A scene from “Gumbo Coalition” the documentary directed by Barbara Kopple with Janet Murguia, center, and Marc Morial, right. The film plays Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mount Baker Theatre’s Walton Theatre.

Kopple Tackles Social Justice in ‘Gumbo Coalition’

Barbara Kopple is one of the leading and most politically engaged filmmakers in the U.S. Her many films include the Dixie Chicks documentary,  “Shut Up and SIng,” her Oscar-winning “Harlan County, USA,”  and “Miss Sharon Jones,” the inspiring story about the Dap-Kings rhythm and blues lead singer.  We are excited to have the two-time Oscar winner coming to the festival as this year’s Honored Guest giving festival goers a rare opportunity to meet and hear Kopple talk about her distinguished career.

As part of Kopple’s event on Friday, May 5, CASCADIA will present her new film, “Gumbo Coaliton” at 7:30 p.m. in the Mount Baker Theatre’s Walton Theatre. (This screening is not included in festival passes and requires a separate ticket available through the Mount Baker Theatre)
“Gumbo Coalition” explores the issue of voter suppression and racism and the joint efforts of two of this country’s biggest civil rights activists, Janet Murguia, UniDos President, and Marc Morial, head of the Nat’l Urban League, as they lead the charge to counter these problems. It’s a journey into their lives, homes, and the family histories that motivate their mission to achieve a more just and equitable country. “Gumbo Coalition” is a powerful, timely film every American needs to see.

The film screens Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mount Baker Theatre’s Walton Theatre. Barbara Kopple will discuss the film and her distinguished career prior to the film’s start in an onstage interview with CASCADIA’s program director, Claudia Puig.  Tickets are available through the Mount Baker Theatre for $25. Big thanks to Audrey Sager and Steve Gellerman for sponsoring the interview with Kopple and to San Juan Broadband for sponsoring the film.

There’s also a catered reception for Kopple at the Hotel Leo at 5 p.m. that evening, open to the public, where those attending can meet Kopple personally. Tickets for the reception include the film and interview and are $80, also available through the Mount Baker. Special thanks to Patti and Frank Imhof for sponsoring Barbara Kopple’s reception.

See an American Classic

Barbara Kopple’s “Harlan County U.S.A.,” left, documents the struggle of Kentucky coal miners in the 1970s for better working conditions.

As part of Kopple’s appearance at the festival, CASCADIA is also showing her Oscar-winning “Harlan County, U.S.A.” on Friday, May 5 at 12:30 p.m. at the Pickford Film Center. The 1976 film is a moving record of the thirteen-month struggle between Kentucky coal miners fighting to survive and a corporation dedicated to the bottom line. Kopple and her crew spent years with the families depicted in the film, documenting the dire straits they encountered while striking for safer working conditions, fair labor practices, and decent wages.

“Harlan County U.S.A.” was selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 1990 and has been designated as an American classic.

Kopple, who has long been an advocate for workers’ rights, will be on hand after the film for a Q&A with the audience.
This film is included in the festival passes. Individual tickets for the film may be purchased through CASCADIA here.  Thank you to sponsor Paul McMullen for making this screening possible.

Purchase your tickets NOW and be part of this extraordinary event at CASCADIA with this year’s Honored Guest, director Barbara Kopple.