The Purépecha Kicks Off The “Searching for Democracy” Film Festival at LB Public Library

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purpechaThe community is invited to attend the “Searching for Democracy” film festival, which showcases free, though-provoking movies on selected Saturday afternoons at the Main Library auditorium, 101 Pacific Ave. in Long Beach. This film series is designed to provide people with many different ways to explore how the humanities provide insights and opportunities to have conversations that matter about the needs and state of our democracy. The following upcoming showings include interactive panels with community discussions.

This Saturday, September 15 at 2 pm
As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the library presents two short films. The first film documents Long Beach sixth-grader Stephanie Maldonado’s summer spent exploring in the lives of the Purépecha Indians in the Coachella Valley. This 30-minute documentary, titled “The Purepécha: Poorest of the Poor,” impressed both First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, who wrote letters to Stephanie congratulating her on her work.

The second film, “Tanto Tiempo: So Much Time,” is a narrative story on how a Latina learns what it means to “fit-in.” Selected as winner of the Hispanic Film Project, via MCA/Universal and The National Hispanic Media Coalition, it is the story of a young Mexican-American woman and her Mexican mother who address what it means to be both Mexican and American. Both films were produced and directed by Cheryl Quintana Leader.

Coming Soon!
October 13 at 2 pm
The “Manzanar Fishing Club,” a feature-length documentary, chronicles the Japanese-American internment during World War II from a different perspective. It features people who took the risk to seek out fishing grounds in the Eastern Sierras despite the armed guards, barbed wire and searchlights. The evacuees’ personal stories go beyond the confinement itself, and instead highlight values of courage, responsibility and cooperation that enable the human spirit to survive in difficult times. Interviews with noted experts provide new insights into the social political backdrop of the internment. This is the untold story of those who refuse to knuckle under and risked it all in order to go fishing just like other ordinary Americans.

October 20 at 10:30 am
Thanks to the Junior League of Long Beach, the Long Beach Public Library will be presenting the film “Finding Kind.” Two girls packed their bags and traveled across America in a mini-van with their mothers to interview hundreds of females about the “mean girl” phenomenon. As Lauren and Molly combine their experiences and passion to uncover the truth within Girl World, the girls learn about themselves, about females, the truth behind the issue, and our culture’s influence. The journey is packed with hysterical moments as the girls attempt to conquer the road and everything America has to offer. While there are plenty of fun moments, their emotional roller coaster around the country reveals raw and personal stories from girls that will shock you to your core. With the goal of establishing a national school program for girls, Lauren and Molly hope to put an end to the hate and find kindness.

Later that afternoon at 2 pm join us for some “Games” and a film that may make you “Hunger” for Democracy.

The non-profit organization Cal Humanities launched “Searching for Democracy,” a statewide initiative designed to animate public conversation on the very nature of democracy through a wide range of public programs leading into the 2012 elections and beyond.

These California Reads events are made possible with support from Cal Humanities, in partnership with California Center for the Book. Visit for more information. In addition, the Library would like to thank some of our many partners in this endeavor including the Junior League of Long Beach, Long Beach Harbor Pioneer Project, Friends of the Long Beach Public Library, Signal Hill Public Library, and Long Beach Public Library Foundation.

Long Beach is one of 51 public library jurisdictions across the state of California that received grants. The Library received $15,000 for a California Reads grant from Cal Humanities (formerly the California Council for the Humanities) to host a reading, discussion, display, and author series.

Long Beach Public Library, founded in 1896, serves a diverse urban city of nearly half a million people. The Long Beach Public Library system includes Main Library, eleven unique Neighborhood Libraries, and a vibrant online presence. With an emphasis on providing free and equal access to information and support for lifelong learning, the Library offers books, media, downloads, databases, Internet access, and Family Learning Centers. This also includes storytimes, cultural events and movie screenings. For information on this or other Long Beach Public Library services and events, please call 562.570.7500 or visit

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