Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2005
Race is the place
Pays concerné : États-Unis
Durée : 91 minutes
Genre : musical
Type : documentaire


Réalisateurs : Raymond Telles & Rick Tejada-Flores

USA, 1h31min, documentaire

Commentaire : Amiri Baraka.

Ahmed Ahmed / Comédien né en Egypte
Amiri Baraka / Poète
Andy Bumatai / Comédien Philipino-hawaïen,
Culture Clash (Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza) / Groupe travaillant à explorer les différences culturelles et raciales à travers le théâtre, la comédie et la satire.
Kamau Daaood / Poéte et écrivain
Mayda del Valle / Slammeuse et poète porto Ricaine qui a grandi à Chicago.
Michael Franti / Artiste interprète et militant
Eduardo « Lalo » Guerrero / interprète et écrivain, « père de la musique chicano ». Guerrero est mort en mars 2005, à l’âge de 88 ans.
Barry « Shabaka » Henley / Acteur
Danny Hoch / Acteur, dramaturge et réalisateur
James Luna / Artiste interprète
Kate Rigg / Ecrivaine et Artiste interprète Canado-Indonésienne
Raymond « Boots » Riley / Musicien et poète
Beau Sia / Artiste interprète, poète écrivain. D’origine chinoise.
Piri Thomas / Artiste interprète, poète écrivain
Haunani-Kay Trask / Universitaire et poète


RACE IS THE PLACE offers a new and compelling look at one of the most explosive issues in America today. This video performance documentary presents a bold, lyrical, and often poetical montage of performances by established artists and up-and-coming young talent from minority communities who use words-spoken, sung or chanted-to get their message across.

Each explores racism and its continued survival in this country, and each finds a new and innovative way to engage audiences and challenge them to think beyond our traditional conceptions, viewing race through the lens of creativity and performance to stimulate throught and debate.

Artists include Piri Thomas, Amiri Baraka, Mayda del Valle, Michael Franti, Faith Ringgold, Michael Ray Charles, Culture Clash, Beau Sia, Andy Bumatai and more…

Funny, angry and profound, RACE IS THE PLACE is a visual and verbal riff on race in America from a wide variety of artists, poets, rappers, performance artists and stand-up comics. Featuring established artists as well as up-and-comers, RACE IS THE PLACE is a one-hour jam that combines racially charged clips from old movies with interviews and performances. These pieces dare to examine one of the most emotionally explosive issues in American life, busting stereotypes by using humor and poetry to say things traditionally left unsaid.

Directed by Raymond Telles & Rick Tejada-Flores, USA, 91min, documentary, English

Features archival footage and commentary from poet laureate Amiri Baraka.

Race is the Place from herb u. ferrette, II on Vimeo.

The Performers

Ahmed Ahmed
Ahmed, an Egyptian-born comedian, now makes Los Angeles his base. He has appeared in movies and television shows such as Roseanne, Swingers and MTV’s Punk’d.

Amiri Baraka
The former poet laureate of New Jersey, Baraka is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose. He taught in the Department of Africana Studies at SUNY-Stony Brook for 20 years and has been a writer and activist for decades.

Andy Bumatai
Bumatai is a Hawaiian-Filipino comedian and writer who performs on stage and television in Hawaii and on the mainland. He has toured with many performers around the United States, and has six albums of stand-up comedy.

Culture Clash
Culture Clash (Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza) formed in the Bay Area in 1984 as a group dedicated to exploring cultural and racial differences through theater, comedy and satire. Their show A Bowl of Beings debuted on PBS’ Great Performances in 1992, and led to their own self-titled comedy show on Fox. They have also published a book, Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy, containing the scripts for three of their shows.

Kamau Daaood
Daaood is a poet, writer and co-founder of Los Angeles’ World Stage. He is also a community arts activist, and the subject of the autobiographical documentary Life is a Saxophone.

Mayda del Valle
The youngest person ever to win the National Poetry Slam competition, Del Valle is a Puerto Rican poet raised in Chicago. She appeared on Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.

