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The Barber of Birmingham Screens in NY, LA & SF for MLK Week

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Poster for the documentary short The Barber of Birmingham

The Barber of Birmingham screens in NY, LA & SF

The Barber of Birmingham tells the story of Mr. James Armstrong, an African-American barber in Birmingham, Alabama, who experiences the fulfillment of an unimaginable dream: the election of the first African American president. As an outreach tool, the film provides an excellent springboard for discussion around questions of democracy and patriotism in the face of adversity.

Check out upcoming screenings in NY, LA and SF around MLK week, and join the conversation!

Museum of Tolerance New York

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Time: 6 PM Reception, 7 PM Screening

Museum of Tolerance Los Angeles

Sunday, January 15, 2012
Time: 2:30 PM
Monday, January 16, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM

Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco

Monday, January 16, 2012
Time 3:30-5:00 PM

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Jamie Dobie
Jamie Dobie
Jamie worked in the Community Engagement and Education Department at POV from 2010 to 2013. Prior to joining POV in 2010, Jamie worked at Northwestern University's satellite campus in Doha, Qatar, where she was part of the team tasked with setting up the school's film and journalism programs in the Middle East. She has worked in various capacities on many documentary film crews around the world, including productions in West Africa, and has worked closely with acclaimed filmmaker Margaret Brown. Jamie has also previously worked in the exhibition department at the Field Museum of Natural History and the education and cinema programming departments at the Block Museum of Art. She holds a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in Radio/TV/Film and African Studies.
  • Frankiem77

    My list is the same as yours w/ the substitution of Vivan Las Antipodas in place of The Imposter (which I sadly didn’t see). What I love about this festival is that I go to express my gratitude in person to 3 of the directors through casual interactions at restaurants during the festival and tweet with one of the others. Thanks for promoting this gem we love (I’m a local Columbian). The utter lack of pretentiousness (e.g. no VIP seating…I sat by complete accident next to Malik in the 15th row for Sugarman) and pure love of the film is what I enjoy. I hope we never lose that.

  • True/False Veteran

    I’m the outlier here regarding “Bully”: too unfocused, too many people profiled, too little depth in terms of policy.  Yes, powerful scenes, particularly with the “second” couple from a ranch in rural OK but they weren’t subjected to much study.  A mile wide and an inch deep in terms of content.

  • detroitjetaime

    Vivan las Antipodas was screened? Wow, amazing! Just discovered this festival, thanks for sharing that, planning to attend next year!

  • Sarah CD

    Tom, thanks so much for the good press.  So glad you enjoyed our festival!  In reference to this:   “Usually, there are giant swaths of seating off-limits, reminding
    everyone that very cool, more important people than they are, will be
    coming.”– Welcome to the Midwest, where that sort of holier-than-thou attitude is highly discouraged.  I’d say the quickest way to piss off a local would be to look down your nose at her!

  • Gary Marx

    Great review of the festival, Tom. I saw 8 full-length docs and almost 20 shorts, and I loved most of them. But one that gave me fits was “1/2 Revolution.” I think it did a good job of putting the audience in the middle of an urban uprising, but it failed disastrously when it tried to make a broader statement. Too many sweeping indictments without evidence or political/historical context. The film was beating the drum of a one-sided argument, but it consistently undermined that argument by giving false testimony (at one point, a demonstrator holds up a spent plastic shell as evidence that the police were using 9mm guns on the crowd) without qualifying comment or explanation. The film painted with very broad brushstrokes — the demonstrators (and the first-person film makers) were “fighting for freedom” and the counter-demonstrators (the numerous Mubarek supporters) were dismissed simply as “thugs” and “motherfuckers.” The hand of the editor was heavy and obvious throughout the film, and it got to the point where I didn’t believe any of the cuts or the chronology. It eventually lost all credibility. This film festival is called True/False, and this film definitely does not fall on the True side. In a panel discussion on Saturday morning, the director, Karim el Hakim, said  “journalism is a corpse,” it is dead, and he spoke about the virtues of manipulating the audience during the editing process. “If they (the audience) buy in at the beginning, they will follow you down the rabbit hole,” he said. Perhaps he was talking about shaping a point of view, or pointing the audience in a certain direction, but he used the term “manipulation,” and his film made me feel manipulated in the worst way. His indictment of journalism is misguided, and his ideas about editing facts and footage into fiction and shaping stories and public opinion are truly frightening.  This film, he would agree, is not journalism. I might be citizen journalism at its worst, perhaps, but it is not journalism. The sad thing is that I probably agree with El Hakim’s politics. It is equally sad that his film gets any air time. This film is propaganda, the tool of despots, the same type of despot El Hakim presumably wishes to overthrow.     

  • Will

    T/F 2011 was my 6th year (I missed 2009, 2010 because I was out “finding myself”) and the best year yet.  The docs were great but they have always been great.  For me, the festival is getting better because more people are attending, the organization is improving every year and the music is improving every year.  Pearl and the Beard blew me away before Comic-Con Episode IV which was a great film.  Can’t wait for next year, this festival is one the highlights for my year.  My top three for the festival:

    Marina Abromovic: The Artists is Present

    The Ambassador 

    Me at the  Zoo

    Great article.

  • Mackenzie

    Great review. True/False Film Fest was a really big hit with the Millennial generation, read our blog about why here: