The Phoenix Project will follow the life stories of a collection of people in the US and UK (EU) who have all undergone massive trauma at one point in their lives, plunged to the depths of despair, had a moment of awakening and a turning point, and then proceeded into a long healing process, emerging at the other end a recovered individual, engaged in art, community, and social justice.
While Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium depicts a highly exaggerated science-fiction future, and Charles Shaw’s The Plastic People presents the grim conditions of the all-too-real present, the inspiration for both films came suddenly and unexpectedly from the same brutal streets of Tijuana, Mexico.
“A documentary, at its best, challenges an audience to unpack their biases and face the facts on the ground. The camera remains the most effective arbiter of virtual presence. Its lens pierces through the obfuscating fog of distance and assumption, letting the truth shine through. From our comfortable positions in our own Elysiums, we step into the gutters of El Bordo, we squeeze into the dusty alleys between the squalid shanty houses. We witness the suffering of fellow human beings. We listen, we learn. Strangers become momentary acquaintances. Instead of calling for the mass deportation of “illegal aliens”, we are forced to look one young man in the eye and tell him that he shouldn’t be allowed to see his wife and child. In a real conversation, in real human terms, there is hope. This is something we can fix.”
“I’m here to tell you that apathy isn’t it. And we can all do something if we try.” ~ John Lennon
“I just considered it part of my job. If you were gonna be a revolutionary, you were gonna have to go to prison.” ~ John Sinclair
John Sinclair is best known as the Sixties marijuana activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving two joints to an undercover policewoman. He was eventually freed when John Lennon and Yoko Ono spoke out on his behalf. Less understood is his role as the founder and chairman of the radical anti-war group, The White Panther Party, an offshoot of the Black Panthers.
What do the movie Fight Club, Woodstock ’99, and the Battle in Seattle all have in common?
Revisiting the “Might-geist” of the Millennium
a short film by CHARLES SHAW
Tuesday November 5th, 2013. I had the absolute pleasure of sitting with author and filmmaker Charles Shaw. We discussed his friendship and new short film about John Sinclair along with his works as an author, filmmaker and artist in these times of great change. The focus of the discussion is on Cointelpro as we dismantle disinformation and exercise critical thinking. What are we looking for as we seek to recognize agent provocatuers in our own time amongst our own activist circles? And how do we finally work towards outwitting them? An interview not to be missed and an absolutely perfect way to begin Season 3.
Lifting the Veil returns with season three this November 2013 featuring a premiere episode with author and filmmaker Charles Shaw, “Dismantling Disinformation and Exercising Critical Thinking”. Coming soon, interviews with Dayna Martin, Nabil Shaban, Kingsly L. Dennis, Jamie Hanshaw Freeman and Thomas Sheridan.