February 13, 2015
Tune In to THE ABOMINABLE CRIME Broadcast This Monday 2/16!
This Monday, February 16th THE ABOMINABLE CRIME will be broadcast on public television in the US as part of the seventh season of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Exchange! The film will air on WORLD Channel on Monday, February 16, at 8 pm ET/10pm PT as the final episode of the innovative documentary series on contemporary art, life and culture in the African Diaspora. AfroPoP is hosted by actress Yaya DaCosta, executive-produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and co-presented by American Public Television (APT).
To find out how to access the WORLD Channel in your area, enter your zip code here for local listings.
If miss the broadcast on the 16th, the film will also be rebroadcast in select cities on February 17th. Be sure to check your local WORLD Channel for more information. After the broadcast, THE ABOMINABLE CRIME will also be available digitally on platforms like Hulu and Amazon this spring! More information on the digital release will be coming soon!
We're thrilled that AfroPoP is bringing THE ABOMINABLE CRIME to such a wide audience and we hope that you will share this information with friends and family who have not yet had a chance to see this film.
In advance of the broadcast, we've also been receiving some exciting press in the US and abroad, including an article in the Jamaica Observer.
For those of you outside of the United States, the film will be a part of Amnesty International’s Movies That Matter Festival in March of 2015. THE ABOMINABLE CRIME will be competition for the Matter of Act Awards, and screenings will take place in the Hague in the Netherlands. We'll be posting more information about the festival on our Screenings Page, Facebook, and Twitter soon!
December 23rd, 2014
Upcoming PBS Broadcast and Awards!
It’s been an amazing year for The Abominable Crime!
The film has traveled around the world, won a number of awards, and contributed to a growing discussion about LGBT human rights at a time of increasing reaction around the world.
Since its premiere, The Abominable Crime has screened in 21 film festivals around the world and collected a growing number of awards, including the first Amnesty International Human Rights Award, given at the Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival in September 2014.
“The issues dealt with by The Abominable Crime are not just relevant to Jamaica, in which the film is set, but also internationally where laws are being enacted in many countries to inflict the most inhumane and violent penalties on same sex relationships. The jury is pleased to award the first Amnesty International Human Rights Prize at the Trinidad & Tobago Film festival 2014 to a well crafted, focused and loving film which should be seen widely in the region and the world: The Abominable Crime.”
-- Citation, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE.
Awards to Date: • Best Documentary, 8th Annual Belize International Film Festival (July 2013) • Best Documentary, Audience Award, Rose Filmdagen LGBT Film Festival of Amsterdam (March, 2014) • The Audience's Favorite Film Award, Mix Copenhagen (September 2014) • The Amnesty International Human Rights Prize, Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival (September 2014).
Next year we’re looking forward to taking the film even further!
We are delighted to announce that The Abominable Crime will be broadcast in the United States on Monday, February 16th, 2015 on PBS World. It will appear as part of the sixth season of Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. Afropop is the only series on PBS that solely features independent documentaries and short films about life, art, and culture from the contemporary African Diaspora.
In the spring of 2015, The Abominable Crime will also have its digital release on Hulu, iTunes, and other digital venues, and will be coming to computer screens and other devices near you!
We are also looking forward to taking part in Amnesty International’s Movies That Matter Festival in March of 2015. The Abominable Crime will be competition for the Matter of Act Awards, and screenings will take place in the Hague in the Netherlands.
If you would like to share The Abominable Crime with someone this holiday season, DVDs are available through our website or through retailers like Amazon. If you would like to organize a screening of the film for your group, classroom, or church, please let us know!
Thank you again for your support of the film.
May 15th, 2014
TAC Premieres in Portland, Oregon
On Friday, May 16th "The Abominable Crime" will have it's Portland premiere at the QDoc Queer Documentary Film Festival!
Producer-director Micah Fink’s The Abominable Crime shines a light on the horrific situation in Jamaica, a bastion of homophobic crimes thanks to the usual unholy alliance of church, government, and media. Fink powerfully profiles two Jamaicans at the epicenter of this oppression. The film opens with a woman, Simone Edwards, talking about being attacked and shot twice for her “abominable crime” of lesbianism. Simone’s story alternates with that of lawyer-activist Maurice Towlinson, a gay man whose outing forces him to relocate to Canada though he remains determined to return to his home country – and does – to fight the draconian laws that support the beatings, stabbings, and murder of LGBT people.
