Nat Bates for Mayor


Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1:00pm
Missouri History Museum

“Nat Bates for Mayor” tells the story of the outrageous 2014 mayor's race in Richmond, home to the second-largest refinery in California. In a brazen move, Chevron spends more than $3 million to back 83-year-old African-American stalwart Nat Bates. Bates makes a Faustian bargain with the city’s corporate behemoth in a cagey attempt to preserve the longstanding but waning power of Richmond’s black working-class community. The election pits black against white and pro-development forces against eco-friendly progressives in a pitched David vs. Goliath battle. The unusual questions: Who qualifies as David? Is Nat Bates a savior or a stooge? Offering a wild, entertaining ride, “Nat Bates for Mayor” chronicles a race that includes a dizzying array of offbeat, bigger-than-life small-town pols. Featuring cameos by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and civil-rights leader Andrew Young, the documentary provocatively explores important issues — corporate influence, race, gentrification, homophobia, and political self-determination — with humor and insight.

75 min.

Directed by

Bradley Berman & Eric Weiss

Film Category

Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television Race in America: The Black Experience
With co-directors Berman and Weiss, and Leah Merrifield, Washington U.’s associate vice chancellor for community engagement and St. Louis college-readiness initiatives.