“Tent City,” a new short film (28 minutes) that comes out of Oakland, tells the story of a man who ends up living on the streets when he falls into a deep depression after his wife dies from cancer.
The film by Writer/Director Adimu “WolfHawkJaguar” Madyun, follows the struggle of a young girl as she and family members hunt for her homeless dad, Cicero Jacobs, who has disappeared into Oakland’s growing homeless encampments. Lead actor Sizwe Andrews-Abakah plays Jacobs, and Abakah’s real-life daughter, Saba Andrews- Abakah, plays Siriyah, who is searching for her father.
Dealing with the anguish that one family is facing, the film resonates with the challenges and pain that so many families are facing daily as they struggle to survive in a country without a safety net. “Tent City highlights the impact of unprocessed grief on mental health in America, the toll that gentrification has taken on the city of Oakland (and nationwide) and ignites a call to action to reclaim our humanity in the midst of our ever changing world,” according to the filmmakers’ website.
“In a city of tents, every tent has a story,” the website says.
The film was shot on a tight budget over three days at the end of 2018, utilizing a rented top-quality video camera, said Madyun. “We were able to come together, putting up the money ourselves. It was a kind of magical journey.”
A number of the members of the team who made the film, including Madyun and Sizwe Andrews-Abakah, have years of experience working as teachers and implementing restorative justice programs with young people in Oakland. Abakah is founder of Spearitwurx at spearitwurx. com
Some of the others who have been involved in the film are: Tina Bathsheba Harambe, who plays Ms. High Tower, a social worker looking for answers why Jacob’s daughter was never picked up after school on the day he went missing; director of photography Luis Montoya; King Oba Ogunlano; ShakaJamal; and Ayodele Nzinga.
There will be a screening of “Tent City” at the Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Ave., on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Brotherhood of Elders Network is partnering with the Tent City team to sponsor the Grand Lake Theater showing.
For more information on the movie or to purchase tickets, go to tentcitythemovie.com