A Conversation with the Director of Heist
The Ella Baker Center is excited to partner with the producers and directors of Heist for its Oakland premiere on April 19th. Our Executive Director, Jakada Imani and co-founder Van Jones both appear in this film which explores the roots of the economic crisis and how people-power is key to getting the United States economy back on track. Last fall we interviewed the film's Director and Producer, Donald Goldmacher about Heist. Recently we followed up to learn about how the film has been received as it plays across the country. Join us for the special screening and panel discussion of Heist.
How has the film been received so far?
The emotional response has been everything from shock, sadness to rage and then those that are inspired. We have sold out at every festival thus far. Plus, we've received great reviews in the press including the New York Times which reviewed the film in March.
Any highlights from its screenings? How has the audience reacted?
The question and answer sessions following our screenings can really be described as "intense." This film is engaging people on a level that surprises them. We knew we had a unique story and audiences are confirming that. I think it's important to note that the film is striking a real chord with people from "both sides of the aisle." In fact, one viewer called the film "disturbingly bi-partisan!"
How are groups using the film as an organizing tool?
A 22 minute version of the film is being used by Occupy Wall Street and The 99% Spring organizations to educate people about our economic history as a matter of contrast-- how we built an economy where wealth was fairly distributed versus what we have now. As I write, we are heavily engaged in implementing a strategy to take the film directly to unions, economic justice, and democratic reform groups.
What are your thoughts about the next steps in promoting economic justice in our country?
We hope the information found in Heist and the case we make against the oligarchy that has been running the political economic decision making of this country for the last 30 years will inspire people to act in whatever way works for them, and further engage or re-engage with the democratic process. We want to encourage people to let go of their denial, and begin to envision what a locally based, green, resilient economy could like. We believe that it is crucial for people to move their money out of too big to fail banks and put it into local democratically run credit unions. We want to see more worker-owned coops being created.