Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

ACORN and the Firestorm

Year: 2017
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 84 minutes

ACORN and the Firestorm
ACORN and the Firestorm
ACORN and the Firestorm

When the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) was mentioned during the 2008 Presidential debates, it should have been a boon to the group who had spent decades fighting for impoverished communities. As with social justice groups, however, growth in the public view can make you a target of the elite, and ACORN began to come under Republican ire for getting black people registered to vote. ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM provides a behind-the-scenes look at how one of the country’s leading community organizations fell from grace at the hands of two conservative amateur journalists. Included are interviews with: Wade Rathke who founded ACORN in 1970; Bertha Lewis, the dedicated ACORN employee who rose to CEO during the time of turmoil; and Iowa Republican Representative Steve King. In a time when the power balance is ever widening, ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM is a tribute to power for the people. —T.W.

CIFF42 Screenings

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 4:15 PM

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 9:30 PM

Race Relations

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Related Daily Postings
Weathering the Storm

Director Director

Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard

Reuben Atlas is an award-winning New York City-based producer, director, and former lawyer. His first film “Brothers Hypnotic” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. He recently co-directed “Sour Grapes.” Previously, he worked at a maximum-security prison, a music law firm, and at Legal Aid. Samuel D. Pollard is one of the most respected names in the world of documentary cinema. Between 1990 and 2000, Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s films. In addition to his award-winning filmmaking, Pollard is currently a professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®.


Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard

Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard

Francisco Bello, Paul Greenhouse

Film Contact
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