Michael Franti
A performer and activist in San Francisco for two decades, Franti was a member of the socially conscious groups The Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy before founding Spearhead in 1994. Spearhead also organized the annual « Power to the Peaceful » mega-concerts in Golden Gate Park, and has toured around the world, sharing stages with artists from Ani DiFranco to KRS-One.

Eduardo « Lalo » Guerrero
Guerrero is a performer, writer and the « father of Chicano music. » Born in Tucson, Arizona, he recorded dozens of albums and was named a National Folk Treasure by the Smithsonian Institute in 1980, and awarded a National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Guerrero died in March 2005 at the age of 88.

Barry « Shabaka » Henley
Born in New Orleans, Henley has appeared in Ali, the Showtime series Barbershop and the soon-to-be-released feature Miami Vice. He has also written and performed a one-man show, Jungle Bells.

Danny Hoch
Hoch is an actor, playwright and director whose plays Pot Melting, Some People and Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop have won numerous accolades including two Obie Awards. He has written on race and hip-hop for The Village Voice, The New York Times, Harper’s, and The Nation, and is the founder of the New York Hip-Hop Festival.

James Luna
Luna is a performance artist and a Luiseno Indian who lives on the La Jolla Reservation near San Diego, California. Much of his art explores what it means to be an « Indian » in contemporary American society.

Kate Rigg
This Canadian/Indonesian writer and performer now makes New York her home. Rigg toured with the shows Kate’s Chink-O-Rama and Birth of a nASIAN, and is also a member of the musical group Slanty Eyed Mama.

Raymond « Boots » Riley
A musical artist and poet residing in Oakland, California, Riley was a member of the 1990s « Marxist hip-hop » band the Coup which released four award-winning albums: Kill My Landlord, Genocide and Juice, Steal this Album and Party Music, which was named « best rap album of the year » by numerous publications. Riley has taught several workshops on arts and activism, in which he developed « guerilla hip-hop concerts, » mobile concerts on flat bed trucks.

Beau Sia
An Oklahoma-born Chinese-American performer and writer, Sia appeared on Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and his poetry has been collected in books, recorded on CD and broadcast on television. A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge is his own book of poems.

Piri Thomas
Born and raised in Spanish Harlem by Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, Thomas is a writer, poet and performer whose 1967 autobiography, Down these Mean Streets, has been in print ever since. His other books include Savior, Savior Hold My Hand and Stories from El Barrio.

Haunani-Kay Trask
Haunani-Kay Trask holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin. She is presently Professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii. Among her books is the poetry collection Night is a Sharkskin Drum.

« The anger is actually a safety valve. What’s the alternative? I’d rather make art than, you know, commit murder. » -Haunani-Kay Trask

A co-production of
Paradigm Productions Inc.
and KERA TV Dallas-Ft.Worth

in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS)
and the National Minority Consortia

with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Purchase the DVD
90 Minute DVD
60 Minute DVD

Produced & Directed by
Raymond Telles
Rick Tejada-Flores

Herb Ferrette, II

Vicente Franco
Robert Shepard
Emiko Omori

Associate Producers
Rosalia Valencia
Monica Lam

Original Score
Wayne Wallace
Walaco Music, BMI
Jon Jang
Zhang Music, ASCAP

Graphics & Title Design
Rudy Jaimes

Additional Editing
Chris Tow

A.P. Trainee
Rachel Castillo

Ray Day
Daniel Gleich
Lawrence Loewinger
Jon Oh
J.T. Takagi
Scott Culbertson

Sound Assistants
Wilfredo Correa
Sara Chin
Thomas Gould
Young Kim
T.J. Walkup

Additional Camera
Hugh Walsh
Tony Salgado
Michael Chin
Bill Corona

Assistant Camera
Elvira Carrizal
Tracy Viera
Keith Robinson
Andrew Stetler
Michael Yasutake

Hugh Sansom

Stage Managers
David Keller
Angela Tucker

Kate Schultz
Divi Crockett

Gaea Bogue
Chantal Boom’la
Nikki Carbonetta-Aguirre
Rebecca Wachtel

Lance Phox
John Kiffmeyer
Chris Lindsay
Jon Fontana

Steve Lynch
Christopher Ruedy
Casey Alicino

Still Photography
Robert Huber
Najib Joe Hakim
Steven Baldwin

On-Line Editor
Jim Maxwell

Rerecording Mixer
Paul James Zahnley, C.A.S.

