Last month, we presented the first episode of Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia’s documentary And She Could Be Next during CAAMFest: Heritage at Home. Now you can see both full episodes on PBS, June 29 and 30, 2020.
Directed by Peabody Award-winner Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs) and filmmaker Marjan Safinia (Seeds), this two-part documentary series chronicles the the story of a defiant movement of women of color who are transforming American politics from the grassroots level. Jyoti Sarda also joined Lee and Safinia in producing the series.
Filmed from 2018 through 2019, the miniseries follows forward-thinking candidates and organizers across the U.S., asking: Can democracy itself be preserved—and made stronger—by those most marginalized? The docuseries centers on individuals at the heart of the movement behind the New American Majority, including: Stacey Abrams (Georgia), Bushra Amiwala (Skokie, IL), Maria Elena Durazo (Los Angeles, CA), Veronica Escobar (El Paso, TX), Lucy McBath (Atlanta, GA), Rashida Tlaib (Detroit, MI) and Nse Ufot, Executive Director of the New Georgia Project (Atlanta, GA). The documentary also features an entirely women of color creative team. In addition to Lee, Safinia, producer Jyoti Sarda and executive producers like Ava DuVernay, And She Could Be Next credits contributing field directors: Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Amber Fares, Deborah Esquenazi, Ramona Emerson and Anayansi Prado.
Episode One: Building The Movement opens with the powerful reminder that “women of color have been the backbone of our communities forever.” An energetic montage of modern American civil rights movements–from women’s suffrage to Stonewall, Black Lives Matter to Standing Rock–brings us to the 2018 midterm elections where a new generation
of women of color is ready to take the lead. The documentary goes behind-the-scenes at local rallies, war rooms and church basements, where candidates and organizers embark on the campaign trail. We also witness the unique challenges they face, from well-resourced incumbents to systemic barriers that disproportionately affect black, brown and immigrant communities. As we get to know these women, we see how they do not live “single issue lives” but are each a product of a larger movement–one that is coalition-based, intergenerational and interfaith. RT: 112 mins.
Episode Two: Claiming Power takes us to the weeks leading up to election day and focuses on how organizers combat voter suppression in their own communities. At the heart of the episode is a growing multi-ethnic coalition in Georgia, a state with a rich history of civil rights organizing and poised to be a “majority minority” state as early as 2025.In addition to the New Georgia Project, groups like Mijente and Asians for Abrams put boots on the ground to address language barriers, poll purges and “exact match” laws that impact thousands of voters across the state. As results roll in, there is celebration for some and disappointment for others–but for these community organizers, the work does not stop when the polls close. Through it all, these women present a collective vision of political power that is rooted in care, dignity and joy, and remind us that there is an organizer in all of us.
Watch CAAM Executive Director Stephen Gong in conversation with Grace Lee, Marjan Safinia, and Bushra Amiwala during CAAMFest: Heritage at Home
Lee and Safinia also shared their experience of developing the concept and securing funding for this production during in several panels during CAAM’s Filmmaker Summit: Work from Home Edition. You can watch a video of the entire session on the CAAM YouTube channel.
And She Could Be Next is a co-production of POV and ITVS in association with the Center for Asian American Media and Latino Public Broadcasting, and a co-presentation of Black Public Media and the Center for Asian American Media. This is the first miniseries to be co-produced by POV, the longest-running documentary series on American television, now in its 33rd season.
And She Could Be Next
Episode 1: June 29, 9 pm PT
Episode 2: June 30, 9 pm PT
Please check local listings to confirm broadcast time in your area. Both episodes will also be available for streaming on PBS.org for 60 days after premiere.
Watch and follow along on social media using #StepIntoPower and #AndSheCouldBeNext.