April 2, 2010 11:13 am
Steve James is traveling.
For the past month the Kartemquin director has been touring festivals across the country with his new film No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, presenting screenings in Austin at SXSW, Cleveland, Silver Spring, MD., and the Virginia peninsula in which both James and Iverson grew up. He is now back in Chicago to appear on The Interview Show tonight and present the film at the Midwest Film Festival on April 6th (read about in Time Out and the Chicago Tribune), but will then be traveling again to screenings in Durham, NC for the Full Frame Film Festival and to Sarasota, FL., and participating in a live online chat with viewers directly after the ESPN world TV premiere on April 13th.
Why is Steve James so committed to discussing the film in front of an audience? Perhaps because one of the main themes that emerges from No Crossover is that Americans, and particularly the residents of Hampton, are still very reluctant to talk about race. By taking the film across the country, James is using his documentary to open up a dialogue on this sensitive subject. It is therefore a good measure of the films impact to read blog posts like this one, taken from the AFI SilverDocs screening last week, containing this quote:
"And there we were, a group of 100+, black and white and diverse in
countless other ways (but unified in our interest in a film and a
filmmaker) talking about race – REALLY talking about it – agreeing and
disagreeing, pushing on points, relenting, listening, and maybe even (at
least for a moment, at least partially) understanding."