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Looking For Hope And Change After The Election? You Got To Move!

By Steven Pate in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 8, 2012 4:00PM

2012_11_07_YouGotToMove (2).png "Voting is easy and marginally useful," Howard Zinn once said, "but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens." The end of the 2012 Presidential election is the best time to remind ourselves that those issues which percolate up into our national discourse every four years do not disappear once all the votes are counted. Battles for real change are won in the off-season, and in the trenches.

Venturing outside the campaign calendar and beyond the swing/blue state bubble to witness the dedication of Southerners affiliated with the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee as they struggle to effect social change in the 1985 documentary You Got to Move seems like the perfect post-election palate cleanser. Community organizing? In the South? Believe it. Since 1932 the Highlander Center has taught people how to organize and build movements based on collective action for justice, equality and sustainability, a legacy this documentary explores through interviews with Highlander-educated individuals whose stories of change will inspire you.

On Sunday, the Northwest Chicago Film Society will be screening the only known 16mm print of the film, plucked from a University fire sale by distributor Milliarium Zero, to mark the re-release of the documentary on DVD in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of Highlander. Film Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, an Alabama native who attended an interracial youth camp sponsored by Highlander in 1961, will be on hand to discuss his experiences with the institution, which he says he respects "more than any other educational institution I’ve ever been affiliated with, either as a student or as a teacher."

A film that, as NCFS programmer Kyle Westphal says, "anyone who came of age politically in the era of and 'Yes, We Can' needs to see," You've Got To Move looks inspiring in the best way. As an opportunity to fend off post-election politics fatigue, we couldn't ask for much more.

You Got to Move screens 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 at Cinema Borealis, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., 4th Floor. The suggested donation is $10.