No Time to Waste, a documentary centered on Richmond’s own living legend, Betty Reid Soskin, is set for its highly anticipated release later this month, according to Rosie the Riveter Trust.
The 50-minute documentary film examines the life and rise to national prominence of the still-active 97-year-old National Park Service ranger. It will first be screened in the Mission Blue Chapel at Cavallo Point in Marin on Monday, Sept. 23. The show will begin at 6 p.m. with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception.
A second screening will occur Oct. 5 at the Mill Valley Film Festival’s Mind the Gap Summit. Additional screenings will occur in Richmond, Sonoma and San Francisco between October and January 2020, according to Rosie the Riveter Trust.
The showings will lead up to Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park’s 20th Anniversary celebration, which launches in January 2020.
According to Rosie the Riveter Trust, the nonprofit that supports the national park on Richmond’s waterfront, the documentary “captures Betty Reid Soskin’s fascinating life pathway — from the experiences of a young worker in a WWII segregated union hall, through her multi-faceted career as a singer, activist, mother, legislative representative and park planner to her present public role.”
Here’s further description:
“Launched into the public eye by the government shut down in 2013, when media sought her out as the nation’s oldest furloughed national park ranger, Betty Soskin captured attention with her clearly articulated frustration that gridlocked legislators were wasting her precious time to do important work.
At the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, on the Richmond waterfront, Betty illuminates the invisible histories of African Americans and other people of color, and her efforts, charted in the film, demonstrate how her work has impacted the way the National Park Service conveys such history to audiences across the U.S.
She is elegant and incisive in conveying hard truths to a wide audiences and in telling a story about the value of American democracy, the realities of the African American struggle and the importance of continuing progress. Throughout the film, her remarkable sense of humor shines through, and her humility in the face of her task.
Film Director, Carl Bidleman, fell in love with Betty’s message while visiting the park one day, and began to follow her on her bus tour with a hand-held camera. Rosie the Riveter Trust then commissioned Digital Story Company to do more. The final film, shot in the highest quality 4k film format by Cinematographer Stefan Ruenzel, is what Executive Co-Producers Marsha Mather-Thrift and Doug McConnell describe as “a remarkable labor of love.” Digital Story Company is known for its television series, Open Road, featured on NBC Bay Area.
Sponsors of the film include the Berkeley Film Foundation, the East Bay Community Foundation, the East Bay Fund for Artists, Kaiser Permanente, and the National Parks Conservation Association.”
By Kathy Chouteau
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