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Tonsler Park

September 18, 2018

Tonsler Park

(Dir. Kevin Jerome Everson, 2017)

Los Angeles premiere!
Co-presented by MUBI!


7:00 PM


7:30 PM


Downtown Independent
251 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

This  portrait of the black staff members in the polling station at Tonsler  Park in Charlottesville, Virginia was filmed during the US Presidential  Election Day on November 8, 2016, the day when the battle between Donald  Trump and Hillary Clinton was decided. Kevin Jerome Everson records the  staff taking an oath, seeing rows of voters pass as they hand out  voting slips, while no one seems aware of the camera that is standing  there motionless. Conversations change to hubbub, backs block the  camera’s view ––this is democracy in practice and every vote counts.

Everson is a very productive filmmaker who has made countless short and  long films about the work culture of black Americans. His choice for  this location is not without significance: Tonsler Park is named after  Benjamin Tonsler, a local Afro-American school director who continued to  teach older Afro-American pupils against the law in the era of  segregation. (IFFR)

Screening presented with the participation of Trilobite-Arts DAC and Picture Palace Pictures.

A careful study of people at work, positioned at the intersection of race and politics. This is the cinema we need.

- Erika Balsom, Artforum

Instead  of being another film in Everson’s oeuvre that focuses on the processes  and practices of everyday life for black Americans, Tonsler Park has acquired a level of monumentality.

- Helen de Witt, Sight & Sound

A  work of great beauty, simplicity, and hope... An act of artistic and  political clout that should run as a permanent installation on museum  walls across the country in a continuous loop.

- Tony Pipolo, Artforum

Everson’s films are examples of just how fiercely cinema’s plain vernacular can be rooted in politics. Tonsler Park softly  plays out such monumental concerns over the fate of the political  system, access and power in the US from the micro-level.

- Ela Bittencourt, Frieze

Reveals  itself beautifully and with incremental, unexpectedly moving force. Mr.  Everson is asking you to look, really look, and he is asking you to  think, including about documentary cinema’s history of representing  black people as problems.

- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

(Available to download after screening date)

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