Tag Archives: Not4Prophet

MACHETERO Goes To School


BRING MACHETERO TO YOUR CAMPUS

MACHETERO is a film that questions and challenges Puerto Rico’s colonial status in a way that brings post-9/11 definitions, ideas and notions of terrorism into play. Theatrically self-released in 2013, MACHETERO has screened all over the world and won awards in South Africa, Wales, England, Thailand, Ireland and New York. Check out the film in its entirety on Vimeo On Demand to determine if it’s right for your classroom or as a campus activity. MACHETERO is a perfect fit for:

  • Latin American Studies
  • Afro-American Studies
  • Post-Colonial Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Media Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Music Studies
  • English Literature
  • Political Science Studies
  • Pan African Studies
  • Pan Latino Studies

For more information
Email: machetero.movie@gmail.com
Call: 347-772-9186

Other screening events have been sponsored by Latin American, Black, and Asian student groups as well as various social justice groups.

MACHETERO usually screens with a post screening Q&A with writer, producer and director vagabond (me). The film is a dense and layered mix of poetry, music, text, history and post-colonial theory placed within a fictional narrative framework in a manner never before conceived. The film is not just a film about revolution, but is revolutionary in it’s very form.

MACHETERO has engendered discussion, dialogue and debate on a variety of issues. There have been discussions about anti-colonial Puerto Rican history, the history of US imperialism and Puerto Rico’s global connection to the other anti-imperialist struggles. Dialogues have also incorporated the topics of filmmaking aesthetics, underground guerrilla filmmaking tactics, and the role of art as a tool for social change. The film has also sparked debates around  questioning of the definition and use of the terms “terrorism” and “terrorists” and how those terms are defined and used, who defines them and how they benefit from such definitions and labels.

DYLCIA PAGAN

Dylcia Pagan on the set of MACHETERO
Dylcia Pagan on the set of MACHETERO

There have also been MACHETERO screening events in the past that have included former US held Puerto Rican political prisoner of war Dylcia Pagan. Dylcia served 20 years in prison for fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico. Before she went to prison she was a TV producer, journalist and documentarian and so she has a unique perspective on the film and on the power of media in general. She also plays a pivotal role in MACHETERO. Her history and insights into the struggle against colonialism in Puerto Rico and how it’s connected to other global struggles is invaluable.

WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE FILM

Chuck D quote

Bill Quigley QUOTE

TJ ENGLISH QUOTE

SAM GREENLEE QUOTE

For more information
Email: machetero.movie@gmail.com
Call: 347-772-9186

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1vf

MACHETERO PRODUCTION STILLS


If you haven’t seen my film MACHETERO yet, maybe this collection of production stills will pique your interest…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1t4

 

Asking For Mercy From The Victims Of Violence


Prison Interview Rehearsal with Isaach de Bankolé, vagabond & Not4Prophet
Prison Interview Rehearsal with Isaach de Bankolé, vagabond & Not4Prophet

This is another excerpt from the script of the six-time award-winning film MACHETERO. Watch it VOD as a rental for 48 hours or download it to own it.

TRAILER

[vimeo 75167575 w=600&h=337]

CONTEXT ON THE SCRIPT EXCERPT

For some context to the script excerpt below… Jean is a French journalist who is interviewing Pedro about his decision to use violence as a means of liberating Puerto Rico from US colonialism. The interview takes place in a prison where Pedro is being held for trying to overthrow the US government in Puerto Rico. Pedro describes himself as a Machetero, a historical and cultural symbol of resistance to colonialism in Puerto Rico.

In the film the questions and answers are all in voice over with other images contrasting the dialogue. This scene is the climax of the film where for the first time we see and hear Jean and Pedro face to face and understand for the first time that the interview we have been hearing all along is this interview. In the film this dialogue goes on for much longer than is here so if this interests you consider renting or buying MACHETERO digitally…

Jean in the film is played by international film star Isaach de Bankolé who you may recognize from such films as Ghost Dog, Manderlay, The Limits Of Control, night On Earth, Chocolat and Casino Royale. Pedro is played by lead singer of Puerto Rican punk band RICANSTRUCTION and MC of the hip hop duo X-Vandals, Not4Prophet. MACHETERO’s story revolves around this interview between Jean and Pedro.

