rise of fascism and corruption, as well as the dis-function of Capitalism and Democracy in the country that gave birth to it. We also look at the role of Germany as the ‘queen of Europe’ and the extent to which she is responsible for developments in southern European countries.
While the rise of far right may seem unthinkable, dramatic scenes of racially motivated blood shed on the streets of Athens, police brutality linked to membership of far-right organisations and institutional racism in Greece tell a different story. Meanwhile, in Germany a more subtle, insidious message reaches the public with headlines blaming ‘lazy Greeks’ and other minorities within the country. Burning from the Inside is a visceral indictment of a deadly minority on the fringes of Europe that we ignore at our peril.
Fatherland is a controversial coming-of-age documentary set in the remote South African bush. It follows a group of Afrikaner boys over 9 days at a military camp in the spirit of their fathers before them.
“You’ve got these millions and millions of blacks around you. Smothering you and killing you.”
However, what starts out as basic training, fitness and camaraderie soon intensifies as the true nature of the camp is revealed and the boys are forced to question their place in the ‘New South Africa’.
“One must look at the negro not as one’s equal but as a child. A black man has the intelligence level of a 14 year old white boy.”
These camps are designed to recreate a sense of Nationalism amongst the next generation of Afrikaaners, though as their training progresses darker ideological elements emerge revealing the stark realities of their training and indoctrination.
“We have the men. We just need to plant the will in you because you’ve been brain washed by old Mandela. Be proud of your race”
The film follows three particular boys and Col. Franz Jooste -an ex-SADF soldier that fought for his country pre 1994 – and focuses on the conflicting views developed by the boys. Under the strict leadership of their camp leader, they struggle to find their identity within their own communities and within their ‘rainbow’ nation at large. The children are forced to participate in a physically and mentally grueling process that tests their values, believes and identities on every level.
“The truth is that there will definitely be a war in this country. So I’m preparing myself for a war that’s coming.”
We follow Welshman Paul Duddridge as, with the help of some of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers and professors, he pushes aside society’s taboos to find out what “race” really is. Along the way he attempts to solve the Middle East peace crisis, buys hundreds of twinkies and desperately tries to find contestants to join him for a mini-Olympics staged in Los Angeles where teams are split by race rather than nationality.
There is a serious point to the seemingly irreverent approach: if we can’t easily define race, why can it sometimes seem so easy to define racism?
Filmed on location in Los Angeles, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, and the UK – “A Film About Races” is an entertaining exploration of the common myths and misconceptions about race.