Shadowgram is a movie about the memory of the African Americans living in the USA. 50 years after the abolition of the ignominious Jim Crow’s Laws, what has changed? Did something really change? Who does remember how it was? Which is now days evolution of the African American community? Their hopes, their dreams, their will? Starting from investigations made in Chicago’s South Side, still one of the hardest US’ regions for African Americans, Shadowgram will try to answer to those questions, and to discover hopes, opportunities and chances in today's America. The film features a cross-section of people - a psychiatrist, an administrator, a teacher and a hip hop artist to name a few -, who reminisce about their childhoods, reflect on the hopes of generations gone by and their influence on current daily life. In uncovering the changes in their lives upon their arrival in Chicago, for the older generations, or what it meant to be born out of the reach of Jim Crow laws, or even after the Civil Rights Act for the younger generation.
“If you are not nurturing the next generation, if you’re not passing on some light of truth to somebody, then your life is just about money. That’s perishable. What’s not perishable is what’s eternal. It’s the spirit you send to somebody else. That spirit that you give to someone else. About freedom, about love, about sharing, about community, that’s what’s important. To say you’re important, you’re just as important as I am. You can be somebody, you can be the best. You may not have a billion dollars, so what, what you’re going to do with that dollar you have. I mean you can do a lot with the money you have. This is what we got to get back to, not letting media tell us what we need. You don’t need to have a room built to put your shoes in. A closet bigger than some people’s houses.” (Margaret Caples)
“Racism is not about pigment, it’s about power, just like rape has nothing to do with sex. Only power. Sarajevo they all look pretty much alike, Rwanda, pretty much alike. North and South Korea has nothing to do. Even with racial cleansing has nothing to do with pigment.” (George Manning)
“For my family and for the vast majority of blacks in America, it doesn’t go back further than two or three generations. Definitely it doesn’t go back further than slavery, because when we were brought here, we were given other people’s names. Like my last name is Bowens, that’s a German name. For me it was always understood that we didn’t really know, that we don’t have ton of information about our family, past my grandmother, so we have to kinda look to other families to connect the dots, to compose the puzzle. That’s indicative for a lot of black people. We just don’t know who we are!” (Cristelle Bowing)
Augusto Contento was born Jan. 22, 1973, in Lanciano (Chieti). He takes care of the artistic and creative within Cineparllax. Since 2000 he lives in Paris. His first movie, "Onibus", gets the prize for best documentary at the Italian Festival in Bellaria. The second and third film "Tramas" and "Roads Transparent" are both selected in Locarno and Buenos Aires. "Roads of Water" opened the 2012 Rome Film Festival, at the presence of Mme Danielle Mitterand and gets the Worldwide Patronage by UNESCO. His sixth film Parallax Sounds gets the Ucca prize at the Festival of Turin and is selected to the festival Reykiavyk. With Red Ashes, in 2013, he was invited for the third time at the Locarno Film Festival. In 2016 he finalizing two new documentaries : Shadowgram and La Stella Oltre il Mulino.
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