Interestingly, Jamaica’s “battyboys” (gay men) and lesbians apparently had an easier time of it before the 1980s when American televangelists like Jimmy Swaggert extended their reach into the Jamaican market, whipping up anti-queer hysteria and giving religious legitimacy to sometimes lethal homophobic attacks, recalling the evangelists who’ve more recently helped introduce viciously anti-queer attitudes to Africa. While The Abominable Crime sounds like a grimfest, that’s not the case, due mainly to Simone and Maurice’s charismatic personalities and their clear courage in dealing with state- and socially sanctioned brutality.
For more information about the screening, or to learn where to see "The Abominable Crime" in your city, check out our screenings page.
May 08, 2014
A quick update to share two new reivews that came in this morning!
Clive Forrester of the Yardie Skeptics Media radio show recently wrote to us and wanted to share his opinion of the film:
It’s one thing to hear about violence against LGBT persons, and read about the struggles and insurmountable obstacles placed in their way all for no reason but because of their “difference”, but it’s another thing to see a story unfold on screen depicting the real life torment someone you know had to face. “The Abominable Crime” is an excellent documentary that needs to be seen by all Jamaicans if only for the emotional journey and the inescapable enlightenment along the way!
The Glen Ridge Voice also wrote a piece about director Micah Fink and composer Amanda Harberg in conjunction with our recent screening at the Montclair Film Festival. This is a great piece to check out if you've ever been curious about how Amanda wrote the music for the film.
April 16, 2014
Spring 2014 Update
We wanted to share some exciting recent news about "The Abominable Crime," and let you know about a few upcoming chances to see the film.
We just finished up a two week tour of Europe, sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Micah attended two film festivals and also screened the film for hundreds of students in Paris, Brighton, and London! While screening in Amsterdam, we won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Roze Filmdagen LGBT Film Festival.
In London, we also had the privilege of three screening at the BFI Flare Film Festival -- as well as a special panel discussion organized around the topic of "The Abominable Laws" that encompassed updates on anti-gay laws in Jamaica, Nigeria, India and Russia. Micah and Maurice were both in attendance and took part in a Q&A after the screening, which you can watch here.
We also wanted to let you know about chances to see the film in a variety of locations across the US and the world!
In the US there are several opportunity to see the film:
Chicago, IL- On Thursday, April 17th at 7pm the film will be screening at University of Chicago as part of a presentation by the Center for International Studies and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The event is free and open to the public! Director Micah Fink will be in attendance. You can RSVP here.
Montclair, NJ - On Saturday, May 3rd at 4pm, we will be taking part in the Montclair Film Festival in Montclair, NJ. Director Micah Fink and composer Amanda Harberg will be in attendance. You can purchase tickets and find more information here.
Portland, OR - On Friday, May 16th at 7pm we will be at the QDoc Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival. Human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson will be in attendance. You can purchase tickets and find more information here.
In just under a year since its premiere, we have had more than fifty public screenings, and appeared in ten festivals around the world, with another six to come on the horizon! We are so honored that the film has gotten this far, and want to thank you all for your support!
April 4th, 2014
Amanda Harberg Programs an Evening at the Grand Rapids Symphony
Join Composer Amanda Harberg and the Grand Rapids Symphony on April 8th, 2014 for an evening of Musical Connections. Amanda designed this program for the Grand Rapids Symphony to give voice to living composers and foster relationships between composers, musicians and audiences.
The program will feature two works by Amanda, including the world premiere of "Elegy," a new piece comissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony. The evening will also feature work by Robert Beaser, Dan Visconti, Sebastian Currier, and Jonathan Newman. You can find more information about the evening here.
November 25th, 2013
Last week Micah, Maurice, and Tom had the opportunity to go to St. Louis, MO and show "The Abominable Crime," to several groups of students. Maurice wrote up one of his experiences from the trip and we wanted to share...
"We met 12 year-old Isabelle on the final day of our visit to St. Louis where we presented the Abominable Crime to some fantastic middle-school kids. After the presentation Isabelle ran up to me and pushed a letter into my hand. It was written in pencil on paper torn out of her notebook. It was addressed:
To: Tom Decker and Maurice Tomlinson
From: A Student, An Ally, A Friend.
Dear Tom and Maurice,
I cannot say how proud I am. I just wanted to say thank you for being so brave. It is sad that you need to be brave to be yourself. Thank you for sharing your story and teaching me much. I'm sorry that being who you are can be a death sentence. I think you two are so strong and it's absolutely brilliant how you never give up.
I have always tried to speak up against inequality. I have gone to rallies and speeches for LGBTQ rights but only in the USA. I never knew how bad it was in other places around the world. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to this.
