About this program

Lossand the lingering memories conjured by lossinspire the stories told in this series of documentary shorts.

AFTER THE FILM: The post-film conversation following both screenings will include several of the directors of the documentary shorts. Michael Thompson, a subject of one of the shorts, will also be present.

The program features the following short films:

Taking Poletown

This film explores the eminent domain showdown between General Motors and the city of Detroit in 1981. The historic crisis forced Polish and Black communities from their homes to make space for a GM plant, while sparking an intense –– and precedent-setting –– legal debate. Directed by Tim Hedberg.

‘The Return’ 

A writer-director struggles with her profound sense of loss after the sudden death of her father, who dies while visiting his homeland of India. She attempts to come to terms with their strained relationship the only way she knows how: by making a film. Directed by Hena Ashraf.

‘Earliest Heartbreak’ 

The early days of the coronavirus pandemic left many unprepared. Families remember their loved ones who were among Michigan’s first victims. Directed by Brian Kaufman.

Ipseity – Marisa’s Story 

The portrait of a mother on a difficult and visceral journey that will redefine notions of beauty, sacrifice and destiny. When Marisa is faced with the harsh reality of her lethal genetic code, she steps into the biggest physical change of her life. But her struggle is more than meets the eye. Directed by Nicholas Stachurski.

The Sentence of Michael Thompson 

Michael Thompson is the longest serving non-violent offender in Michigan history, and this year he is finally up for clemency. In 1994, he was arrested for selling three pounds of cannabis to a close friend turned police informant. He was sentenced to 42 to 60 years in prison and remains there even though Michigan has legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis. The film follows Michael’s daughter Rashawnda and his lawyer Kim during the fight for clemency. Directed by Kyle Thrash and Haley Elizabeth Anderson.


7:30 p.m. Thu., April 28, Birmingham 8 Powered by Emagine (Theater 3)

8 p.m. Sat., April 30, Cinema Detroit

Available virtually