Monday, April 13, 2009

On "Committing Poetry in Times of War"/How Slam Poets During the Bush Years Were Deemed a Threat

Thanks to my buddy Thom Cincotta for passing along word of this documentary, which explores the unsettling power of poetry in a time of war, and how a few young slam poets threatened the boundaries of free speech by speaking freely against the war in Iraq.
COMMITTING POETRY is a poetic glance at events that defined the struggle of a nation at war abroad, and with its people. When the bombs began to fall on Iraq, Humanities Teacher and Youth Poetry Coach, Bill Nevins, was suspended and later, fired, from his teaching job after standing up for student freedom of expression. His outspoken Rio Rancho High School Poetry Slam Team was forcibly disbanded and silenced. Nevins was the last of seven New Mexico educators removed by fearful administrators seeking to quell the questions, thoughts, debates, and artwork of students.

Committing Poetry in Times of War, based on a story developed by stavros and Eric Sirotkin, documents many dynamic slam poetry and musical performances with select performances from Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and New York City Poetic Justice concerts. On screen performances by Adan Baca, Socorro Romo, Demetria Martinez, Tony Santiago, Erin Ambrose, Jazz, The Ruffians, Carlos Contreras, Priscilla Baca y Candelaria, Manuel Gonzales, Danny Solis, Kenn Rodriguez, and student members of the disbanded Rio Rancho Ram Slam Poetry Team, offer an inspiring account of how America’s artistic community responded to threats to our civil liberties. Produced by UBUNTUWORKS, LLC, it is the first cinematic venture from DOGONE PICTURES, written, directed, and edited by digital filmmaker, stavros.

Here's the trailer:

And here's the feature:

1 comment:

California Writer said...

I haven't seem the movie but I have read the book on which the movie is based. I enjoyed the book a lot. It wasn't a thriller but a very quiet sad novel. The novel gave the feeling that the end of the world would end in a quiet sadness but with any bang or loud noise at all but then hope comes also quietly at the end.