Brooklyn’s own Caribbean Film Series enters its third year of bringing fresh and exciting films from the Caribbean and Caribbean disapora to Brooklyn and New York City audiences at BAMcinématek’s BAM Rose Cinemas, Brooklyn’s oldest and long-lasting performing arts venue. And year three brings an explosive new film, inspired by the United States’ #BlackLivesMatter movement, making its New York City premiere. The film is justly followed by a powerful panel presenting both a local and international view of the inner workings behind the fight against white supremacy and misogyny, and for Black liberation, immigrant rights, and more.
Directed by Cassie Quarless & Usayd Younis, “Generation Revolution” follows the political and personal awakenings, breakthroughs and unfortunate disillusionment of young black and brown activists, many of them Caribbean-born or descent, in London. Among them are Tay, an 18 year old South Londoner, whose strong convictions and quick wit make him a magnet for friends and activists alike; and Arnie, 22, a firebrand whose fervor for the movement has allowed him to undertake some truly inspirational actions, but has also put him at odds with friends and allies. Then there is Tej, 25, a middle-class North Londoner whose conscience has thrown her from the sidelines into the deep end of political activism. We follow her as she struggles to reconcile her skepticism toward more controversial actions, with her belief in the need for radical change.
To some, “Generation Revolution,” may be very controversial, which is just fine with the directors. “We want this film to spark debate,” say Quarless and Younis, “but also to inspire young people to take an interest in how they can go about changing their communities and the wider world.” They continue, “…we were inspired to follow these young black and brown activists because we felt that their novel approach in tackling large systemic issues such as white supremacy, capitalism or patriarchy was fresh and exciting. We don’t sugarcoat the experiences…”
Romola Lucas, co-founder of the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), which co-presents the Caribbean Film Series, shares, “It is important for us to bring this film, which highlights the generational struggles in parts of the worldwide black activist community, with New York City audiences, because of the large number of Caribbean people who reside here and as a way of sharing and exploring with them, the work of Caribbean activists, both in the region, and Diaspora, which often goes unseen.
Along with directors, joining the extended post-film discussion are two young New York City-based activists. Haitian-American activist Anthonine Pierre is the Lead Organizer and a founding staff member for Brooklyn Movement Center, where she develops the capacity of Central Brooklynites to lead social justice campaigns on issues like street harassment and police accountability. With a steady resume in fields of government, youth development and national policy organizing, Pierre also serves as a board member for the immigrant rights organization Families for Freedom. Saabah Folayan is fresh from the Sundance Film Festival where the community organizer and activist filmmaker premiered her documentary “Whose Streets?” which chronicles the experiences of activists living in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown Jr. was killed.
Co-presented by the Caribbean Film Academy, BAMcinématek and the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, “Generation Revolution,” will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30pm. For tickets and more information go to BAM’s website.