Oct. 2, 2020
PROXY [virtual] FALL FILM FEST, VOLUME ONE
Welcome to the 2020 PROXY [virtual] Fall Film Festival! It’s still unsafe to gather in our walk-in theatre, so we’re bringing the festival to your inbox every Friday for the next four weeks. While we wish we could see all of you in person, we’re happy to stay connected and offer up some inspirational independent films, curated music, and thought-provoking articles in the run-up to the November 3rd election.
This week, we’re bringing forward two documentaries exploring activism, community, and a search for the truth in the face of an increasingly plutocratic world. The accompanying selection of music, articles, and action items are here to challenge each of us to take on the attempted squashing of the democratic process.
CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION
Directed by James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham, 2020 [R]
CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION tracks the lives and historic activism arising from Camp Jened, an upstate New York summer camp for teens with disabilities. Featuring original footage, news hits from the 1970s and 80s, and contemporary interviews, Crip Camp outlines the youths’ outsized impact on disability activism and the passage of the ADA in 1990. Come to learn about the 504 Sit-In that began in 1977 with the occupation of the San Francisco Federal Building; stay for the touching portraits of lifelong friendship and community.
Watch on NETFLIX
I AM (NOT) A MONSTER
Directed by Nelly Ben-Hayoun, 2019 [not-rated]
Nelly Ben-Hayoun’s third feature film, I AM (NOT) A MONSTER follows Nelly’s search to find the origins of knowledge – but with several twists. A handheld camera follows Nelly around the world on her quest, accompanied by the spirit of political philosopher Hannah Arendt, whose thoughts on authoritarianism and the banality of evil are as timely as ever. The film features interviews with Noam Chomsky, Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, activist and politician Magid Magid, and many others in a multi-faceted journey to unearth the origins of human knowledge.
Watch on VIMEO
Local activist and researcher Alice Wong is a gem who should be on every San Franciscan’s radar. Wong is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, a curated site dedicated to creating, fostering, and uplifting disability media and culture. Her work is varied and far reaching, and all worth checking out, but the most prescient and moving are her recent piece for Teen Vogue on the frustration disabled voters are experiencing, her 2017 New York Times essay on the importance of Medicaid, and her article on how the ‘quality of life’ considerations raised early in the pandemic devalue vulnerable populations.
A FAILED SYSTEM
Writing for The New York Times, Maggie Astor recently reported on the suppression of disabled voters through policy and negligence, and how the mismanaged pandemic has heightened obstacles they face. She cites a Rutgers study that found that 38 million eligible voters — roughly equal to the population of California — have disabilities, and are at even greater risk of disenfranchisement in a year when the Republican party is sowing confusion and mistrust in the electoral system.
FAITH IN DEMOCRACY
The Atlantic’s George Packer lays out the president’s gameplan in this coming election — spew poison into the ears of likely voters, and hope it depresses enough Americans for him to eke out an Electoral College victory. The article reinforces that it remains very difficult to steal an election, and highlights some of the gains made in increasing turnout during the pandemic, including the expansion of vote-by-mail in 11 states. The president would like us to believe that our votes don’t count, simply because he can’t win an election where all votes are counted fairly.
FALL FILM FEST 2020 V01 PLAYLIST
For this week’s playlist, we asked John McNeil Studio — the team behind the STAMP OUT installation at PROXY — to put together a selection of music to pair with this week’s films. Their selections strike a chord of gruff rage and boiling rebellion – listen and take action.
Listen on Spotify or Apple Music
STAMP OUT AT PROXY
Longtime Envelope collaborator John McNeil Studio is launching STAMP OUT, a city-wide campaign to combat the President’s naked attempts to dismantle the USPS. In an effort to financially support the Post Office, JMS wants YOU to buy a sheet of stamps and use them to quite literally stamp out corruption on a mural wall being installed at PROXY on October 4th and staying up through the election.
There will be a series of posters, each targeting a different base instinct of our President – corruption, racism, greed, nepotism, and fascism – that you can STAMP OUT at PROXY.
THE ARC SAN FRANCISCO
The ARC San Francisco is a non-profit learning and career development center for adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Seeking to raise the quality of life for their clients through lifelong learning, personal achievement, and independence, the ARC has served San Francisco since the 1950’s. You can support their work in several ways, detailed here.
BECOME A POLL WORKER
Fifty-eight percent of the nation’s poll workers are over 61 ,raising concerns about the ability to properly staff polling sites in the midst of the pandemic. If you are able and meet the city’s requirements, signing up to be a poll worker in San Francisco can help ensure that every San Franciscan has their vote counted.
As always we welcome your feedback and ideas. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.