Speakers: Seth Fein, Film Director; Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, Winner of the Founders Choice Award for Documentary at the Queens World Film Festival
Between Neighborhoods is an experimental documentary that nonlinearly examines the present and past of the worlds that orbit the world's biggest rendering of the world Unisphere "theme center" of the 1964-1965 New York Word's Fair which still stands in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queen. An audiovisual diptych Between Neighborhoods travels between the age of Donald Trump and that of Robert Moses as it works between original and archival footage to evoke the history that connects two discrete forms of globalization -- imperialism and immigration -- across the last half century in Queens. It shows how people from all over the world who today reside in the neighborhoods that surround Unisphere socially define the mammoth monument to ("outerborough" and "third world") authoritarian modernization that Moses imposed from above in the sicties as a site of democrativ transnationalization from below now. In doing so Between Neighborhoods shows how a global citizenry in Queens socially challenges Trump's authoritarian nationalism as well as the neoliberal legacy of Moses' Fair notably (but not only) the USTA's tennis center which continues to colonize the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the false names of globalization and development. In contesting the imperial idea of an outerborough Between Neighborhoods documents Queens as an innerborough as the cosmopolitan center of contemporary New Tork City while challenging the contemporary conventions of historical documentary by demnonstrating how art and history as well as present and past can constructively co-occupy the same cinematic neighborhood.
Seth Fein is an audiovisual historian and filmmaker. Born and raised in Brooklyn he lives in Jackson Heights Queens where he founded and operates Seven Local Film. His next documentary “Our Neighborhood” (now in production) draws from his own archival research to tell the story of Washington’s secret TV Cold War against the Cuban Revolution in Latin America across the 1960s which he recently spent a year developing as a Fellow in Multimedia History at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center. He writes as well as films and has published widely on the crossborder history of film and television in the Americas especially about the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. He was a professor of history and film at Yale and currently teaches the history of World Cinema to filmmakers in Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema in Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. About Between Neighborhoods Fein notes “At a moment when one of Queens’ most notorious sons insists that restricting the world from the United States will make America great again Between Neighborhoods shows how Queens’ position as home to the world makes America as well as New York City great now.”
Presented in the collaboration with Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.