THE ORCHESTRA CHUCK BUILT + THIS IS NATIONAL WAKE
THIS IS NATIONAL WAKE
In 1979, South Africa’s fascist regime kept blacks and whites separate and unequal. But three young men, black sibling musicians from Soweto, and a white guitarist from Johannesburg’s Jewish side, dared to launch National Wake. In a time and place where it was illegal for them to play or live together, their band and its fans fought back with music, smashing every law to rebel. THIS IS NATIONAL WAKE immerses viewers in a utopian journey, whose lasting lessons about imagining an anti-racist world resound as today as this band’s rollicking sound. Steeped in previously unseen footage of a 1970s anti-racist counterculture that few know existed, this debut feature reveals a band whose music and memories comprise a profound meditation on how history is lived through art and in our minds.
By Mirissa Neff
THE ORCHESTRA CHUCK BUILT
In 2016, the League of American Orchestras conducted a study that revealed a shocking statistic: only 1.8% of the professional orchestra workforce in the US is Black. From an old church rec room in the inner city of Los Angeles, former lawyer-turned-conductor Chuck Dickerson is on a mission to change that. Through ICYOLA - The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, the largest majority Black orchestra in the country, Chuck is creating life-changing opportunities for his community that did not previously exist. The Orchestra Chuck Built is a loving portrait of a tireless mentor and a testament to the transformative power of music.
By Christopher Stoudt
Documentary Short Film