By Post Staff
Oakland is featured in a powerful new film, “Bottled Spirits,” premiering at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on Sept. 2.
Three Black artists who live and work in Oakland — actress Margo Hall, writer Cat Brooks, and director Elizabeth Carter — teamed up with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and International Production Company Black Lives Black Words to bring to life this tale of Oakland’s soul.
With an almost all-Black cast and crew, “Bottled Spirits” tells the story of 50-something Louise, a native of West Oakland, a community once known as the Harlem of the West. Gentrification has turned her beloved community into unfriendly and unrecognizable territory, and the weight of being Black in America now threatens to crush her.
She straps on the daily armor of alcohol, cigarettes, and a sharp tongue to block out the constant ache of losing everything that ever mattered. On this day, however, a door she has been banging on for years magically opens, an ancestor arrives to help, and Louise battles her demons — and herself — in a desperate attempt to find the courage to walk the difficult path toward redemption.
The film is the first installment of the Black Lives, Black Words’ Films for the People series.
Said lead actress Margo Hall, “Working on Bottled Spirits allowed me to channel all of the souls of West Oakland. To be inside Esther’s Orbit, and to sit on 7th street where the Panthers marched-ignited something inside of me, that was familiar, frightening, and exalting. I was transported and transformed. Louise is now in me.”
Cat Brooks, writer, said: “This is my love letter to Oakland. I am so grateful to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Black Lives Black Words for this opportunity. Most importantly, I am grateful to this town for embracing me, sharing its stories and struggles with me and allowing me the privilege of calling Oakland home.”
Director Elizabeth Carter said: “I am beyond thrilled to be directing “Bottled Spirits” for Films for the People. This effort conceived by Black Lives Black Words International Project (Simellia Hodge-Dalloway and Reginald Edmunds) and co-produced with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Nataki Garrett) is a dream come true.
You can watch a live steam showing of the film, Friday 2, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m. at
https://www.stellartickets.com/…/films-for-the-people. Tickets are $20.
For more information: http://www.osfashland.org/productions/2022-digital/films-for-the-people
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