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Program 32: The Cooperative Movement - 'A Silent Transformation' at Penn South Co-Op, Shorts

  • Penn South Community Screening Room 339 West 24th Street New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)

Resilience At the Roots - This short documentary follows a community in El Salvador who, after fleeing government repression and spending a decade in exile, returned to their country to rebuild their lives in the coastal lowland areas surrounding the Bay of Jiquilisco. But their challenges were not over: in 1998 Hurricane Mitch hit, and other severe storms followed, washing away homes, destroying crops, and burying the community in rising waters. They recognized that these storms were linked to climate change and loss of protective mangrove forests, and so began to organize. Today, the movement they started has succeeded in creating a network of vibrant, democratic communities that protect and restore their natural resources and ecosystems, and has grown into one of the most successful global organizing models working for climate justice. (2017, 14 min, El Salvador)

Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied! - In Honduras, the most dangerous country in the world to be a land defender, Berta Cáceres’ death has not silenced the many campesinxs fighting for justice, Indigenous Sovereignty, and the planet. Instead her murder inspired an international movement whose powerful chants have spread across the globe: “Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied!” From 2010 to 2017, 124 environmental leaders were assassinated for defending the environment and Indigenous rights in Honduras. This is the story of those who will not surrender. This poignant and heart wrenching account of the legacy of Berta Cáceres—fearless world renowned Indigenous leader—exposes the brutality of the fight to privatize mother earth. But even through death, Berta could not be silenced. Berta’s struggle is universal and her murder ignited an international movement for justice that resounds around the world. (2017, 10 min, Honduras)

Knife Skills - What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade?

Knife Skills follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. In this improbable setting, with its mouthwatering dishes and its arcane French vocabulary, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant’s founder, who is also dogged by his past.  They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives — an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part.  (2017, 40 min)

A Silent Transformation - A film about the transformative power of the co-operative model.  The co-operative movement was built by people who took on the responsibility for their collective well-being in the face of government neglect, economic exclusion and cultural discrimination. As the modern economy increasingly denies vast sectors of the population basic amenities for decent life, this co-operative spirit is as critical as ever.  However, over the years the co-op sector has become insular and poorly understood.

A Silent Transformation sets out to explore the innovative self-help efforts of diverse communities across the Province of Ontario, which by addressing their needs collectively are helping to regain the radical vision of co-operation. In these communities are the seeds of economic democracy, global solidarity, and a new popular movement to transform society!

Will it grow and flourish?  (2017, 70 min, Canada)