No Small Matter is a feature documentary exploring “the most overlooked, underestimated and powerful force for social justice in America today”—early childhood education. Emotional, humorous and inspiring, the film lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of our first five years of preschool education. Among the teachers interviewed in the film is Rio Rancho High School alumnus Rachel Giannini. The Thornburg Foundation and the Early Childhood Mentor Network will screen the film Thursday, Sept. 27 starting at 6pm at CNM Main Campus’ Smith Brasher Hall Auditorium (located on the southwest corner of University and Coal Ave.) A panel discussion will follow. Admission is free. To guarantee a seat, check in at eventbrite.com.
The Great American Read continues Thursday, Sept. 27 at Albuquerque’s Special Collections Library (423 Central Ave. NW) with a screening of Wayne Wang’s 1993 adaptation of Amy Tan’s acclaimed novel The Joy Luck Club. Tan’s novel focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco who start a social club. It is one of the 100 best-loved books according to PBS’ ongoing literacy series “The Great American Read.” The film shows from 5 to 7pm. Admission is free.
In honor of Banned Books Week, Albuquerque’s Central & Unser Library (8081 Central Ave. NW) is hosting a free public screening of Bless Me, Ultima as part of its Banned Books to the Big Screen series. This 2013 film, directed by Carl Franklin (Once False Move, Devil In a Blue Dress), is based on Rudolfo Anaya’s 1972 coming-of-age novel of the same name. One of the most acclaimed novels in the Chicano literary canon, the story centers on a young boy growing up in rural New Mexico during World War II whose family takes in an elderly curandera. The book showed up on the “Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books” list in 2008 and 2013 and has been removed from countless school curricula over the years—often because the book’s view of traditional indigenous spirituality has been branded as “occultism/satanism” by conservative Christians. In 1981, for example, the Bloomfield School Board in San Juan County, N.M., burned copies of the book. If you wanna be a rebel and watch the movie version, you can do so on Friday, Sept. 28 from 1:30 to 3:30pm.
New Mexico Women in Film and UNM Continuing Education present the first of their three-part pilot series “The Power of Story” on Sunday, Sept. 30 at the UNMCE Theatre and Lobby (1634 University Blvd. NE). From 3 to 6pm, there promises to be a “vibrant afternoon” of interactive fun, storytelling galore and a selection of short films from local filmmakers. The theme for this first go-around is “How Stories Connect Us.” Among the participating storytellers: Ramona King, Ebony Booth, Rosie Samudio and Christine McHugh. Admission is $5. For more info go to nmwif.com