We All We Got
We All We Got captures the poetic language of the streets: police helicopters flying over the city, music popping out of cars, people talking shit on the street corners, ambulances on the run, and preachers hollering for the violence to stop after another young man is senselessly gunned down in the streets of Chicago.
In the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the country’s recent focus on youth violence, police brutality, poverty and marginalized communities, We All We Got is an elegy for urban America. The film is an intimate portrait of people affected by violence including community activists, children and police. The film highlights the tragedy and persistence of families impacted by violence and the outpouring of support from Chicago leaders and residents working to save lives.
A Short Film by Carlos Javier Ortiz
A Thousand Midnights
2015 marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration in which six million African Americans relocated from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from 1915 to 1970. In many ways, the epic internal migration created what we now consider the modern American city, particularly Chicago.
For Blacks fleeing the south during the Great Migration, economic and racial exploitation were inextricably linked. Black Americans in search of some semblance of freedom from racial terror also longed for the opportunity to provide for their families outside the racial plunder of the Southern plantation system. In this manner, the purported racial openness of the north was believed to translate into more economic opportunity for Black migrants, their families, and future generations. However, as is the case with much of the American story, this dream remains just out of reach for many. This experimental documentary chronicles the contemporary manifestation of the economic and social histories of Black Americans who came to the north during the Great Migration in search of economic opportunities. The implications of their migration, and the lack of economic opportunity they encountered, has far reaching consequences for Black America today.