EXCERPT FROM THE SCRIPT
JEAN AND PEDRO FACE TO FACE

JEAN
The US government has a policy of not making deals with terrorists.

PEDRO
“For the strong to hear the weak their ears will have to be opened with bullets” – Albizu.

JEAN
You had to know that you would have been caught eventually.

PEDRO
“It took seven of them to break my jaw, but the power of the whole American empire could not break my spirit.” – Rafa

JEAN
Sedition is a crime punishable by death in this country.

PEDRO
“I didn’t come to kill I came to die.” – Lolita.

JEAN
So you thought you could change the mind of the US congress with bullets? How will violence liberate you? Hasn’t the time of political power through violence passed? Haven’t the examples of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and even someone still here with us today Nelson Mandela shown us a new way? In South Africa black Africans are forgiving their white oppressors in an attempt to break this cycle of violence and hatred. Do you really believe violence will change anything?

PEDRO
Are you asking for mercy from the victims of violence? Have you asked those who want me dead, to show me mercy?

JEAN
Are you asking for mercy? Are you asking your oppressor for your freedom?

PEDRO
My freedom is not something that my oppressors can give me. My freedom is something that I take.

JEAN
Killing US congressmen and CEO’s and bombing US military targets is taking your freedom?

PEDRO
Yes.

JEAN
Your freedom? Doesn’t that sound egotistical, self-centered and selfish? Is that what this is all about? Your freedom? I thought you were fighting for more than that? I thought you were fighting for the freedom of your country. I thought you were fighting for ideals. I thought you were fighting for something greater than yourself.

PEDRO
No one is free until all of us are free. Steven Biko said “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” The decolonization of self is the decolonization of the nationless nation.

STILLS FROM THE PRISON SET

These are some stills taken from the prison set which was shot in an actual prison. The prison is the old Bronx House of Detention on River Ave just a stones throw from the old Yankee Stadium. The Bronx House of Detention is now gone. Replaced by a shopping mall. A Target now sits in its place.

TRAILER

[vimeo 75167575 w=600&h=337]

GOOGLE VOD & DOWNLOAD

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1oj

A Self-decribed Machetero


Isaach de Bankholé as Jean Dumont from MACHETERO
Isaach de Bankolé as Jean Dumont from MACHETERO

An excerpt from the script of the six-time award-winning film MACHETERO. Watch it VOD as a rental for 48 hours or download it to own it. For some context to the excerpt below… Jean is a French journalist who is interviewing Pedro about his decision to use violence as a means of liberating Puerto Rico from US colonialism. The interview takes place in a prison where Pedro is being held for trying to overthrow the US government in Puerto Rico. Pedro describes himself as a Machetero, a historical and cultural symbol of resistance to colonialism in Puerto Rico.

Jean in the film is played by international film star Isaach de Bankolé who you may recognize from such films as Ghost Dog, Manderlay, The Limits Of Control, night On Earth, Chocolat and Casino Royale. Pedro is played by lead singer of Puerto Rican punk band RICANSTRUCTION and MC of the hip hop duo X-Vandals, Not4Prophet. MACHETERO’s story revolves around this interview between Jean and Pedro.

JEAN
Do you find it strange that in your struggle for freedom you find yourself in prison?

PEDRO
No. I’ve been in one prison or another all my life. Just because there aren’t any bars on the windows, locks on the doors or guards at the gate doesn’t mean you aren’t in prison.

JEAN
What was a self-described Machetero doing in the US Army?

