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Sophie Hamacher Archive (Kran Film Collective)

Kran Film Collective

Preview of the film Directing Dissent

by Sophie Hamacher
Creative Alliance at The Patterson
3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224
October 4th 2012
7:30 pm

The film will be followed by a panel discussion, led by filmmaker Sophie Hamacher and the film’s protagonist, John Roemer.
The event is free and open to the public.

Directing Dissent is a documentary about John Roemer, teacher and social activist, and his decisions to either live within the law, or have a sound basis for civil disobedience. Set in Baltimore, a city with a turbulent history of charged race relations, Roemer’s story takes us through the heated battles of the civil rights movement and involves dramatic experiences in the fight to desegregate Maryland.

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Directing Dissent

Directing Dissent is a film about John Roemer, teacher and social activist, and his decision to either live within the law or have a sound basis for civil disobedience. Roemer’s story takes us through heated battles of the Civil Rights Movement and involves dramatic experiences in the fight to desegregate Maryland. As executive director of the Maryland chapter of the ACLU and as a forerunner in the American Friends Service Committee he has been described as a cowboy, an intellectual, and even a ‘gun toting pacifist’.

Set in Baltimore, a city with a turbulent history of charged race relations, the film traces the protagonist’s struggles within the Civil Rights Movement, his embracing of civil disobedience as a means of effecting social change, and the outgrowth of his activism into his role as a high school teacher. His ideology is informed by an unfaltering belief in the principles of non-violence and the power of “a loving disposition”. The film is a character study of a loved and respected rebel as well as an exploration of the philosophy behind civil disobedience and the ways it can be applied today.

Self Portrait

A multi-faceted experimental montage using found footage, 16mm film, crumpled and
scanned newspaper images, the computer camera, various texts and several cut up audio books.
Duration: 9 minutes, 2010.

Der Nebel (The Fog)

In this intimate narrative, which takes as its premise the Little Ice Age at the end of the 18th century,
the film Der Nebel extends the genre of found-footage-film to question its own clarity. Examining
the act of seeing as an act of transmission, the film merges footage from Youtube with an extended
shot of a ferry ride through the fog. The fog, a metaphor for capitalism, remains ultimately opaque,
revolving around obscure allusions to the world’s financial crash. Duration: 11 minutes, 2009.

Isolarium

Isolarium is a film that examines the interplay between disease and community and the isolation of the
individual. The central motive is the surgical mask worn by groups of people arranged in unnatural and
non-interactive still poses. 16mm and video are used interchangeably; the video ‘documents’ the filming
and reveals a behind-the-scenes aspect which creates a corollary stripping of visual masks. Duration: 9 minutes
2009.

Let him eat Bread

Combining visual memories, which are detached from their own “reality”, the film Let him eat Bread extends the genre of documentary to question its own impossibility. Examining the tasks of framing as an act of transmission and connection, the film merges footage from Al Jazeera, clippings from different radio interviews, and quotes from diverse texts. The title of the film Let him eat Bread, taken from a New York Times article about noise pollution in the city of Cairo, refers to a metaphorical Arabic phrase which ultimately remains untranslatable, remaining foreign in itself. It revolves around the association, acceleration, compression, and prolongation of film-time as well as the manipulation and accentuation of the picture frame. Duration: 12 minutes, 2008.