Jen's Green Journal

Adventures left of the norm

23rd-Jan-2006 12:17 pm - No Umbrella: Election Day in the City

I attended a screening for Shorts Program II as part of the Sundance Film Festival here in Salt Lake City yesterday - it was an excellent collection of films, although one of the films, "Range" did not appear in the program. I'm not sure if there were some technical difficulties with the film.

The next to the last short film of the set, No Umbrella: Election Day in the City was especially fascinating to the part of me interested in politics and our electoral system. An 80 year-old black city council woman, Fannie Lewis, arrives at her polling place in Cleveland, Ohio on November 2, 2004 to find people waiting in long lines, with not enough voting booths or officials.

Fanny gets to work immediately, making phone call after phone call trying to get more voting booths, then election officials, and then finally the voting inserts for the booths to get the long lines moving.

She points to a recent redistricting map that shows how unevenly the voting precincts have been drawn, in this case most inequitably in predominantly black communities.

This film is a fascinating look at our voting system and politicians, but especially of Fannie Lewis - an amazing woman and leader. I wish I could vote for someone like her, she knows how to get things done and doesn't care about performing for the cameras or the voters, unlike some of the other politicians we see briefly in the film.

This film would be an excellent addition to some of the free political film screenings we have here in Salt Lake as election day draws nearer.