The Oberlin Review

Afrikan Heritage House faculty and residents hold an Umoja meeting over Zoom, as shown in the documentary

“Boxes Will Be Provided” Challenges Oberlin to Do More For Black Students

July 9, 2020

When the College moved to remote learning this past spring, students enrolled in the Historic and Contemporary Debates in African American Education course knew they had to document the experience. Their documentary Boxes Will Be Provided felt like a necessary step in recording the impact of COVID-19 on Black Obies. Director and editor DaQuan Williams, OC ’20, had very little experience in film-making prior to embarking on this project, which clocks in at roughly two and a half hours and invol...

Frank Dawson.

Frank Dawson, “Agents of Change” Director

November 22, 2019

Frank Dawson is the current dean of the Center for Media and Design at Santa Monica College. He’s had a long career in entertainment, working as an associate programming executive at CBS and a production executive at Universal’s Television Division. Dawson earned his Bachelor’s in Sociology from Cornell University and his Master of Science degree in Television and Radio from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. During his time at Cornell, Dawson and other student activists made national ne...

A still from the recent documentary 35 Days, a short film detailing the Oberlin community’s experience of the January government shutdown.

Short Film Documents Government Shutdown in Oberlin

April 5, 2019

In just 12 minutes, the documentary film 35 Days explores the challenges presented by the government shutdown this past January and the Oberlin community’s response. The film shows the perspectives of local air traffic controllers who worked without pay and Oberlin Community Services staff who contended with food insecurity, which was exacerbated in the shutdown’s wake. It also recounts how businesses like Slow Train Cafe and IGA supported their fellow community members through this challeng...

Danielle Miller (left) and Julia Thorndike, directors of Burn The Ships, a documentary
about the Akron Racers that screened at the Apollo Theatre Wednesday.

In The Locker Room with Danielle Miller and Julia Thorndike, Documentarians

October 27, 2017

This week, the Review sat down with Burn the Ships (2017) directors Danielle Miller and Julia Thorndike. The film follows the Akron Racers, a professional softball team in the National Pro Fastpitch (the only league of its kind in America) as they compete against the other four teams in the league, while also struggling to stay afloat amidst poor player retention and low salaries. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. How did you both get into making films, and how did you get to be ...

DJ Savarese, OC ’17, returned to Oberlin Sunday night for a screening of his documentary Deej, which follows his experiences over the past six years and advocates for civil rights and accessibility for autistic people.

“Deej” Highlights Interdependence, Challenges Assumptions

October 6, 2017

The lights dim. An image of hands typing on a laptop keyboard appears on the screen. A digital voice narrates the scene as it dissolves into an animation of a poem. This is Deej, the autobiographical documentary by DJ “Deej” Savarese, OC ’17, whose art speaks to autistic civil rights and universal inclusion. Dye Lecture Hall was nearly full Sunday night, when the film made its Oberlin College debut. Afterward, Savarese answered questions about the film, his life, and work. Throughout the fil...

Matt Blankinship, OC ’17, fifth-year Thanisa Durongkaveroj, and Anna Treidler, OC ’17, spoke about their experiences in Thailand at a screening of their documentaries about Thailand’s education system Saturday night.

Peanut Sauce Film Project Explores Thai Education System

September 8, 2017

The Peanut Sauce Project 2560, a documentary project with an eye toward the education system in Thailand and the marginalized groups within it, presented three documentaries in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space Friday night. The project was organized by double-degree fifth-year Thanisa Durongkaveroj, who was joined by Matt Blankinship, OC ’17, Anna Treidler, OC ’17, and collaborator Bitong Suchritt. Durongkaveroj, Blankinship, and Treidler were all in attendance at Friday night’s ...

Russian Documentary Highlights Narrative of Resistance

Julia Peterson, Production editor

February 24, 2017

The images from Pussy Riot’s protest performances are iconic — women in multicolored balaclavas climbing on top of subway trains and scaffolding or using iconic public places as an impromptu stage, waving flags and smoke flares, playing loud guitar riffs and singing about corruption in the Russian government. The Russian feminist punk group was founded in August of 2011, when group members Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina (Katya) Samutsevich gave a presentation on feminist art and decided that, since there weren’t enough Russian musical protest groups to talk about, they should create one. The documentary Pussy versus Putin, which was screened at the Apollo Theatre on Wednesday, was produced by the Russ...

Joshua Pribanic is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. His first documentary, Triple Divide, covers fracking in Pennsylvania.

Off the Cuff: Joshua Pribanic, Journalist and Filmmaker

April 22, 2016

Joshua B. Pribanic is a photographer, investigative journalist, artist and filmmaker. He co-founded the Public Herald, an investigative journalism nonprofit, and co-directed the documentary Triple Divide. The film, which was screened last Wednesday as part of the Ecolympics series, covers the water contamination and health effects rural Pennsylvanians face as a result of fracking. Pribanic is currently the editor-in-chief of the Public Herald in Pittsburgh, PA. His work in investigative journali...

Director Penny Lane discusses the process of digging through archival materials to compile the documentary Our Nixon, which screened Tuesday night in Dye Lecture Hall. The film utilized Super 8 footage taken by President Nixon’s aides to showcase a more personal aspect of his presidency.

‘Our Nixon’ Film Provides Glimpse Behind White House Doors

April 4, 2014

Documentary films occupy an awkward spot, teetering uncomfortably in the space between art and reality, but not quite at home in either category. Archival documentary, patched together from material already available in a film library or archive, only compounds this difficulty, since the filmmaker does not even produce the footage, but merely edits it into a palatable form. Penny Lane’s awardwinning all-archival documentary Our Nixon, which screened Tuesday night in Dye Lecture Hall in an event ...

Sundance Film Humanizes Late-Term Abortion Seekers

Logan Buckley, Staff Writer

February 21, 2014

Too often, the heated debate over abortion policies focuses on ambiguous medical arguments about fetal pain or sweeping declarations about morality that ignore the stories of women and other female-bodied individuals who choose to have abortions. In an effort to combat this, Students United for Reproductive Freedom and the Oberlin College Democrats screened the documentary After Tiller in Dye Lecture Hall on the night of Feb. 13. Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s documentary, a 2013 Sundance Film Festival selection, works to redress imbalance in the public conversation about abortion with a powerful, tragic and moving look at the doctors who perform late-term abortions and the people who undergo them. The film’s title ...

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