PEDRO
I was educated on the streets with the hustlers and the pimps and the dealers and the thieves and the dope fiends and the winos and the cops and the killers. From La Pearla in San Juan to El Barrio in NYC, I did what was necessary to survive. When I was 16 I was looking at a state bid, looking at doing some hard time. They were going to send me to Sing Sing, where I could get my Masters in criminology but the US Army offered me less time.

JEAN
Does the US Army make it a policy to recruit convicted criminals?

PEDRO
Militaries kill and steal. That’s what they train you to do. Prison is a good place to find killers and thieves.

JEAN
And you got a dishonorable discharge after you did your time in the army.

PEDRO
I just wanted to be free. There are no stories there to tell, military time was about following orders, I just didn’t always do as I was told.

[vimeo 75167575 w=600&h=337]

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1o4

Pedro’s Got A Pipebomb Set For The 4th Of July


MACHETERO July 4th by vagabond ©
MACHETERO July 4th by vagabond ©

Pedro’s got a pipe bomb set for the fourth of July
a detonator slow fuse Loisaida
high demolition dope fiends toking Tompkins Square
take the world in hand and fuck it.
When Pedro died the shitstem lied and Hiram and Elias tried
as Ponce bled Jayuya spread and Oscar and Griselo fled
with dreams and dignity a people could be free
through selfless sacrifice a nation could rise.

Pedro’s got a pipe bomb but the boom is on loan
broken-English hype-dreams sleep in skin and bone
consecrated crack heads sucking strangled tongues…
When Pedro died the sanctified Lolita and Boriqua pride
as Lares screamed Utado dreamed
and presidents and preachers schemed
of land and liberty and country tis of thee
the selfish satisfied a nation would rise.

Tired of the bullshit the rat race and dog piss.
The poverty pimps future feels like a slit wrist.
I’m a goddamn Boriqua and I got me a plan
gonna bumrush this shitstem however I can!
Pedro’s got a pipe bomb.
Pedro’s got a pipe bomb.
Pedro’s got a pipe bomb….
– Pedro’s Grave by RICANSTRUCTION

[vimeo 75167575]

Twelve years ago i wrote the script to MACHETERO. Nine years ago i began shooting the film then scrapped it. 8 years ago i began to shoot the film again. Seven years ago the first cut came in at 55 minutes. We screened it and got some feedback. Then we came up with some more ideas. We improvised. Six years ago we shot more. Recut the film and it was 85 minutes. Then we screened it and got some feedback. Then we had some more ideas and we shot some more. The film was done five years ago its final running time was 98 minutes…

Then the film went on tour around the world doing festivals in Vancouver, Los Angeles, South Africa, Egypt, Thailand, Wales, England, Ireland, and of course here in NY. It won awards in South Africa, Wales, England, Thailand, Ireland and NY. In June of 2013 i self-released the film theatrically for a week in the Lower East Side of NYC. On September 23rd of 2013, i released the film on Vimeo On Demand…

And now in 2014, Pedro’s got a pipebomb set for the 4th of July… On July 4th, 12 years after the script was written MACHETERO will be available for people to download and own… Now you can watch it on demand for 48 hours or you can download it and watch it whenever you like which is really the best way to do it…

Why buy MACHETERO? Because it’s a densely layered film. It was made to be watched again and again. It was designed so that multiple viewings  reveal something you didn’t quite see the first or second or third time you saw the film… It’s a film that has the potential to grow consciousness and whose consciousness grows with you every time you see it…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1nN

A Last Poet, An X-Vandal And A Vagabond


A Last Poet, an X-Vandal and a vagabond by vagabond ©
A Last Poet, an X-Vandal and a vagabond – by vagabond ©

A Last Poet, an X-Vandal and a vagabond walk into a bar… it sounds like a joke but like Puerto Rican revolutionary Lolita Lebron said “this poetry is serious business”. On February 9th up and coming publishing powerhouse 2Leaf Press has joined forces with the NYC poetry pushers Bowery Poetry Club to bring you a historic event… In celebration of original Last Poet Abiodun Oyewole’s soon to be released book of poetry, (his first in a very, very, long time) Branches Of The Tree Of Life: The Collected Poems Of Abiodun Oyewole, 2Leaf Press is throwing a party…