I look up to both of you. Do not let anyone put hate into your heart. Do not let anyone hurt you. They can only hurt you if you let them. Be proud of yourselves. I will keep an eye on the news for you. You two are wonderful. Your story is inspiring. Thanks you.
Isabelle's mom gave me permission to post her photo and this letter.
Of course, Isabelle got it ALL wrong. She is the TRUE inspiration! At 12 years old she shows more empathy than most adults I know! In addition to speaking up for marginalized groups, she also volunteers with her mom at soup kitchens and is already a passionate social justice activist.
My son is 12. I pray he develops some of Isabelle's bravery, compassion and intelligence.
I hope to receive MANY awards in my lifetime for my activism. This is not because I crave the fleeting glory they bring, but because I want the platform they provide to demand full human rights for LGBT Jamaicans. That said, I doubt ANY "award" will be as dear to me as this letter from Isabelle.
We were able to give Isabelle a copy of The Abominable Crime. I understand she is having fun sharing it. I am humbled that I can inspire someone so young and with SO MUCH promise. I can't wait to see what kind of person she develops into. For sure, her future is bright!
The world needs more Isabelles."
Thank you to Maurice for sharing and Isabelle for being such an inspiration!
Very best regards,
The TAC team!
November 4th, 2013
Censored in Jamaica and Upcoming Screenings
This autumn has been shaping up to be a very busy time for “The Abominable Crime” – and LGBT issues in Jamaica – and we wanted to give you an update.
First, the film will be screening in NYC, Chicago and St. Louis in the next few weeks – see details below for locations and tickets.
The film has also been getting some press (or not getting press, in one notable instance) back in Jamaica…
A few months back, I was interviewed by a Caribbean program called "18° North,” which is a new Caribbean-based investigative TV show.
They did a segment on the film interweaving footage from the documentary with an interview with the director (me), which it was slated to be aired in primetime on TVJ, one of the main Jamaican TV broadcasters, on Sept 16.
Zahra Burton, the program’s executive producer, emailed me the next day. While the program aired on TVJ, she wrote, the network had cut out the segment on the Abominable Crime!!!
Burton was so outraged that the network had removed eight minutes (and a key segment) from her show – without asking her or informing the Jamaican public about the missing piece – that she asked us to let the world know… and she shared the missing segment with us. You can watch it here.
Clearly, some stories are too sensitive to be told on TVJ. And censorship on LBGT issues is still alive and well in Jamaica!!!
Despite TVJ’s refusal to even mention “The Abominable Crime”, Jamaicans are becoming more aware of the film. The Gleaner, one of Jamaica’s most important papers, ran a short piece about the film on their website in conjunction with our Washington DC screenings.
If you have a strong stomach, you might explore some of the comments that appear in response to the story – many of which are quite revealing – and show that homophobia and hatred are still deeply rooted in the Jamaican psyche…
On other fronts, we are proud to announce that "The Abominable Crime" has three upcoming screenings in November 2013:
ST. LOUIS: On Sunday, November 17th at 4:30 pm, there will be a screening as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival. After the film there will be a Q&A with me and Maurice Tomlinson.
After this screening you are invited to join us for another Pulitzer Center supported documentary, “Seeds of Hope,” and a reception that will include Maurice Tomlinson and me! More details about the screenings and reception here. The reception is free to attend, but please RSVP here.
We are also beginning to reach out to educational and community groups for non-festival screenings. If you know of a university or community group that would be interested in hosting a screening and discussion, please get in touch with us. You can order an educational or community screening package here.
I hope to see some of you at the screenings in New York and St. Louis! More soon!
Very best regards,
Micah and the whole TAC team!
September 20th, 2013
The Abominable Crime Is Front Page News in Jamaica!
The Abominable Crime made front-page news yesterday in the Jamaica Gleaner, which ran an article coinciding with our Washington DC premiere.
While the article itself was fairly neutral, the comments section provides a very revealing taste of contemporary Jamaican attitudes towards tolerance.
Meanwhile, the film is continuing to screen throughout the week in Washington DC as part of the Pulitzer Center Film Festival, "Global Crises, Human Stories."
For those of you not in the DC area, we do have screenings in the works in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis, and we are working on getting the film available online. More details on all of that soon!
Full Pulitzer Center Film Fest dates below:
Screenings on September 20-26: tickets are $5 general admission, and $3 for students and seniors.
