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Your Call

Mill Valley Film Festival documentaries feature Bay Area activists

Scenes from The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane (left) and The Right to Read (right)
Scenes from The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane (left) and The Right to Read (right)

On this edition of Your Call, we're speaking with the directors of two documentaries featured at this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival.

The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane profiles powerhouse blues/jazz/folk singer, activist, feminist, record producer, and committed troublemaker Barbara Dane over nine decades of political activism and organizing through music.

The Right to Read highlights the stories of an activist, a teacher, and two families who fight to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of life-long success: the ability to read. When a child can’t read, their chances of incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment increase. That's why Oakland-based NAACP activist Kareem Weaver believes literacy is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time and is fighting for better reading instruction.


Maureen Gosling, director of the The 9 Lives of Barbara Dane, producer, editor, sound recordist, and distributor best known for her 20-year collaboration with Les Blank on over 20 films, including the British Academy Award-winning Burden of Dreams

Jenny Mackenzie, director of The Right to Read, documentary filmmaker dedicated to promoting social change, and professor of documentary film production at Utah Valley University

Web Resources: 

Oaklandside: Maureen Gosling’s new film explores the life and revolutionary times of jazz and blues vocalist Barbara Dane

The New York Times: Barbara Dane’s Life of Defiance and Song

The New York Times: ‘Kids Can’t Read’: The Revolt That Is Taking On the Education Establishment

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.