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A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone
An audience favorite at the 2015 Mill Valley Film Festival, this joy-filled portrait of Edythe Boone captures the Berkeley-based muralist as she celebrates her 75th birthday and oversees community and student projects in Oakland and San Francisco.
Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, Edythe Boone embodied that truth as an artist, an educator, and a great-grandmother. When a personal tragedy ignites a national outcry, everything that Edythe has worked so tirelessly for is at stake.
From humble Harlem beginnings herself, the indefatigable Edy has for decades introduced underserved youth and seniors to the transformative power of art. Filmed in an observational style over three years, A New Color creates an opening to see the world through Edy’s eyes and her artistic legacy commemorating the great events of her time. Those events keep coming, as we see when the death of Edy’s nephew becomes a national symbol of racist policing.
The persistence of racial inequality in this country evokes for activist artists like Edy powerful and deep questions: Have Edy’s nearly eight decades of social justice work meant something? Has it been worth the sacrifice? Can building multicultural bridges through art bring about positive change? Who will carry on her civil rights legacy?
Edy’s reaction shows the depth of her clear-eyed, compassionate commitment to building a just and peaceful community. A New Color illuminates timely social issues and shows how the work of one resilient woman reverberates throughout a community to inspire a powerful chorus: “Our lives matter and we will not be disempowered by those who judge us for our age, gender, or the color of our skin.” An intimate portrait of somebody extraordinary, Edythe’s story shows not what it is to be Black or to lose a loved one, but what it is to be human.
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