Dispatch from the Denver Film Festival: Day Nine
In August, the city of Denver formally apologized for the anti-China riots of 1880 that left one dead and destroyed the neighborhood then known as Denver’s Chinatown. Tonight, the documentary Reclaiming Denver’s Chinatown, produced by the city’s Storytelling Bureau, will be shown in a fully sold out show and group talk at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
“This film tells the story of two early Chinese Denver families who tell us what life was like for them here in Ludo,” said Rowena Allegria, executive producer and chief storyteller for Denver City and County. “A lot of people don’t even know Denver’s Chinatown was here. But it was, and this movie honors that history.”
Chinese immigrants were instrumental in completing the transcontinental railroad, and many settled in Denver despite racial policies that placed them in a lower rank.
Co-Director Roxana Soto said, “You need to get to know your history so you don’t repeat it – and it has to be a complete history. It can’t just be a copy of one group.” “Hopefully we can make this history even more powerful and complete by telling the story of the people who lived in Denver’s Chinatown,”
Speaking after the 50-minute film at Denver Botanic Gardens Allegria, University of Colorado Boulder history William Wei professor, Chinatown scion Linda Long, and Joy Ha, Colorado United Asia Pacific vice president, will speak after the film.
I was quoted as turning the new documentary “The Holly” into Denver’s “Bonfire of the Vanities,” a commentary on the controversy surrounding the film as much as the movie itself. The Denver Film Festival has captured the growing interest in Julian Rubinstein’s story and promoted it to a full show on the red carpet tonight at the Eli Colkins Opera House. (8 p.m., 102 minutes)
Inspired by Rubinstein’s book of the same name, The Holly takes an outrageous look at the city’s largely failed anti-gang efforts in a two-block section of Park Hill that has become a pawn of competing political interests. And at the heart of it all is Terrence Roberts and his long journey from prison to reformed anti-hero to today’s Denver mayoral candidate.
Wait… what just happened?
Longtime Denver Film Festival goers are always looking forward to Sheila K. Actor nomination for a Bill Nighy Award.) “I am 100% of Irish immigrant bloodline,” O’Brien told the Denver Gazette. “Exactly 200 years ago this month my grandmother landed in New York at the age of 11. She worked as a housemaid and had no money, and she passed away at the age of 49 from untreated cancer. It broke my heart that I couldn’t be there to help her.” So this series is a tribute to my family.”
Quote from today
When O’Brien later introduced “Life” to an out-of-sale crowd at the Denver Botanical Gardens, she made no secret of her appreciation for Nighy’s body…to work. “I crave him,” she said in a thunderous applause. “The closest I got was a carriage ride to Edinburgh from London, and I think he and his wife were sitting in front of me. She was too big to take — but I thought about it. Hey, I’m ’em, I’m not dead.” She then quoted a critic who wrote aptly about the performance Beautiful Negi in “Living”: “Finally, Negi has found a good movie like himself.”
Off the beaten track
When the Music Stops is a documentary featuring interviews and musical performances from leading Colorado musicians and industry professionals from 2020 and 2021 as they explore the impact of COVID on Colorado’s music industry. There’s a Q&A next with director Sam Krentzman, editor Michael Hartzog, musician Kid Astronaut and Craig Sneiderman of AEG Presents. 1:30 p.m. at Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. (81 minutes)
What is happening today too?
Lots, including the “Italian Night” menu at the University of Denver’s Davis Hall. It’s 6:30pm and it’s free, but you need to register at access.du.edu. …the annual “Big Night Party” kicks off at 10 p.m. at Lighthouse ArtSpace Denver, 3900 Elati Street tickets for $32.
Information and tickets
Go to denverfilm.org
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