Tickets on sale week prior at http://www.westendcinema.com/
Friday, September 20:
5 pm: No Fire Zone
9:20 pm: Pulitzer Center Photojournalist Shorts
Saturday, September 21:
3 pm: The Abominable Crime
7 pm: Outlawed in Pakistan
Discussion with co-director Hilke Schellmann, Reception to follow
Sunday, September 22:
5 pm: Outlawed in Pakistan
9:20 pm: The Abominable Crime
Monday, September 23:
3 pm: No Fire Zone
7 pm: Seeds of Hope
Discussion and reception to follow
Tuesday, September 24:
5 pm: The Abominable Crime
8:30 pm: Reception in advance of Pulitzer Center Shorts (tickets for 9:20 pm show required)
9:20 pm: Pulitzer Center Photojournalist Shorts
Discussion with photojournalist Shiho Fukada ("Disposable Workers in Japan")
Wednesday, September 25:
3 pm: Outlawed in Pakistan
7 pm: No Fire Zone
Thursday, September 26:
5 pm: Seeds of Hope
9:20 pm: The Abominable Crime
September 3rd, 2013
Maurice asked us to pass along this call to action in response to the recent increase in anti-gay attacks in Jamaica.
In the past month there has been a jump in reported anti-gay attacks across Jamaica:
1) On July 22, 17-year-old cross-dresser Dwayne Jones was stabbed and shot to death and thrown into nearby bushes at a public street-dance near the resort city of Montego Bay. The Minister of Justice condemned the barbaric act.
2) On August 1, as reported on CVM TV, a suspected gay police officer was mobbed in downtown Kingston and fellow officers had to fire gunshots into the air and teargas into the crowd to disperse them.
3) Also on August 1, the home of 2 gay men in the parish of St. Catherine was surrounded by an angry mob from the community intent on getting rid of the men. The police had to intervene to rescue them.
4) On August 6, reggae artiste Queen Ifrica used her performance at a taxpayer funded independence celebration to condemn gays and demand that they be removed. The Minister of Culture who organized the event apologized.
5) On August 10, a cross-dresser in St. Catherine was attacked by a mob and had to be rescued by police.
6) On August 22, the home of 5 gay men in the parish of Manchester was attacked by community members who barricaded the men inside. The police had to rescue the men.
7) On August 26, the Minister of Education said at a press conference to launch the new Health and Family Life Education Teachers’ manual that “we are not grooming children into the homosexual lifestyle” and “the only wholesome relationship is between a man and a woman.” Ironically, the Minister has an adult gay son who lives outside of Jamaica.
8) On August 26, two gay men in the town of Old Harbour had to flee from the scene of an accident when onlookers realized they were gay. The crowd demanded that the men leave their community and relocate to “uptown” areas. The men had to seek shelter in a police station.
There have also been 2 recent gruesome murders of gay men and it remains unclear if their sexual orientation played a part in their deaths. Please see a link below about one such murder, that of Dean Moriah. On the morning of August 27, the police say that Moriah was stabbed several times before his house was set on fire with him inside.
Despite these escalating reported homophobic incidents, the Jamaican government has been largely silent about promoting the human rights of LGBT citizens. On the contrary, On August 26, the Minister of Education (who, ironically, has a gay son) sought to distance the government from "grooming" homosexuals.
An urgent appeal was sent to the UN Special Rapporteurs over the signature of groups including J-FLAG and AIDS-Free World (attached) requesting that they condemn the ongoing attacks. A request was also made that the government fulfill its international obligations with regard to LGBT citizens. However, I feel a more direct and urgent appeal to the Jamaican government is needed. This is because on September 14, the anti-gay fundamentalist religious group, the Love March Movement, intends to hold yet another public march through the streets of Kingston. (read more here). A similar march held in Haiti preceded multiple homophobic attacks.
Let The Jamaican Government Know You Hate Homophobia
I am therefore imploring you to spend just 5 MINUTES to send a short note to the Jamaican government. I would also appreciate if you would send this out through your networks.
If you feel that this rise in homophobic assaults is unacceptable, and that the government of Jamaica should do more to promote and protect the human rights of the vulnerable LGBT community, please contact the following persons:
The Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, O.N. —http://opm.gov.jm/contact-us/
The Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Wykeham McNeill— http://tourismja.com/contactus/
The Minister of Justice, Senator The Honourable Mark Golding — firstname.lastname@example.org
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
STOP THE SENSELESS BRUTALIZATION OF JAMAICAN GAYS!
