Competition Documentary Feature
Directed by: Sara Newens and Mina T. Son
USA, 2022, 85m
Don’t let the charming weirdness of Palm Springs fool you. Literally just
beyond the pristine golf courses, a fight about trees has been brewing
for decades. Years of complaints about a wall of dubious deciduous tamarisk trees planted in the late ‘50s that physically separate the black neighborhood of Crossley Tract from the more affluent rest of the town, go nowhere with their city council until a story in the local news ignites an international firestorm of attention. Top Spin (FFF 2015) directors Sara Newens (“Footprint,” FFF 2018) and Mina T. Son pull off an amazing balancing act by peeling back an onion of institutional racism and showing how these dividing lines help define a community’s inability to partake in the rest of the town’s economic progress, while addressing both visible and invisible divisions in “liberal” Palm Springs. Topical and highly entertaining, Racist Trees is a fascinating history lesson exposing race relations in one of the wealthiest communities in the country.
What’s in a name? For the Parkers of Kansas City, everything. Three generations of a family come together to do something countless African Americans before them could not—choose their own last name.
USA, 2023, 13m, Directed by Catherine Hoffman and Sharon Liese