Washington DC Independent Film Festival
Schedule of Events
Kiley Kraskouskas, Michael Blain - USA (2019) - 62 mins
Some workers love retail; it has its satisfactions. All they want is for retail to love them back, in the form of a living wage, affordable healthcare, a safe workplace, and respect. OURWalmart (OUR, Organization United for Respect) was begun in 2011 by a few brave workers at the world's largest private employer, many of whose two million-strong "family" live near the poverty line. Alone at first, and ultimately with the help of established union veterans, they used word of mouth to gain hundreds of members and unite them in training sessions that double as morale boosters, all done in secret. Dear Walmart (not entirely ironically titled) is an ultimately upbeat story of their personal empowerment and their first victory, a $9-per-hour minimum wage for some 500,000 people. But this win was followed by the retaliatory closure of five Walmart stores, a huge loss of jobs.
Tamar Glezerman - USA (2019) - 15 mins
A Jewish housewife and a young Mexican day worker forge an unlikely bond during Passover preparations in Hasidic Brooklyn.
Traces of the Soul
Martin Cooper - UK (2018) - 86 mins
Calligraphy is an art, a philosophy, and, for its practitioners, a way of life rooted in ancient tradition. So it is surprising to learn how very contemporary calligraphy can be in the hands of 12 international artists profiled in Traces of the Soul. In an era when cultures worldwide are united by the habit of speed-sending billions of texts a day, handwriting in any alphabet, be it Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, or English, speaks to something truly universal: our humanity. As one artist notes, script "reaches the soul before it reaches the eye." Calligraphy becomes a physical meditation when performed on a floor canvas; becomes calligraffiti, changing lives, when it goes urban; and becomes a protest or a prayer when drawn for children caught up in wars. Calligraphy is not based on nature; it is nature.