August 22nd, 2013
New Review - Kind Words from Ian McKnight
Ian McKnight, the Executive Director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) was recently able to see The Abominable Crime and we wanted to share his kind words about the film:
Micah Fink has again brought international scrutiny to the human rights violations which face some of our fellow Jamaican citizens who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Although, “The Abominable Crime” only captures the story of two (one gay and one lesbian) Jamaicans, theirs speak for similar experiences of many others, most of whom are not able to leave the island as both did.
It therefore compels us all to work harder for the local situation to be corrected so that all citizens can live in the country of their birth, be guaranteed protection and be treated with respect and dignity.
CVC is committed to working in Jamaica and across the Caribbean region to ensure that rights are respected and equality becomes a reality. We commend Micah on this exemplary documentary, and for providing a platform for Jamaicans who have suffered to share their stories. This film will no doubt make an important contribution to raising awareness of the abuses LGBT Jamaicans face, and hopefully, help to create the change which is needed to make Jamaica a better place for all Jamaicans to live.
If you are interested in watching the film yourself, you can see all the ways to do so here!
August 13th, 2013
Interview with Micah Fink on BBC Radio Manchester
This past week Micah was interviewed by Karen Gabay for The People, a BBC Radio Manchester program that focuses on the African and Caribbean community in the UK.
Listen to the interview here:
Many thanks to Karen and BBC Radio Manchester for the interview! Keep your eyes on our screenings page for an upcoming screening in Manchester!
July 24th, 2013
Interview with Micah Fink and Maurice Tomlinson on NPR's Tell Me More!
Jamaica is known for beaches and warm weather, but for many gay and lesbian people living on the island, it's a place of hatred. A new documentary, The Abominable Crime shines a light on homophobia and anti-gay violence in Jamaica.
Listen to the story a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=204550149">here or in the player below.
July 24th, 2013
Belize International Film Festival Winner Best Documentary
We are pleased and incredibly honored to announce that we won Best Feature Documentary at the Belize International Film Festival!
“A riveting, urgent, compelling account of what pressures and hatred LGBT Jamaicans face,” writes Lisa Shoman, a senator at the National Assembly of Belize. “But for the names and faces, it could easily have been made about Belize.”
June 26, 2013
World Premiere at Frameline37
Yesterday evening The Abominable Crime permiered to a packed theatre at the Frameline International Film Festival in San Francisco.
Here's what people who have seen the film have been saying...
"The film was phenomenal: the stories were informative and moving, the editing was first rate, the characters were universal and intimate at the same time. WHATEVER IT TAKES YOU TO SEE THIS FILM, DO IT. Hock your watch or your rings, panhandle on the street, or do whatever else is legal to make sure you don't miss this film when it comes around again."
After four years and a greal deal of work, we're so pleased that the film is finally finding an audience. We're still in the process of figuring out the best way to get the film out into the world, but if you're interested in bringing The Abominable Crime to your town let us know and we'll do what we can to make that happen.
May 22, 2013
Official Selection At Frameline 37!
We are incredibly pleased and excited to announce our world premiere at the 37th annual Frameline International Film Festival in San Francisco!
The Abominable Crime will be premiering at the Roxie Theater on Tuesday, June 25th at 7pm. You can find details about the screening or purchase advance tickets here. Frameline is the world’s largest and oldest LGBT film festival, and we’re so excited to be included in this year’s line up.
We hope to see you at the premiere!
Feb 16, 2013
Isko to Lim: We will fight 'street by street'
"We will seek justice. We will not allow tyranny to prevail in Manila. We will fight corner by corner, street by street, barangay by barangay in Manila."
Jan 11, 2013
Memo to the President: The GPS Road Map for a 2nd Term debuts Sunday, Jan. 13, at 8:00pm ET & PT.
In advance of President Obama's second inauguration, CNN's and TIME's Fareed Zakaria will host a primetime special with advice for Mr. Obama on the foreign and domestic challenges that yet await him, from top statesmen and women of our time who have served this president and others.
Nov 14, 2012
"24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report on November 14-15th has exciting, essential programming you won't want to miss."
Let's face it: The weather is different than it used to be. Record heat waves make it a chore to go outside. Floods and rainstorms damage our homes and cities. Crops wilt under severe droughts. Hot, dry weather feeds widespread fires.eve -- or may want to believe -- that the film was a work of fiction and not in fact a documentary retelling one of the most tragic news stories of last year... In a society without recourse for justice, Fink says, people will do crazy things. This is the extreme weather you see almost every day on the news - or out your window. And because of man-made climate change, we can expect it to happen a lot more often. This is Dirty Weather
Aug 21, 2012
Marine Defenders App Helps Fight Ocean Pollution
Every year commercial ships discharge the equivalent of eight Exxon Valdez oil spills into the ocean. Each small discharge usually goes undocumented and unpunished, but the makers of the Marine Defenders app want that to change by offering a way for users to report and map any signs of marine pollution, whether it be oil or other types of debris, that they see.
Nov 23, 2011
"Inside: Hostage Massacre" airs across Asia on the National Geographic Channel International at 11pm, Nov 20th, 2011.
Watching a video excerpt of National Geographic's "Inside: Manila Hostage," one could almost believe -- or may want to believe -- that the film was a work of fiction and not in fact a documentary retelling one of the most tragic news stories of last year... In a society without recourse for justice, Fink says, people will do crazy things.
Documentary Director Micah Fink Looks Inside the Manila Hostage Crisis. ... "This story is a large international story because the media turned the event into a dramatic unfolding narrative made for television," says Fink. "We, as the media, acted the way Mendoza expected us too. He had exhausted all of his remedies, so he resorted to taking hostages and getting news coverage in order to get what he wanted."
A Filipino Greek tragedy. "Mendoza essentially staged a media event," Fink said. "He knew what to do to get the media's attention. He staged the event in a public place and made sure the media would be there. The media walked right in. We did everything that he expected."
Nov 8, 2011
Mann v Ford has been accepted into the 2012 Environmental Film Festival's program in Washington, DC. It will also be screened on April 20, 2012, at Columbia University's Lamont Colloquium Series by the University's Superfund Research Program.
October 28, 2011
On Friday, October 28th at 8pm EDT, "Hostage, Crisis, Massacre" is premiering on National Geographic Explorer. This is the startling story of a bus hostage situation gone bad.... when the police are unprepared and journalists break all the rules – all hell breaks loose – and the hostages pay the ultimate price.
August 2, 2011
EPA will test for dioxin, lead in Upper Ringwood Super Fund area
The federal Environmental Protection Agency is offering to test homes and properties in Upper Ringwood's Superfund area for dioxin, lead and other contaminants, officials confirmed Monday. Dioxin, which can cause cancer, was found elevated in dust in some attics, lawyers for residents revealed in "Mann v. Ford," an HBO documentary that premiered last month. The film, more than five years in the making, chronicles the community's fight against the Ford Motor Co., which dumped tons of industrial waste in the area more than 40 years ago.
July 19, 2011
Mann v. Ford
"Chermayeff and Fink aren't staging cute stunts for the camera ... They're out in the boonies, following a story they think is important, hoping that it'll take on a shape that will provide them with a satisfying narrative. They establish their right to tell this story through the sensitivity they show towards the people they're filming, especially those who are most vulnerable."
July 18, 2011
'Mann v. Ford' preview: Documentary chronicles community's fight against Ford Motor's toxic dumping on their land, still tainted
Wayne Mann sat with his eyes closed at a Wednesday screening of "Mann v. Ford," a documentary premiering tonight on HBO, as part of the cable channel's annual summer documentary series. It was the third time he'd seen the film. And, anyway, he didn't need to watch to know the story.
July 18, 2011
A STICKY KIND OF PREJUDICE
The New Yorker Magazine
Local knowledge may be the last bastion of prejudice, a safe space for polite conversation to veer into soft bigotry without fear of discomfort, or worse. Last month, my wife and I were at a bed and breakfast upstate. Over coffee and French toast, we met a couple from Oswego, who shared a story—which sounded to me more like an apocryphal joke, involving a hamster and a vagina—about some of their neighbors to the east, on the Tug Hill plateau. “They’re just different,” the woman, who looked to be in her sixties, said. “It’s kind of Appalachian, if you know what I mean. Inbreeding and all that.” The description seemed to resonate with another couple at the table, who turned out to be from New Jersey. “We have some of those in Mahwah,” one of them said, alluding to Stag Hill, home of the Ramapough Mountain Indians.
July 18, 2011
'Mann' chronicles toxic behavior
Like the best mysteries, the documentary "Mann v. Ford" (9 p.m., HBO) not only presents evidence of a heinous crime but opens a curtain on a very particular corner of the world. Located some 40 miles from Manhattan, Upper Ringwood, N.J., could be a thousand miles away. It's forested and isolated, and its population, known as the "Ramapough Mountain People" to some and as "The Jackson Whites" to others, has lived among themselves for hundreds of years. Like many clannish mountain people, they have been met with suspicion and prejudice by outsiders.