Tina Brown, Dyana Winkler
African/Af. Amer, Music, Sports
Documentary, Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary
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In Baltimore, it’s called snapping; in Texas, it’s the slow walk; in Chicago, it’s JB, in honor of James Brown. Across the country, African American communities gather to celebrate the regionally distinctive roller-skating styles they’ve developed over decades at rinks that have long stood as homes away from home. But today, those sanctuaries are closing at an average of three a month.
In this alternately pumped-up and poignant documentary, filmmakers Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown examine the history of segregation that led to the rise of dedicated “Black Nights” or “Adult Nights” at rinks nationwide. Here, kaleidoscopic moves were practiced and perfected, set to music that the whole world would eventually catch onto, from Salt-N-Pepa to Dr. Dre. To watch them onscreen is to be pulled right onto the floor with them—only to be pushed off again with the skaters at the heart of United Skates, as Phelicia, Reggie, and Buddy fight to preserve not only a beloved family tradition but an exuberant slice of American subculture.
Co-Producer Tiffany Fisher-Love and associate producer Clay Pruitt will be in attendance for the Fri. Nov. 2nd and Sat. Nov. 3rd screenings.
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