September 2, 2020 – As a folk singer Utah Phillips enchanted his audience with humor and insight and taught them the lessons he had learned while tramping about an America rarely seen. Later in life, he settled in idyllic Nevada City, California. From there he created a radio program that brought his traveling show to the audience of the airwaves, this was Loafer’s Glory: The Hobo Jungle of the Mind, 100 hour-long episodes written and performed by Phillips and produced at KVMR 89.5 FM, Nevada City, for Pacifica Radio by Phillips and KVMR’s Steve Baker.
Film Producer Charlie Hall is originally from Nevada City, California and has volunteered with Hospitality House Shelter, an organization founded by Utah before he passed away in 2008, dedicated to providing a safe and welcome place for people experiencing homelessness. At Hospitality House Charlie was able to see first hand the philosophy of how to treat one another that Utah expressed in his art. During this time he also got to know Utah’s friends and family and with their guidance developed Tales from the Long Memory, a documentary project that uses the audio from Loafer’s Glory as narration and contemporary scenes from across the country to show that the story continues.
In the autumn, when the leaves are down, it’s the time that folk singing rabble rouser U. Utah Phillips thinks about hitting the rails. As a young man he crisscrossed the country on freight trains in search of teachers that would help to understand himself and where he came from. During this time he experienced the ultimate freedom of having no home ahead and none behind but he also experienced the works of mercy as he faced the difficulties of his journey. He discovered the dynamic struggle of people to organize themselves and demand a quality of life for themselves and those around them that provides bread yes, but roses too.
Tales From the Long Memory follows the people who look to Utah as their teacher now while they continue the work that inspired him throughout his life. In Detroit the Wobbly Kitchen shows how the simple act of feeding someone can spark a community of solidarity in a city struggling to rebuild its glory. In Madison the sweet sounds of labor songs echo through the capital building every day at noon. In Portland the Sisters of the Road Café serve up dignity and nourishment at a price you can afford. And in a quaint northern California gold rush town, a dedicated group of community members grow an idea into a house of hospitality called Utah’s Place.
Tales from the Long Memory Premiere Screening this Labor Day Weekend
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The filmmakers invite the public to the online premiere screening of their latest documentary film, Tales from the Long Memory, featuring andnarrated by the late storyteller-folksinger-activist U. Utah Phillips.
Friday, September 4th at 5pm Pacific until Monday, September 7th at Midnight Pacific
Streaming online at ForAiFilm.com
Directed by Charlie Hall, Co-produced by Charlie Hall and Bevin Bell-Hall. Both Nevada County natives, their previous documentary, The WAMM Movie, won the audience award for best documentary feature at the 2010 Santa Cruz Film Festival. They now reside in Brooklyn, NY.
Suggested Donation: $10
Proceeds will go towards the social justice organizations featured in the film, including Hospitality House of Grass Valley.
The story of America you didn’t learn in school.
“Pardon me while I rant, I don’t have any rant control”
-U. Utah Phillips, 1935-2008