Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
The Arts

Documentary on the 2016 election will premiere in Brattleboro

The special screening hosted by the Brattleboro Film Festival and Latchis Theatre is scheduled for 4 p.m., with a 90-minute screening time. Director Jon Erickson will be available for a question-and-answer period afterwards. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. To see a preview of the film, visit

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Film Festival and the Latchis Theatre will host the southern Vermont premiere of the award-winning documentary film Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution on Saturday, June 3, at 4 p.m.

According to a news release, Waking the Sleeping Giant is the first feature-length documentary to tackle last year’s U.S. presidential election, chronicling the challenges and opportunities faced by a resurgent political movement on the left.

The film tells the story of five remarkable individuals wrestling with persistent racial injustice, growing economic inequality, and the corrupting influence of money in politics, all against the backdrop of the 2016 presidential race.

Filmmakers Jon Erickson, Jacob Smith, and Kathryn Goldman began filming in January 2015, following U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as he explored a potential presidential bid and then campaigned.

They also followed four other grassroots organizers: a West Virginia coal country native, a Black Lives Matter activist in Los Angeles, and two millennial organizers leading peaceful demonstrations to confront the corrupting influence of money in politics.

In the news release, the filmmakers said Waking the Sleeping Giant “makes sense of this moment in American politics, exploring widespread discontent during the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump’s dramatic electoral victory, and the challenges ahead for those building a re-energized progressive movement.”

Erickson describes his experience working on the film as a “crash course in the state of American politics,” and a reminder that, “we are a democracy that still aspires to care for and love our neighbors, all our neighbors, and all our communities.”

The feature documentary recently had its U.S. premiere at the Thin Line Fest, where it was honored as the Best Feature Documentary. The film is starting a national tour beginning in Vermont.

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.


We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

Originally published in The Commons issue #410 (Wednesday, May 31, 2017).

Share this story


Related stories