Pan African Film Festival - Movie Review: "Leimert Park Voices"

It all started on Facebook, with an invitation, then at the box office, then in the lobby and at last in the warmth of the movie theater. It was like a family reunion. I walked into the theater and saw friends who I hadn’t seen in years.

         I made my way to my seat, and then, just before the movie started, the Directors/Producers were making their way down the isle when Paul Calderon (Co-Producer, Co-Director, Editor) spotted me and stopped to remind Alan Swyer (Co-Producer, Co-Director), “…hey it’s Stevie Mack, he’s one of the cinematographers who shot with us on this!”

        This took me by surprise, because I remember working with them on something way back when, but I didn’t realize it was THIS monumental documentary, “Leimert Park Voices”, which is now in talks for major distribution.

This documentary was well put together. It brought tears to many of our eyes for various reasons; joy, inspiration, sadness, happiness, and mixed emotions. We applauded when memorable faces lit up the screen and laughed when funny points were made. The music, poetry, interviews and images brought back memories of a vibrant village cherished in the hearts and minds of all who shared in the “golden era” of it’s incubation.

After the screening there was an emotional discussion on the documentary as well as the state of the Leimert Park Village today. Some felt Leimert Park’s best years have passed; while others felt the need to revive the village, pump in new life, money, arts and culture. I used this as an opportunity to let everyone know about LeimertParkBeat.com and all the wonderful transformations and revitalization going on, including the last Sunday Art Walks.

 

 

Plot Summary:     “Leimert Park Voices” is a poignant look at the rise and fall of a black cultural Mecca in the heart of hard-core LA gang turf. Using what became known as “The Last Poetry Reading” as its spine, the film melds interviews and archival footage together with poets ranging from Watts Writers Workshop veterans to cutting-edge “freestylers” of today to examine a Southern California African-American tradition that dates all the way back to the halcyon days of LA’s celebrated Central Avenue scene of the 1940’s.

        Featuring luminaries ranging from legendary drummer Billy Higgins, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Amde Hamilton of the Watts Prophets, and Grammy-winner Billy Childs, to the spoken word masters of tomorrow, the film traces the progression in music, dance, poetry, and culture from Be-Bop to Doo-Wop to Hip-Hop.

         Never shying away from social issues, the film addresses racism, police oppression, and above all the relentless co-opting of Black Culture. At times angry, at times sad, at times edgy, and often very funny, the film is an oral history, a feast of poetry and music, and a look at an artistic community that flourished during a very special moment in time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1727337/plotsummary

 

❖ Paul Calderon: Co-Producer, Co-Director, Editor

❖ 

Alan Swyer: Co-Producer, Co-Director

❖ Camera Operator: Stevie Mack

 

 

 

Views: 129

Comment

You need to be a member of Leimert Park Beat to add comments!

Join Leimert Park Beat

Leimert Park Beat is the news and social network for Leimert Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Stay informed. Join now!

 

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.

WHAT STORIES WOULD YOU SUGGEST? Let me know.

With your help, LeimertParkBeat.com raised money to hire reporters, graphic artists and community members to cover our area.
Read the stories - Urban Economy 411, Redevelopment Hell and One of these don't belong.

Latest Activity

DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post CNN TV: Schedule / Wkdāze - Nov., TGIFri. 27th - PT; NEWs + (4) 1st Ladies / CAMEROTA & BERMAN / TAPPER / BLITZER / BURNETT *updatez*
"CNN: LIVE UPDATES - LA County issues new stay-at-home order All gatherings w/ people outside a single household The latest on the coronavirus pandemic - Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya & Veronica Rocha, CNN"
4 hours ago
DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post CNN TV: Schedule / Wkdāze - Nov., TGIFri. 27th - PT; NEWs + (2) ANTHONY BOURDAIN Parts Unknown & (4) 1st Ladies / CAMEROTA & BERMAN / BLITZER / BURNETT *updatez*
"Opinion Look who's coming to the White House - Alexandra Horowitz"
yesterday
DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post CNN TV: Schedule / Thankzgivin' Dāze - Nov., Th. 26th - PT; NEWs The (Evenin') Movies, 80's, 90's & Anthony Bourdain (Overnite - mini-marathon) *updatez*
"In Case You Missed It  Indigenous people across the US want their land back — & the movement is gaining momentum  - Harmeet Kaur, CNN"
yesterday
DojO- posted blog posts
Thursday
DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post CNN TV: Schedule / Wkdaze - Nov., Mon. 16th thru Fri. 20th PT; NEWs + Breakin' News preemption(s), regular wkdaze programin' & *Blitzer, Cooper 'n Cuomo* "Do'n-It" *updatez*
"CNN Opinion: Trump's actions should worry us all"
Sunday
DojO- posted a blog post
Nov 21
DojO- commented on DojO-'s event Edna Tatum's Gospel Classics - Host, Gil Fears on KPFK 90.7 FM Sudaze 6-8AM
"Coronavirus Pandemic: Judy Ann Taylor Dies -  Great-grandmother & gospel singer dies of coronavirus  - Jake Tapper, CNN The Lead"
Nov 20
DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post Nov. 20th, 8PM - PAUL LIVINGSTONE Arohi Ensemble "The Soul Force Project" @ The 'new' World STAGE: "Live Stream" Fri. Concert Series - Sponsored by The Guess Foundation + TBA *updatez*
"Arohi Ensemble: The 'new' World STAGE "Live-Cast" Friday, November 20th, 8PM PT Paul Livingstone - sitar & bassPeter Jacobson - celloDave Lewis - drumsNeelamjit Dhillon -…"
Nov 20

© 2020   Created by enhager.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service