Production Manager
David Keller

Post Prod Supe.
Chris Tow

Consulting Producer
Debbie Brubaker

Wayne Wallace
Jon Jang
Melecio Magdaluyo
John L. Worley Jr.
John Santos
Rick Tejada-Flores

Music Recording & Mixing
Gary Mankin

Production Assistants
Melinna Bobadilla
Sharon Battad
Sabrina Helas
Mark Quitan
Daniel Telles
David Telles
Susana Telles
Jason Wishnow
Erin Wu
Tami Yeager

Michael Soe
Jenny Harnmuanphongs
Joslyn Lyons

Archival Film/Tape
ABC Videosource
Arab Film Distribution
John Allen
Chamba Media
CNN Image Source
Drew Associaztes
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Florida Moving Image
Forsher Archives
MacDonald & Associates
National Archives
NBC News Archives
Odd Ball Film and Video
Swarthmore Peace Archives
UCLA Film and Television Archives

Archival Images
Bishop Museum
Janette Faulkner
James Luna
Philip P. Choy
New York Times
Piri Thomas

Archival Research
Rosalia Valencia

Archival Consultant
Kenn Rabin

Visual Artists
Enrique Chagoya
Gallery Paule Anglim, SF

Michael Ray Charles
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY

Faith Ringgold
ACA Gallery, NY

Betye Saar
Rosenfeld Gallery, NY

Ben Sakoguchi

Paula de Joie

Cora Yee

Additional Music

« We Don’t Stop »
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Frantic Soulutions/Universal Music ASCAP

« No Chicanos on TV »
Lalo Guerrero
Barrio Libre Music, BMI

« Fat Cats and Bigger Fish »
Boots Riley
Wild Pitch Music BMI

« Braided Hair »
Bridgeman, Catto, Speech, Cherry, Ulali
Virgin Music Inc. BMI

Production Facilities
Available Light
Broadcast Video Rentals
John Chater
Disher Music & Sound
Emeryville Recording Company
KAOS Network
Video Arts
The Rosenthal Group
Smokin’ Mirrors
Plus 8 Video
Liquid Planet

Special Thanks
Patricia Boero
Chinese Consolidated
Benevolent Association
Michael Datcher
Greg Morozumi
Julia Morgan Theatre
Alyce Myatt
Nuyorican Poets Café
Edward James Olmos
Nathan P.
Eleanor Palacios
Jan Sakoguchi
Gail Silva
Suzie Thomas
World Stage


Supervising On-Line Editor
Mary Beth Boehm

Production Manager
Joe Bellotti

Executive Producer
Rob Tranchin

Executive in Charge
Sylvia Komatsu

Major Funding Provided by
Akonadi Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation

Additional Funding Provided by
Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation
LEF Foundation
Pohaku Fund
Kit Miller
Nu Lambda Trust

A Co-Production of
Paradigm Productions Inc.
KERA Dallas/Ft. Worth
In Association with the
Independent Television Service (ITVS)

A presentation of the Independent Television Service
The National Minority Consortia
And KERA Dallas/Ft. Worth

This program was produced by
Paradigm Productions and KERA Dallas/Ft. Worth
who are solely responsible for its content

© 2005 Paradigm Productions Inc.
North Texas Public Broadcasting
All Rights Reserved

Premiered nationally on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens in November 2005 (season premier, on National PBS).

It also won Best Documentary at the Latino International Film Festival San Diego.
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