Racist Trees

    • Sara Newens, Mina T. Son
    • United States
    • 2022
    • 85 min
    • World Premiere
    • Frontlight

    Can a tree be racist? A few years ago, debate on this issue reached as far as Fox News. The focus was a row of tamarisk trees along a huge golf course in Palm Springs, which screened off the neighborhood of Crossley Tract. This is a historically Black neighborhood, named after its founder Lawrence Crossley, who was one of the first Black residents to settle in the largely white tourist paradise, established on indigenous land over a century ago.

    According to the residents of Crossley Tract, the trees were instrumental in a policy of segregation. Requests to remove the trees were repeatedly rejected by the city government, until the neighborhood found a white spokesperson in the person of Trae Daniel.

    In five chapters, the equally bizarre and complex history of the tree dispute is peeled away like the layers of an onion. Sitting in their backyards, representatives of both sides of the argument give their viewpoints. As to the assertion that there is no institutional racism in liberal Palm Springs, flipping through a few dark chapters of local history is enough to refute that claim.

    Credits

    • 85 min
    • color / black and white
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: English
    • Subtitles in: Not applicable
    Director
    Sara Newens, Mina T. Son
    Production
    Joanna Sokolowski for Wild Pair Films, Sara Newens for Wild Pair Films, Mina T. Son for Wild Pair Films
    Executive producer
    Endyia Kinney-Sterns for Wayfarer Studios, Steve Sarowitz for Wayfarer Studios, Courtney Parker
    Co-production
    Justin Baldoni for Wayfarer Studios, Andrew Calof for Wayfarer Studios
    Cinematography
    Jerry A. Henry

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