Kevin Gordon has hit pay dirt with his first film.
Given the film’s subject — a long-overdue portrait of the colorful, tenacious San Francisco activist known nationally for her work on Hunters Point housing and on health issues — its appearance in the lineup isn’t surprising.
A recent interview with the spry 92-year-old is accompanied by archival footage from the 1970s showing Westbrook giving powerful speeches, championing rights of poor people. Talking-head-type commentary from the likes of former Mayor Willie Brown round out the film.
Profiling Westbrook was “fantastic,” Gordon says. “After meeting her, I had no option but to do this. My generation is cynical. But she’s from a time when people had no doubt about their ability to produce change.”
For Gordon, the film isn’t solely a historical piece; he thinks it’s timely in the context of current redevelopment and gentrification in The City.
“Tellin’ It Like It Is” screens on May 3 at 1 p.m., May 6 at 3:45 p.m. and
May 7 at 9 p.m. at the Kabuki on a bill with “Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.”