Documentary screening and discussion with filmmakers Richard Kane and Melody Lewis-Kane.
A new documentary I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan is said by some to be an antidote to the hatred, racism and division that our country is experiencing today. The film is about this 94-year-old creative wonder who skips and jumps in his heart like a child. Born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, Ashley’s talent was nurtured by artist Romare Bearden. Ashley was drafted out of Cooper Union into the segregated US army at age 19. He served in an all-Black battalion during World War II and preserved his humanity by drawing, stowing supplies in his gas mask. Ashley now lives on the remote Cranberry Islands, Maine, and has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith, and create loving community. He is a poet/illustrator of over 50 published children's books, and makes magical puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage. The film explores his world from the time his father “was given the mop and the broom”, (a reference to the Gordon Parks famous photograph). He quotes Marian Anderson admonishing “to keep another down you have to hold them down, and therefore cannot … soar to the potential within you.” He spreads beauty through his linocut prints exhorting “Let My People Go”. His life story and the art he makes from this wellspring of experience is an inspiration to people of all ages. www.ashleybryanfilms.org
RICHARD KANE is an independent director whose work is focused on the intersection of art and contemporary American life. His previous film release, Imber´s Left Hand, is the fifteenth in the Maine Masters collection, a New England Emmy-nominated series of portraits that airs on public television and has received the commitment of American Public Television (APT) to market the series to the 365 public television affiliates.
MELODY LEWIS-KANE is a potter, arts educator and filmmaker and is the primary consultant on all arts and education films produced by Kane-Lewis Productions. She is Richard Kane’s partner in their production company and often acts as producer and interview. For Imber’s Left Hand Melody’s role was co-producer, interviewing several subjects and participating in all editing reviews.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.