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New York Premiere For Evocative New Documentary 'Harlem USA' May 12

by Sergio
May 7, 2013 9:17 PM
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Almost a year ago, last spring, I wrote about documentary filmmaker Eric Schachter’s work-in-process, Harlem USA, though, at the time, he rejected the title of director because he believed that his film "was directed by the people that it is about."

Later that summer in London and Montreal, Schachter held, in effect, two test screenings to gauge audiences reactions to an early cut of the film, and he said that the experience gave him a totally new perspective on what he created, but not in the way you would expect.

The test audiences felt that the film was too divisive, and that there weren’t other voices in the film which reflected those of financially well-off newcomers to the neighborhood who look at Harlem as a place of opportunity and the beginning of a new life.

But Schachter eventually came to realize, thanks to their comments, that they were essentially missing the point and that they overlooked “the quintessential knowledge that comes from being black in this little island in America that our friends in London and Montreal were unable to grasp and that I then tried to report more forcefully. It is a knowledge that transcends glorious fantasies about a battle to be won”.

As a result he re-edited the film to reflect instead “just a love for a way of life lost, a time to be recorded and remembered and an immense respect for the collective wisdom of a people who had once had a homeland and a culture to call their own, smack in the middle of the biggest and richest city in America”.

He now feels that his new version of his film “pleases and speaks faithfully for the people in it and tends to offend those who need to believe that everything is always getting better”.

And now the film is ready to be shown to the very people his film is about, when it makes its New York premiere in Brooklyn this Sunday May 12, starting at 7PM, at the Cobble Hill Theatre, located at 265 Court Street (Subway F to Bergen Street or Subway G to Carroll Street).

Here’s the new trailer for the film:

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  • GOBLASTER | May 15, 2013 10:03 AMReply

    i really like it

  • unknown smoker | May 15, 2013 2:30 PM

    THIS MUST BE ERIC(aka ricky the yid)

  • pop go the ballon | May 11, 2013 1:27 PMReply


  • cast member of the movie | May 11, 2013 8:27 AMReply

    The editing of this movie equal Richard Pryor equal the white man joke. LOL

  • eric schachter, 561W-149St,#6,New York 10031 / 917 250 0277 | May 9, 2013 11:11 PMReply

    Why am I the only one of you belligerent incognito motherfuckers who identifies himself? Doesn't that tell you something about what we have to show for ourselves? For yourselves? Eric (aka Ricky the Yid)

  • jeftcg | May 8, 2013 7:04 AMReply

    This movie was originally called "Beasts of the Northern Wild".

  • wordblaze | May 8, 2013 10:19 PM


  • FilmGuy | May 8, 2013 6:15 AMReply

    Ooh, another film that only shows downtrodden, sad black faces. Riveting. I mean really, who sees this as anything more than a white power newsletter? Who is this supposed to enlighten or entertain? To hell with the filmmaker and anybody else making garbage like this.

  • negro please or cracker | May 11, 2013 9:11 PM

    you named all white institutions in the Harlem community you must be a white boy, wordblaze
    name some black institutions?

  • wordblaze | May 8, 2013 10:43 PM

    Eric...thanks but um...i think as a resident and native of looks like the same ol same ol poverty pathos porn. Where are the business owners? The kids from Promise Academy? The clergy? The vendors? The Black homeowners? The members of the current Harlem Arts Movement (MIST, Imagenation, HarlemStage, Children's Art Carnival, Studio Museum of Harlem, Classical Theater of Harlem?) The fathers from Baby College? The activists/politicians of the State Office Bldg? The young filmmakers? The African dance teachers? The students from Thurgood Marshall, Booker T. Washington, Wadleigh, A. Philip Randolf...City College (still one of the BEST colleges in the country). Where are the classically trained musicians of Harlem School of The Arts? The teachers? The men who run the patty shop on St nick and 145? The Harlem Lions soccer team? The Harlem Little League? I could go on and on....

    Now IF these people are in the film, why aren't they represented in the trailer? Why does the trailer feel like a sorrowful cry when everyone in Harlem isn't crying nor sorrowful? Yes gentrification can be a real hard kick in the ass...but it also means fresh produce and soy milk at the corner bodega. I ain't crazy about all of this ish BUT fresh produce is in the neighborhood. But so is a very upbeat and thriving Harlem. I don't see that in the trailer.

    The THRILL is gone? says who? It's OVER for us? ALL of us? Really?

    Yes. We should see the film before we lambast it. True. But a trailer is the doorknob to the home of a film...I'm not sure I want to go in.

  • Eric Schachter | May 8, 2013 12:01 PM

    My dear Filmguy, I can feel where you are coming from but will you please slip my movie into your data base and then tell me what you think of this garbage and the guy who made it. e

    (password: husa)

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