Romeo Is Bleeding


Monday, Nov. 9 at 7:10pm
Tivoli Theatre

A fatal turf war between neighborhoods haunts the Bay Area city of Richmond, Calif. Donté Clark transcends the violence in his hometown by writing poetry about his experiences. Using his voice to inspire those around him, he and the like-minded youth of the city mount an urban adaptation of Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet,” with the hope of starting a real dialogue about violence in the city. The evolution of the charismatic Clark’s adaptation -- rewritten in street vernacular and made specific to the situation in Richmond -- provides the film’s narrative spine, but the documentary pays equal attention to the bleak circumstances of his city, chronicling the gang-related violence and turf wars, capturing the heartbreak and insanity of so many young lives lost. Several times in the film, it’s revealed that subjects who appeared earlier have just been shot dead, and a particularly devastating sequence explores the personal ramifications of the murder of one of Clark’s protégés. Will Richmond force Clark to compromise his idealistic ambitions? Or will Clark help end Richmond's cycle of trauma

U.S., 2015, 93 min.

Directed by

Jason Zeldes

Film Category

Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Race in America: The Black Experience

With subject Clark and producer Michael Klein.