Mr. Donté Clark visits McClymonds
Premier Movie screening of Romeo is Bleeding
by Leah Jensen, Teacher Librarian, McClymond's High School
On Thursday, May 5, poet laureate of Richmond, CA, Mr. Donté Clark visited our scholars in the McClymonds Library Commons. His visit was scheduled as a follow up to the premier movie screening of 'Romeo is Bleeding'.
Romeo Is Bleeding is a 2015 documentary film directed by Jason Zeldes focusing on poets and students of Richmond, California as they prepare an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet based on the decades-long violent conflict between the neighborhoods of North and Central Richmond. The film explores the sources of this conflict and includes voices from citizens, city government, and the Richmond police department.
The primary focus of the film is poet Donté Clark. It premiered April 29, 2015 as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival at the El Cerrito High School theater where the play, Té's Harmony, was originally produced. The Mercury News, in an article about the festival, called Romeo Is Bleeding "one of the best in the bunch."
Three classes attended the premier on Monday, May 2, in the LIbrary Commons, to view Romeo Is Bleeding. Student reactions across the board were extremely favorable. At the end of the premier, Mr. Clark came out and was greeted by an awed audience. The interaction between the students and Mr. Clark besieged an intense and raw emotion of energy. Sometimes there was a just a hum of silence bellowing with a connectedness of stares, nods, smiles and presence. Questions from the audience were mindful, deep, authentic and curious.
"Have a you ever seen a dead body before?", asked one student.
"No, I haven't, but..." The death of a particular loved one gifted him with a very valuable lesson. For the rest of the response and it's powerful message, watch the video below.
We certainly were not going to let Mr. Clark go without hearing his art. Check out Mr. Clark's spoken word in action. One word: incredible.