July 24, 2017 7pm
Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution is the story of the attempt to build a 21st century progressive movement in the United States. Five remarkable individuals wrestle with persistent racial injustice, growing economic inequality, and the corrupting influence of money in politics against the backdrop of an extraordinary 2016 presidential race.
From the presidential campaign trail with Senator Bernie Sanders to a local race in the failing economy of rural West Virginia, from a mass sit-in on the U.S. Capitol steps to racially charged police commission hearings in Los Angeles, Waking the Sleeping Giant makes sense of this moment in American politics, probing widespread discontent during the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump’s dramatic electoral victory, and the challenges ahead for those building a re-energized progressive movement.
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Written and Directed By: Jon D. Erickson and Jacob Smith
Runtime: 1h 33min
Longtime North Fork Valley resident Pete Kolbenschlag is hosting the Western Slope Premiere of the award-winning documentary film Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution on July 24 in Paonia, Colorado, as a fundraiser for the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans.
Waking the Sleeping Giant is the first feature-length documentary to tackle last year’s presidential election, chronicling the challenges and opportunities faced by a resurgent political movement on the left. The film tells the story of five remarkable individuals wrestling with persistent racial injustice, growing economic inequality, and the corrupting influence of money in politics all against the backdrop of an extraordinary 2016 presidential race.
Filmmakers Jon Erickson, Jacob Smith (a former Paonia resident), and Kathryn Goldman began filming in January 2015, following U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders as he explored a potential presidential bid and then through his campaign, as well as four others around the U.S.:
· Sabrina Shrader, a West Virginia coal country native, working to escape generational poverty and secure a seat in her state legislature;
· Jan Williams, a Black Lives Matter activist in Los Angeles, fighting against systemic police brutality and institutional racism; and
· Elise Whitaker and Kai Newkirk, two millennial organizers leading peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins with Democracy Spring to confront the corrupting influence of money in politics.
Waking the Sleeping Giant makes sense of this moment in American politics, probing widespread discontent during the election cycle, Donald Trump’s dramatic electoral victory, and the challenges ahead for those building a re-energized progressive movement. The film features interviews with prominent journalists, activists, and public intellectuals, including former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Dream Corps co-founder Van Jones, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, and Cenk Uygur, founder and host of The Young Turks.
Erickson describes his experience working on the film as a “crash course in the state of American politics,” and a reminder that, “we are a democracy that still aspires to care for and love our neighbors, all our neighbors and all our communities.”
Smith, who crisscrossed the country making the film with Goldman and Erickson, adds that, “these are vitally important stories about individuals stepping up to build movements and drive political change.”
And Goldman explains that the film “chronicles a two-party American political system that has lost touch with the people it is supposed to represent, and helps chart a course forward to a democracy that works for everyone.”
Jon Erickson is an award-winning filmmaker, ecological economics professor, and social entrepreneur. His films have earned four New England Emmy nominations and two wins, and he has five films currently in national PBS distribution. Kathryn Goldman is a veteran political campaigner, fundraiser, organizer, and project manager who was elected to the Bellevue, Idaho city council in 2016. Jacob Smith is an award-winning filmmaker, political activist, former mayor, and former Bernie Sanders staffer. The team included nine-time Regional Emmy award-winning editor Brad Johanson and an experienced crew of cinematographers, sound engineers, and field producers across the United States.
The western Colorado premier screening of Waking the Sleeping Giant is being shown as a fundraiser for the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC), a statewide organization that seeks to elevate the voices of Coloradans around the state living near current and proposed oil and gas operations and for all concerned citizens working to pass balanced energy development policies that protect neighborhoods, homes, and our Colorado quality of life. Filmmaker and activist Jacob Smith will be on hand answer questions about the movie and the issues it covers after the screening.