Rocky’s Review
Unrest / Protest

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead      We have three exceptional films streaming within the next week that bear witness to Margaret Mead's statement from 1978. And the singer, the politician and the artist profiled in these films all share a common theme: political and social activism is necessary. While the personal cost may be high, to not act is to acquiesce to the status quo. I feel fortunate to be able to present these films. I hope you find them valuable and inspiring.

     DENISE HO - BECOMING THE SONG profiles the openly gay Hong Kong singer and human rights activist who has put her career and life on the line to support the struggle of Hong Kong citizens to maintain their identify and freedom. Her public support of students who demanded free elections had immediate and lasting consequences: she was arrested and then blacklisted by China. Speaking before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress she made it clear that Hong Kong's struggle is also a fight for democracy around the world. "As Beijing chips away at Hong Kong's freedoms, the Cantopop singer has become it's emblematic figure - embattled, emboldened, and unbeholden." -The New Yorker. The film begins streaming today, 7/1.

     Often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced," U.S. Representative John R. Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community" in America. He was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Lewis has often been singled out for his leadership and bravery on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. There, along with 600 other nonviolent marchers, Lewis was met by Alabama state troopers who ordered the protesters to disperse. Today he still bears scars from that brutal encounter. "Absolutely inspiring." -Entertainment Weekly. JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE begins streaming Friday, 7/3, and couldn't be more timely. Please note the important content below that follows the film.

     The story of AI WEIWEI: YOURS TRULY begins with the remarkable exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alacatraz. Following Ai Weiwei's detention at the hands of the Chinese authorities, the outspoken activist and artist transformed the former island penitentiary Alcatraz into an artistic platform. The resulting exhibiton engaged nearly 900,000 visitors in a conversation about the plight of prisoners of conscience around the world. Ultimately the film AI WEIWEI: YOURS TRULY is a call to action, extending the incredible reach of Ai Weiwei's work by asking viewers to take the issue of global human rights personally. "Do one small thing every day to prove the existence of justice." -Ai Weiwei. The film begins streaming next Wednesday, 7/8.

--Rocky