Kopkind to screen ‘East LA Interchange,’ a film on the meaning of community
Xavi Moreno in “East LA Interchange.”

Kopkind to screen ‘East LA Interchange,’ a film on the meaning of community

GUILFORD — Betsy Kalin's documentary East LA Interchange - which explores the tensions between community and “progress” - will be screened by the Kopkind Colony on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m., at the Organ Barn in Guilford.

The screening is free and open to the public and will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.

An exploration of social activism and love of place, originally workshopped at Kopkind's seminar/retreats with the Center for Independent Documentary, East LA Interchange has sparked discussion in communities large and small. This is its first showing in the Southern Vermont/Pioneer Valley region.

The film tells the story of Boyle Heights, the oldest neighborhood in East Los Angeles, a multicultural working-class community with a history both local and national. Once called “the Ellis Island of the West Coast” and now predominantly Mexican, it faced racially restrictive housing covenants, Japanese-American internment, federal redlining policies, and political indifference or disdain toward its people in the form of lack of representation and construction of the largest and busiest freeway interchange system in the U.S.

How the community has survived and changed, and the challenges it faces today, are issues central to Kalin's film. The question of whether an evolving Boyle Heights can preserve its unique culture and history while creating new opportunities for its residents amid environmental, social, and economic transformations is one communities everywhere are facing.

As The Huffington Post said in its review of the film: “Not just a story about one neighborhood, East LA Interchange is a funny, insightful, and poignant documentary that will transform how you think about living in the United States today.”

East LA Interchange, Kalin's fourth film, has won 10 audience and jury awards.

In 2016, Kalin received the LA Historical Society's J. Thomas Owen Award for illuminating the city's history. She is a featured speaker at conferences, community events, universities, and film festivals throughout the country.

Kopkind is a living memorial to the late journalist and Guilford resident Andrew Kopkind, who wrote on politics and culture until his death in 1994.

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