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New Documentary on DC Activist Music Scene: “Positive Force: More Than A Witness”

New Documentary Chronicles DC Punk Rock Activist Organization “Positive Force” A new documentary film “Positive Force: More Than A Witness” has just been released that chronicles the great activist work done in DC for decades by the progressive activist organization Positive Force. The film also delves into the local DC activist music scene both past and present, and has rare…

New Documentary About Occupy Activists and Their Children: “Parents of the Revolution”

FEB 26, 2014 – JTMP is excited to announce we are getting involved in raising awareness about a great new film called "Parents of the Revolution" from director Dana H. Glazer and Dane-Gramp Productions documenting the Occupy protests that sprang up in Zuccotti Park that follows three sets of parents that bring their children along to teach them about activism and changing the world, and the hurdles and troubles they face along the way. Their children face danger as the police attacks grow more violent, and criticism from people for "using their children as human shields". The filmmakers hope the film creates a national conversation about how we can get our children more involved in civic events such as protesting peacefully, speaking out, voting and getting involved.

Check out the Parents of the Revolution website here, and watch the Trailer below. JTMP will be helping out in the screening of the film, so check back. The film will make its debut in all formats on May 15, 2014. If your organization is interested in screening this film visit http://parentsoftherevolution.com/host-a-screening/.

The Greatest Activist Musician in History: Bob Marley

DEC 2, 2013 – I watched the new Magnolia Pictures film "Marley" about the life of reggae music artist Bob Marley on VH1 Palladia on my DVR over the weekend, and it was awesome. The director, Kevin MacDonald, takes you on a journey to really let you know who the man was behind the music you know so well. I have always had respect and admiration for Bob Marley and what he accomplished in his short life, but after seeing this film I realized he was in my opinion the greatest activist musician ever. From handing out wads of cash to any poor person who would wander into his villa, to getting the two political candidates running for office in the violent and deadly 1970s Jamaican politics to hold hands and call for peace between the two sides on stage at one of his concerts, he was truly an outstanding individual.

Bob had a unique perspective on life, being born as a so-called "mix-raced" child. His father, Norval Marley, was European, who had a brief affair with Cedella Booker. His father never played a role in his life, and the rejection hurt Bob and he wrote the song "Cornerstone" with the lyrics, "The stone that the builder refuse, will always be the head cornerstone…" that many believe he was referencing to. He eventually discovered music, and formed "The Wailers" and became hugely popular and successful in Jamaica. Bob wanted to spread the word of Reggae, love and spirituality through his music, and make it accessible for the entire world. So, he set up a new band called "Bob Marley and the Wailers", and like a preacher on a revival tour he took the world by storm. Whirling on stage like a wizard or a priest, he captivated millions of people all over the world with his great music and message of hope and love. He still affects millions of people's lives to this day. 

When the 1970s politics got violent and deadly, Bob cooperated with the Jamaican government and held a "Peace Concert" and stopped the bloodshed. He held another peace concert in Zimbabwe when they got their independence, being attacked with tear gas while on stage. He spoke about activism many times in his songs such as "Get Up, Stand Up", but he seemed to me not a person that wanted to take sides, he just wanted everyone to work out things peacefully and just get along. His main message was get active and get involved in non-violent action and "Stand up for your rights"; like registering to vote and voting. Watch this great film "Marley" from Magnolia pictures (the trailer is below) and I think you will agree he is an amazing person, and deserves the title of "Greatest Activist Musician of All Time". It is making the rounds on VH1 Palladia and Netflix, or you can order the Blu-Ray or DVD at the official film's site here.  (photo credit: Ueli Frey/CC)

New Pussy Riot Documentary: Pussy Riot “A Punk Prayer”

June 5, 2013 – The punk rock, activist "art collective" Pussy Riot is the focus of a new film by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorvokin titled "Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer". The documentary explores what is really going on with the arrest and jailing of three women in Russia, who were merely exercising the right of free speech. The film has had great reviews and acceptance, and won a World Cinema Jury Prize from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film is a six-month journey into the lives of the three women, Nadya, Masha and Katia and their ordeal with the Russian justice system facing charges of "hooliganism" after performing a 40-second free speech action at the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. The church lobbied heavily with the Putin government to come down hard on the girls, and they all 3 ended up with prison time. Their predicament has garnered worldwide attention, and has sent shock waves reverberating through Russia.

Nadya has been freed on appeal, but the other two remain jailed. In fact, there is a new law unofficially called the "Pussy Riot Law" that just passed, that will make the penalties even stiffer if someone else tries this in the future. The new "Pussy Riot Law" calls for one year in jail and a fine of $300,000 rubles ($9,400 US) for "public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed with intent to offend the religious feelings of the faithful." If one does it in a house of worship, the penalties get even worse.

Check out an interview with the filmmakers on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other night below (fast forward to end), the direct link is here. Also, check out the movie's website here to see the trailer and learn more about the film. Apparently Vladmir Putin likes Dire Straights, so we need to get Mark Knopfler to come out in support of the girls and say, "Free Pussy Riot!", and maybe Putin will pardon them. So Mark, please come out in support of freeing Pussy Riot!

Documentary: “Positive Force: More Than a Witness” Explores 25 Years of Activist Music

JTMP helped out with this great project called, "Positive Force: More Than a Witness", a film by Robin Bell that explores and documents the life and times of the punk rock activist collective known as "Positive Force". Using archival footage and in-depth interviews, Robin takes us through the history of the DC punk rock activist movement and documents "Positive Force's Reagan-era origins, the creation of its communal house, FBI harassment, and the rise of a vibrant underground that burst into the mainstream amidst controversy over both the means and the ends of the movement."

But the filmmakers need our help in funding the project. To check out and help support this awesome project please go to the KickStarter website and help out with a donation. The filmmakers will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the DVD to benefit the We Are Family senior outreach network. 

To help out please go here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robinbell/positive-force-more-than-a-witness

 

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