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Benefit film screening: "INDEPENDENT AMERICA: The Two-Lane Search for Mom & Pop"

Thursday, April 13, 2006
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Event coordinator
Location Details:
Brava Theater
2789 24th Street (@ York St.)

These days, you have to go pretty far out of your way to spend your money in an local "mom and pop" store instead of one of the thousands of corporate chains that seem to be sprouting up in every city in America, and increasingly overseas, too.

One couple has taken that notion a little bit farther — 13,000 miles farther, to be exact.

In their new documentary, Independent America, award-winning journalists Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes took the roads less traveled to uncover the growing opposition to corporate franchises and “big box” retailers across the U.S., and the David vs. Goliath struggle that local small businesses are being forced to wage to stay alive.

The film is an account of the former TV reporters’ 32-state road trip in search of “unchained" America. They have only two self-imposed rules: 1) no interstate highways, and 2) no corporate chains — including gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores. In other words, they can only shop with mom and pop.

What they discover during their trip is growing discontent with corporate America, and a growing movement away from globalization and toward “re-localization,” as individuals and small businesses across the country band together to preserve not only their livelihoods, but their local communities as well.

In Colorado, a Starbucks is repeatedly vandalized. In Texas, a rebellious city forces Borders Books into retreat. Residents of America’s “Fourth of July” capital in Nebraska turn against their new Wal-Mart. And an entire Wyoming town goes into business for itself after it is abandoned by its chain department store.

Along the way, their conversations with corporate executives, economists, entrepreneurs, political leaders, union members, and ordinary Americans from all walks of life lead Hosein and Hughes to conclude that a healthy democracy needs local small businesses if it wants to control ever-growing corporate power.

The 80-minute film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring David Room of Energy Preparedness, Don Shaffer of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and Lani Riccobuono of AK Press.

Tickets are $5 – $10, and can be purchased online and at the theater 30 minutes before the show. Proceeds benefit the 2006 CounterCorp Film Festival in October. For more information about the screening or the CounterCorp Festival, visit
Added to the calendar on Wed, Apr 12, 2006 12:18AM
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