Women’s Film Festival Week-end: day one – FREEING SILVIA BARALDINI
March 19, 2011 - 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
We begin our Womens’ Film Festival week-end with a screening of the Thin Edge Films feature documentary –
FREEING SILVIA BARALDINI
Screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers
Silvia Baraldini moved to the U.S. in the 1960’s at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and came of age in a country burning in its own promise. Moved by African American’s fight for human rights and incensed by the show of pretense in American democracy, Silvia began a life of political activism.
In the 1970’s when hundreds of politically minded people folded back into the comforts of American society, Silvia deepened her conviction to revolutionary struggle. She became the national leader of the May 19th Communist Organization, a radical group of white, North Americans. May 19th was a key element in a fragile but growing alliance of revolutionaries, African American, Puerto Rican and white who worked relentlessly to organize people to view the U.S. Imperialist system as the leading source of world oppression. Most threatening to the government was their support for the Republic of New Afrika, a group of African Americans fighting to win land in the south on which to build a socialist nation under Black rule. Members of the alliance were targets of the U.S. government’s counter insurgency program, COINTELPRO. Using an array of tactics, the government put an end to the alliance; many political activists were arrested and imprisoned.
In 1983, Silvia was indicted and convicted under the RICO conspiracy law for helping to free Assata Shakur (a Black revolutionary) from prison. Additionally she was charged with criminal contempt of court for refusing to answer questions to a Grand Jury investigating the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. Silvia was given a 43-year prison sentence. In 1999, after 17 years in U.S. prisons, she won the right to serve out her sentence in her homeland, Italy. Within six months of her transfer to a prison in Rome, she was diagnosed with cancer and granted house arrest. In September 2006, having been incarcerated since 1982, Silvia Baraldini was granted her freedom. This documentary presents Silvia’s side of the story, the side that was not supposed to be told.
To view the trailer for Freeing Silvia Baraldini and for more information about Thin Edge Films, please visit
ABOUT THIN EDGE FILMS:
In 2001, Margo Pelletier and Lisa Thomas formed Thin Edge Films LLC to begin production on the documentary, “Freeing Silvia Baraldini” and to make films that speak thematically to social injustice and celebrate under explored subject matter. Originally based in the Arts Center in Jersey City, NJ, the company moved its production offices to Athens, NY in the spring of 2002. In 2009, the company re-opened a second office, again in Jersey City, in the Journal Square neighborhood. Thin Edge Films has conducted shoots from Rome, Italy to San Francisco, CA and throughout the greater New York area. Some of their clients include: MTV, PBS, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Augenblick Studios, PFFR, iNEXTV, The Greene County Council on the Arts, The Athens Cultural Center and The Olana Partnership.
$5 Suggested Donation