Truly, now everything and anything can be perceived as racist.
In the documentary Racist Trees, a Black community unites against a line of trees that separates the neighborhood from a city golf course in Palm Springs. Communities clashed against one another for the shrubs and trees, but the history of Palm Springs may suggest otherwise about these trees.
Here is the full synopsis:
Can trees be racist?
A liberal desert town, a majority-Black neighborhood, and a line of Tamarisk trees take center stage in the insightful and heated documentary Racist Trees.
Seen as a symbol of segregation, the Tamarisk trees dividing the golf course from the Crossley tract in Palm Springs cast a large shadow over the neighborhood. Sick of being separated from the rest of the town, the residents launch a campaign to uproot this natural and potentially racist barrier. Directors Sarah Newens and Mina T. Son guide audiences through the complicated web of this heated controversy, giving unique insight into the battle that quickly gained national attention. Rectifying the community’s past mistakes with the removal of the trees in 2018, local elected officials and homeowners in the Lawrence Crossley neighborhood converse if this was truly about race, or just a big misunderstanding.
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LRM Online’s Gig Patta spoke with the directors Sara Newens and Mina T. Son about the documentary. We talked about the research, controversy, and effort to bring a balanced look at these trees.
Sara Newens and Mina T. Son co-directed the sports documentary Top Spin about the 2012 U.S. Olympic table tennis team. Newens also directed shorts with L.A. Stories, Footprint, and Tanglewood. Last year, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for editing Allen v. Farrow. Son also directed films such as Making Noise in Silence, An Architect’s Vision, and The Final Chapter.
Racist Trees documentary makes its North American premiere tomorrow night, January 7th, at the Palm Spring International Film Festival. For ticket information, visit the film festival’s site here.
Watch the exclusive interview with Sara Newens and Mina T. Son below. Let us know what you think of the interview.