NEWS AND UPDATES

APRIL:  There have been some hang-ups in getting the Southern California dates dialed in, but we hope to have everything worked out soon and will announce screenings and other upcoming events as soon as we know more. Check back for updates and get in touch if you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share. Until then, we’ve designed a new poster for the film. Have a look.

Poster, The Essence of Our Misery

MARCH 25, 2014: We want to thank everyone for making the Bay Area screenings a success this past weekend, especially the Mixon family, co-producer Jacob Crawford and JR Valrey from Block Report Radio. If you missed the film, you can catch it at the Oakland Film Festival on April 4.  Other screenings are in the works as well, in the Bay Area, and beyond. Check back for updates. Also, for those who contributed financially to the film, we haven’t forgotten about you! We’ll be in touch.

MARCH 15 The Black Student Union at Merritt College in Oakland is hosting a pre-screening of the film March 20, from 12:30- 2 p.m., though we still don’t have the exact details of the space. We’ll post that info here when we get it. Also, a facebook event page is now set up at: https://www.facebook.com/events/640117016053903/.

MARCH 11:  A couple more Bay Area screenings are now confirmed. There will be a screening and panel discussion on March 22 from 1-3 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., and another on March 23 from 4-6 p.m. at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 6th St, in Santa Rosa. Check back for updates.

FEBRUARY 28: The San Francisco Bay View published an piece on the The Ghosts of March today. Check it out at: ‘The Ghosts of March 21′: an interview wit’ filmmaker Sam Stoker

FEBRUARY 1: Lately, everything has been taking longer than we anticipated —a situation made worse by the fact that we are essentially broke. The past weeks have been frustrating…then again, it is not the first time we have been in this situation and undoubtedly it won’t be the last, so a couple gripes is all we’re going to give it… The good news is the premiere is set for the 20th and will be followed by what should be an awesome panel discussion, which is being organized in large part thanks to the help of JR Valrey of Block Report Radio. Screenings are also being coordinated in SF, Sonoma, LA, San Diego, Stockton and Modesto and we’ll soon be submitting the film to various festivals as well. We’ll be sure to post updates as things develop. As always, many thanks to our supporters.

JANUARY: So we’re finally going to start putting this page together! It’ll still be several weeks before everything is in place, but they’ll be plenty going up in the coming days. Also, save the date. The film premiere is set for March 20, 7 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley. We’re not formally announcing it until the schedule is dialed in, but the date’s confirmed. It’s free as well, so we  hope we’ll see you there. Also, several weeks back the Oakland Local ran a story on the film. You can check it out here  if you like.

SEPTEMBER: We are finally beginning construction of this site after several crashes. We’ll be adding  new features over the coming months, however, the site won’t be complete until we release the film in March 2014. Do check back for updates and information concerning dates and places of screenings. And as always, thanks for your interest and support!

Trailer

Synopsis

An interrogation of race, power and justice in the contemporary United States, The Ghosts of March 21 focuses on the death of 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon and the factors that led him to kill four Oakland police officers before losing his life in the deadliest confrontation in Bay Area law enforcement history. Retracing the events and aftermath of March 21, 2009, this documentary examination of the encounter’s underlying contradictions challenges the mainstream narrative of the confrontation and sheds light on the profound consequences of America’s legacy of racial oppression and white supremacy.

To date, the dominant narrative of the shoot-out has been that Lovelle Mixon was a monster and the slain officers were angels and heroes. This perspective, viewed through a liberal lens and reliant on misleading labels, pretends the shoot-out occurred in a vacuum devoid of history and sociopolitical factors; producing an illusion that reenforces the status quo, suppresses critical thought, and ultimately, serves to delegitimize the Black experience in America by rejecting the validity of the systemic factors at the root of racial oppression.

Our primary task has been to fundamentally reframe how we understand the confrontation by contextualizing it both structurally and subjectively. To do this the film focuses on demystifying the encounter by orienting it in relation to the sordid history of US policing, the prison industrial complex and the lived experience of Oakland’s Black community. At the same time, it seeks to rehumanize Lovelle Mixon, which is accomplished in part and, in so much as it has been possible, by reconstructing the encounter through his eyes, where we find a haunted consciousness shaped largely by the specters of injustice.

Seeking a new cultural hegemony or “common sense,” The Ghosts of March 21 redefines the events of Oakland’s “bloodiest day,” and in so doing, it presents a larger argument, one that challenges some of the most saliently-held beliefs in contemporary American society.