HW Pick: Grace Lee Boggs: American Revolutionary

October 13, 2015
Grace-Lee-Boggs-1The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is holding a free encore screening of the documentary film, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 6:30pm, to commemorate the incredible life and work of Grace Lee Boggs.
She passed away October 5, 2015. The Museum will also extend free admission on this special day from 11am to 9pm.
MOCA first held a screening of this film on January 8, 2015 with an attendance of over one hundred audience members. “For this encore screening, we hope to provide a space for people to come together to remember and celebrate her life and contributions” said MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach.
Visitors will be able to view the Museum’s core exhibition, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America that provides the historical context for Grace Lee Boggs’ life as a Chinese American and her involvement in the major 20th Century U.S. social movements. In the gallery, visitors will also have the opportunity to share their memories of Grace Lee Boggs and reflect on how she changed and moved them.
Film Synopsis:
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs plunges us into Boggs’ lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century, from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movement and beyond. Boggs’ constantly evolving strategy – her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her – drives the story forward. Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Harlem faves Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’ late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American Story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. “Revolution,” Boggs says, “is something deeper within the human experience – the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.”
As it kinetically unfurls an evolving life, city, and philosophy, American Revolutionary takes the view on a journey into the power of ideas and the necessity of expansive, imaginative thinking, as well as ongoing dialectical conversations, to propel societal change.
Produced and directed by Grace Lee (Janeane from Des Moines, The Grace Lee Project), produced by Caroline Libresco (Sunset Story)and Austin Wilkin (Bob and the Monster), edited by Kim Roberts (Food, Inc., Waiting For Superman, Inequality for All), and with a lush score by Vivek Maddala (Kaboom,Highway), American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, has been 12 years in the making. It incorporates a rich archival trove from the 1920s to the present and visual effects to reinforce Boggs’s statement that history “is the story of the past as well as the future.” Animated graphics by Syd Garon and Casey Ryder from Studio Number One bring Boggs’s whirring mind to life, illustrating her voice that ideas are not fixed, but that once they become fixed, they are dead. In an age when seemingly insurmountable injustices and contradictions face us, American Revolutionary inspires concerned citizens and dreamers of all ages with new thinking to sustain their struggle and engagement.
This program is in collaboration with POV, the award-winning independent non-fiction film series on PBS.For more information about MOCA’s signature public programs, please visit www.mocanyc.org.

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