An editor on Oscar winner “20 Feet from Stardom,” rookie director Jason Zeldes’ debut doc “Romeo Is Bleeding” shadows Richmond-based poet and activist Donté Clark as he fights to heal a community ravaged by violence. Here’s the synopsis:
With the help of teacher/mentor Molly Raynor, Clark collaborates with youth at RAW (Richmond Artists With) Talent to adapt Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to modern-day Richmond, CA. Instead of Verona and Mantua, Te’s Harmony unfolds in Central and North Richmond and tells a tale of love, revenge and murder amid poverty and family disintegration, with the lines delivered in slang-filled iambic pentameter and hip-hop metaphors. Occasionally, the new script incorporates Shakespeare’s words, adding an extra layer of meaning.
The film features interviews with the budding writers of RAW Talent and residents of Richmond, which isn’t far from where BART passenger Oscar Grant was shot by a police officer on New Year’s Day, 2009, to the outrage of the entire Bay Area.
Check out an exclusive clip from the film below. A recipient of the SF Film Society’s 2014 Documentary Film Fund, “Romeo Is Bleeding” world-premieres during SFIFF at El Cerrito High School on April 29.