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Divisible

Directed by Lizzy Barrett
Documentary Feature
United States | 76 min | 2023

Divisible is an educational documentary film focusing on the history and current impacts of redlining in the United States. This feature film highlights the specific case of Omaha, Nebraska to illustrate how redlining continually affects and harms people nationwide today across multiple issue areas.

Told through a combination of expert and personal interviews, Divisible provides a detailed look into redlining: what happened, where it came from, who was involved, how it supposedly “ended”, and why anti-discrimination laws have not truly ended the practice of redlining or its impact. Divisible also explores how redlining continues to affect the following issues today: white privilege, housing, health, education, economics, the highway system, and the criminal justice system.

The film begins with a brief and engaging overview of relevant historical information, followed by a series of character vignettes that focus on the impact of redlining on the aforementioned issue areas today. In doing so, Divisible creates through lines from past discriminatory practices to our current landscape of systemic racism and oppression.

News & Reviews

“Two former high school classmates, one black and one white, explore a complicated familial history in director Louise Woehrle’s incredible documentary, A Binding Truth Cinemacy
https://cinemacy.com/a-binding-truth-review/

“A BINDING TRUTH rides a whirlwind of subject with impressive mastery” Film Threat
https://filmthreat.com/reviews/a-binding-truth/

Documentary Review: “A Binding Truth” – Friendship, Slavery’s Legacy and Uncomfortable Pasts.” GHMovieFreak
https://www.ghmoviefreak.com/documentary-review-a-binding-truth-friendship-slaverys-legacy-and-uncomfortable-pasts/

“A Binding Truth shows that even over a century after Slavery was abolished in the country, African Americans in the Deep South still suffer from its curse. However, the film also valiantly explores hope in the form of a growing willingness for expiation and reconciliation.” ReviewRon
https://ronakkotecha.wordpress.com/

“A Binding Truth is currently on the festival circuit, and it is the kind of documentary that one could easily see becoming an attraction on PBS or the History Channel and used in schools to put a personal face on an issue that sadly remains an abstraction for many Americans.” 1 More Film Blog
https://1morefilmblog.com/2023/11/05/a-binding-truth-woehrle-2023/

“I highly recommend anyone, regardless of their racial/ethnic background, to see this film. It’s deeply insightful and profound, with plenty of important yet applicable life lessons.”
FlixChatter Film Blog
https://flixchatter.net/2023/10/27/tcff-2023-documentary-review-a-binding-truth-2023/

“This new documentary, directed by Louise Woehrle, had a reception well earned for Woehrle and her team, as A Binding Truth elegantly traces the complex backstory of two men, once high school classmates, now close friends and more. audience at the 2023 Twin Cities Film Festival in tearful, grateful applause.” Film Obsessive
https://filmobsessive.com/film/film-news/festivals/tcff2023-decades-later-two-men-discover-and-embrace-a-binding-truth

“It’s not shoving a message down our throats. It’s presenting a story through these two men and the lives they touch so we can just feel what we want to feel, and maybe it’ll awaken something in us or give us a new perception. ” Sun Current Newspaper
https://www.hometownsource.com/sun_current/community/e

As a first-time filmmaker, I had a baseline understanding of redlining when I first visited Omaha in 2020, but was interested in learning more about how it shapes life in every city across the country. There’s often an assumption that redlining only impacted major cities like Chicago, Detroit, LA, etc., but I wanted to know more about redlining’s legacy in smaller cities like Omaha. And once I started researching the local history and the ongoing impact of redlining in Omaha, I knew there was a much larger story to be told – one that really speaks to the pervasiveness of these maps.

It was during this process of information gathering and personal study that I recognized the absence of redlining from my own education. Even though history and social justice have been two major interest areas of mine since middle school, I couldn’t remember learning about redlining in any of my classes. And once I started to understand just how transformational these maps and policies were across all major aspects of American life, I knew I wanted to create something that would start to fill that gap in our collective understanding of this critical issue and its long-lasting impacts.

As a filmmaker and storyteller, I wanted to ensure that the voices and expertise of those who experience the impact of redlining first-hand were prominent from development through distribution. All members of the Governing Board are participants in the film, have deep ties to Omaha, and were fundamental to the creation and execution of this film. We also worked with many Omaha and Nebraska-based creatives to bring this film to life, since we felt it was important to be able to tell these stories from the perspectives of those who know the community best.

Ultimately, it was the people I met and who shared their stories that really drove the focus and narrative arc of this film. We had the privilege of speaking with countless individuals about the direct and indirect impact redlining has had on them individually, and oftentimes, generationally. It’s these personal accounts and the generosity of each participant willing to share their knowledge and experiences that make Divisible a compelling example of this national phenomenon.

Divisible - Poster

Divisible - Lizzy Barrett

Lizzy Barrett
Director

Lizzy Barrett is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and videographer currently based in Washington, D.C. She is the founder of Equity Media, a production company dedicated to creating compelling visual content at the intersection of media and social justice. Lizzy also works full time as a Video Producer at the Voter Formation Project, a non-profit working to increase voter participation and civic engagement in underrepresented communities year-round. Her most recent work is a documentary feature film on redlining, called “Divisible”. The project examines the national policy of redlining, using Omaha, Nebraska as a case study to discuss its importance and continued impact.

Lizzy considers photography and videography as both an art form and a compelling storytelling-tool. She understands how powerful media exposure and representation can be in a world that is increasingly plugged-in. As a result, she ultimately hopes to dedicate her life to capturing visually striking stories of marginalized communities and environmental issues that are too frequently overlooked and ignored.

Film Information

Director: Lizzy Barrett
Country: United States
Year: 2023
Language: English
Runtime: 76 min
Rated:  PG-13

Credits

Producer: Lizzy Barrett, Terri Crawford, Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani, Schmeeka Simpson
Writers: Lizzy Barrett, Richard Yeagley
Key Cast: Jade Rogers, Dr. Kimberley Johnson, Lasha Goodwin, Rev. Dr. Nikitah Okeme-RA Imani, Harry Lawson, Jr., Dawaune Lamont Hayes, Schmeeka Simpson, Gary Fischer, Leo Louis II, Terri Crawford, Allen Stevenson, Dr. Neil Lewis, Jr., James Freeman, Preston Love, Jr., Joe Garcia, Talia Smith, Zo Meija, Laura Fisher, Chrome Louis, Qassim C. Shabazz Asad

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BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival