NCLAC’s third film of this year’s Southern Circuit Tour is next week, Thursday, November 9 at 7pm at the Dixie Center for the Arts. We’ll be showing Romeo is Bleeding, a documentary film directed by Jason Zeldes, that focuses on poets and students in Richmond, California as they prepare a reconstruction of Romeo and Juliet based on the decades-long violent conflict between the neighborhoods of North and Central Richmond. The film explores the sources of this conflict and includes voices from citizens, city government, and the Richmond police department. The feature film exemplifies the transformative nature of the arts: the power of spoken word poetry to save and elevate youth in one of the most violent suburbs of our country.
The primary focus of the film is poet Donté Clark, who will be joining us. In the film he leads a cast of high school students in an effort to mount a fresh adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Donté is a young poet who transcends the violence in his hometown by writing about his experiences. He uses Shakespeare’s classic to delve deeper into the contemporary socio-economic issues that drive the violence in his city. As the play comes together on the stage, real life begins to parallel the original tragedy, and Donté must decide if he is capable of being the leader that Richmond’s youth want and need him to be.
After the screening, Donte will stick around for questions and an engaging dialogue with regional poets and performers, moderated by poet and author Dr. Nan McJamerson. Prior to the film, from 5-6:45, we’ll offer a Lawn Party beside the Dixie Center featuring performing artists: GSU’s Mionne Destiny and Lyrical Quest. This is a great opportunity to swing by for dinner and conversation before the film begins. The Lawn Party will also have Ki Mexico and Devine Wines & Spirits with food and drink for sale.
Tickets for Romeo is Bleeding are $5 general admission and $3 students, with NCLAC members attending free. They are available at the door. Admission to the Lawn Party is free, with drinks, dinner, and popcorn available for purchase.
In addition to the November 9th evening screening, NCLAC is partnering with Lincoln Achieve to offer a special matinee screening for Lincoln Parish high school students. They are invited to attend a morning screening, where Donté will be here to speak with them about the film and his poetry. This has a special literary connection for high school freshmen especially, as they study Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade.
NCLAC thanks Hampton Inn of Ruston and Louisiana Tech’s College of Liberal Arts for their sponsorship of the Southern Circuit series. We also thank film sponsors Sundown Tavern and Cathi Cox-Boniol and Tom Boniol for their support, and Lincoln Achieve for partnering on the school screening. Thanks to Dr. Nan McJamerson for moderating the panel discussion, to Veronica Schuder and Mary Fran Crook for serving as panelists, and to Mionne Destiny and Lyrical Quest for sharing their talents.
The film series will begin again after a winter break with spring screenings on the following dates: Deej on February 22; Purple Dreams on March 22; and Look & See, a Portrait of Wendell Berry on April 19.
We hope you’ll join us for these wonderful award-winning films in our beautiful historic Dixie Center for the Arts, set in the heart of the Ruston Cultural District.