raúl r salinas and the Poetry of Liberation is an hour long documentary that takes us on a trip through the life Xicanindio poet/activist raúlrsalinas’ and a changing nation told through “medicine stories,” poetry, and the rhythm of jazz. This story examines, the social/political forces that transformed a man from petty criminal to a poet of the people and revolutionary. raúl’s journey includes transformative moments when, he directly engaged the oppressive forces that were attempting to destroy his own life and the people he loved.
His narrative runs through Jim Crow Texas of the 40’s an 50’s, to the trails of migrant workers to the prison rights movement, to the Chicano and American Indian movement with the defense of Leonard Peltier, Cuba, the United Nations in Geneva, to Nicaragua and finally raúl’s years in Austin nurturing the voices of young poets and incarcerated youth. Raul’s story and poetry is a testament to the times when Native people in the United States and Latin American rose up against oppression and colonization and found radical transformation in their quest for liberation.
Through raúl’s story and poetry, in the context of history, we see both the evolution of a true American poet and the birth of new political force in the American politics of resistance movements. This film is currently in production and has recieved funding from ITVS, Humanities Texas and the NALAC Fund for the Arts, supported in part by the Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase.
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