Saw a handful of films last week at the Hawaii International Film Festival, but my favorite was clearly the documentary 9500 Liberty, directed by Annabel Park and Eric Byler. It's a fascinating, powerful examination of how a heated national issue -- immigration reform -- unfolds in a specific local community, with Eric and Annabel in the thick of it, cameras rolling. Here's the official synopsis:
Prince William County, Virginia becomes ground zero in America's explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopt a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have "probable cause" to suspect is an undocumented immigrant.This is a remarkable, important film, and will only resonate more as our nation continues to grapple with its changing understanding of what it means to be American -- a definition some find under assault, while others choose to re-define. This film shows what happens when those two sides collide on a very real level.
9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual townhalls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government.
The devastating social and economic impact of the "Immigration Resolution"
is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. 9500 Liberty provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.
For those of you in the Bay Area, there will be a premiere screening this Thursday, October 29 at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre in San Francisco -- one night only. Here are the details:
9500 Liberty to Premiere in the Bay AreaThe screening is hosted by Citizen Hope, NDN and Netroots Nation. I highly recommend checking out this film if you get the chance. For more information about the film and this week's San Francisco premiere, visit the 9500 Liberty website here. And be sure to watch the new trailer here. And spread the word.
The event begins with a cocktail reception at the theatre to raise funds for the completion of the film with VIPs and the filmmakers in attendance. This will be followed by the San Francisco premiere screening. Markos Moulitsas, Founder of Daily Kos, will introduce the film. President of SF Board of Supervisors David Chiu, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, and District 9 Supervisor David Campos will also be in attendance.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
6pm-7pm Cocktail Reception with VIPs & the Filmmakers
7pm-9pm Screening followed by Q&A
Sundance Kabuki Theatre
1881 Post St.
San Francisco, CA
Reception & Screening - $25
Screening only - $10