Scribe Producers' Forum
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
dir. Grace Lee, USA, 2013, 82 min
Director Grace Lee in person
Co-sponsored by Asian Americans United (AAU), SEAMAAC, and Bryn Mawr College's Program in Film Studies
Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese American woman whose vision of revolution may surprise you. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs plunges us into Boggs’s lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century: from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. Boggs’s constantly evolving strategy – her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her – drives the story forward. Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience – the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.
Grace Lee is a
Los Angeles-based filmmaker of both fiction and documentary films. Her most
recent feature film about the 2012 Presidential campaign, Janeane From Des Moines, premiered at the 2012 Toronto
International Film Festival. Prior to that, she wrote and directed American Zombie, which premiered at
Slamdance and SXSW before being released by Cinema Libre. She also produced and
directed The Grace Lee Project, a
feature documentary on Asian American identity and stereotypes that was
broadcast on Sundance Channel and is distributed by Women Make Movies.
Producers' Forums are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.