Romeo Is Bleeding
by Jason ZeldesWhere civil blood makes civil hands unclean
by Jason Zeldes
ROMEO IS BLEEDING is a documentary film following Donté Clark, a young poet in Richmond, CA, a community that struggles with gun violence stemming from a turf war spanning across multiple generations.
Donté transcends the violence in his hometown by writing poetry about his experiences. Using his voice to inspire those around him, he co-founded an arts organization called RAW Talent (now the RYSE Center's Performing Arts Program), where like-minded youth from both sides of Richmond mount Te’s Harmony, an urban adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with the hope of starting a meaningful dialogue about violence in the city.
Three versions of the Educational Edition are available (content is identical), and each includes the following:
- DVD containing feature film (93 minutes)
- Screening Kit (poster artwork, stills, press kit, etc)
- Educational Curriculum - "Re-mixing Shakespeare: Teaching Romeo is Bleeding"
**See a sample of the Curriculum HERE.
Aligned to national standards and for both English classes teaching Romeo and Juliet and other Humanities courses (American History, Sociology, Psychology and more), the resource offers engaging materials for integrating Spoken-word and community theater alongside contemporary issues of race, power and privilege. This rich curriculum will support educators teaching this classic text and integrating contemporary literature with documentary film.
Featured in Edutopia - "Romeo is Bleeding: The Poetry and Passion of Urban Youth
“The audience experiences Richmond through Donté’s eyes, watching his efforts to transform the grief and pain of a turf war into a more hopeful future through the optimism of his artistry.” - KQED
“Clark's experiences as a playwright and young man in Richmond are the subject of a documentary by LA-based filmmaker Jason Zeldes. Zeldes began shooting August 6, the day of the Chevron Refinery explosion. The Kickstarter-funded documentary is titled "Romeo Is Bleeding." - Huffington Post
“The film offers a visceral portrait of a desperate community and the power of art to transform lives.” - Aspen Times
“Jason Zeldes, an editor on Twenty Feet from Stardom, makes an accomplished debut as director here, delivering a film whose polished aesthetic matches its social import and potent emotions. It will be a standout on the fest circuit and deserves some big-screen time before moving to video.” - The Hollywood Reporter
“As the film works to show you the deep hurt and tragedy embedded in the city, it also works to show both hope and healing truths in reality.” - Reely Dope
“The documentary is beautifully shot and both hopeful as well as heartbreaking.”
“Romeo Is Bleeding, one of the many outstanding offerings at the upcoming San Francisco International Film Festival, is intended to take viewers on an unforgettable journey into the beating, emotional core of urban America. It delivers.”
“Masterfully told cinematic story”
“Romeo Is Bleeding” was not at all what I expected. Though moving and compelling, there are just as many moments in the film that will gut you… It's a film about laws, loss and heartbreak, but also one of optimistic inspiration and new beginnings.”