Branches Of The Tree Of Life - cover by vagabond ©
Branches Of The Tree Of Life – cover by vagabond ©

And if that weren’t enough excitement, 2leaf Press is also celebrating the recently released poetry collection of X-Vandal, Not4prophet with his book Last Of The Po’Ricans Y Otros Afro-artifacts with graphics by yours truly… i’ll also be showcasing some of the poetry videos that i’ve been creating for 2Leaf Press…

Last Of The Po'Ricans Y Otros Afro-artifacts cover by vagabond ©
Last Of The Po’Ricans Y Otros Afro-artifacts cover by vagabond ©

This is the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series of events between 2Leaf Press and the Bowery Poetry Club where 2Leaf Press will extend it’s mission to celebrate diverse voices in contemporary literature… For more information on the event check out the event page on Bowery Arts & Sciences

2LeafPress Logo

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1i4

2013 On The Books


Papoleto Take One by vagabond
Papoleto Take One by vagabond

At the end of 2012 i was shooting a documentary on original Nuyorican Poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez. His book Hey Yo! Yo Soy! 40 Years of Nuyorican Street Poetry had just been published by 2Leaf Press and after speaking with the publisher Gabrielle David i offered to take some of the footage i shot and cut it into a book video to promote the book.

i liked what 2Leaf Press was doing and i wanted to help them in any way that i could, so i started doing book videos for their other authors. The book videos led to photo shoots and book covers. A lot of great things are on the horizon for 2Leaf Press. i also did some book covers for a few other friends who were publishing books. So this the work that i did for 2013 that’s on the books…

THE FIRE BEGAN ON THE FIRE ESCAPE

TONY MEDINA IS BROKE

AFRO-ARTIFACTS OF A LAST PO’RICAN

LAST POET ABIODUN OYEWOLE

This series of images were taken the night that Nelson Mandela died. i was shooting the book video for Last Poet Abiodun Oyewole’s new book to be published by 2Leaf Press The Branches Of The Tree Of Life. As we were shooting the video on 125th Street in front of the Apollo word came down that Nelson Mandela has passed away.

NOT4PROPHET

This gallery is of the work graphics i did for Last Of The Po’Ricans Y Otros Afro-artifacts a book Not4Prophet and i collaborated on published by 2Leaf Press. The graphics are based on his poems. i also designed a logo for 2Leaf Press for their Nuyorican World Series of books they will be publishing in the future. Last Of The Po’Ricans Y Otros Afro-artifacts is the first book to utilize the logo…

SAMUEL DIAZ

These photographs are publicity photos i took of Nuyorican Poet Samuel Diaz who has a book of poems coming out this year from 2Leaf Press. These were taken while i was shooting the book video in the Bronx where Sam has lived for the past 40 years. The title of his book is Our Nuyorican Thing. Keep your ear to the street for it.

TONY MEDINA

A series of photos from the book video i produced and directed for poet Tony Medina’s latest offering Broke Baroque published by 2Leaf Press.

BOOK COVERS

These are book covers i designed this year… The first book cover i shot and designed i was for former US held Puerto Rican political prisoner of war Dylcia Pagan. Her book Guided By Love comes out next year and is published by 2Leaf Press. The next book cover i shot and designed was for Last Poet Abiodun Oyewole’s new book Branches Of The Tree Of Life which is also due out next year. Scars/Stars is for poet Walidah Imarisha which recently sold out at Powell’s bookstore (the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi) in Portland Oregon. The collaborative book with poems by Not4Prophet and graphics i did Last Of The Po’Ricans Y Otros Afro-artifacts is a design i did based on a still image from the book video shot by Jeff “AK”. Roots Reality & Rhyme is a cover i did for poet Turiya Autry whose book will be out this month…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1fH