Richard Cohen Films - Taylor's Campaign
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Taylor's Campaign - 75 minutes

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Taylor's Campaign

Directed and Edited by Richard Cohen
Narrated by Martin Sheen
Produced by Amy Ziering Kofman and Richard Cohen
Cinematography by Gil Kofman and Baird Bryant

$119 college, university, institution and business with PPR
$39 home video/DVD for personal use

     A gripping, surprisingly humorous and insightful look at hardworking people living in cardboard lean-tos in Santa Monica, California --dumpster diving for survival. When new laws jeopardize their civil rights, a destitute ex-truck driver named Ron Taylor runs for Santa Monica city council. His candidacy becomes a quest for tolerance.

Taylor's Campaign tells the story of one community's treatment of people who are homeless, yet "the film is a mirror of what is happening around the country" (Street Sheet).

The issues of human dignity, civil rights, hunger, substance abuse, treatment by the criminal justice system, hope vs. hopelessness are universal and poignantly conveyed.

"Taylor's Campaign stands as the best documentary on homelessness in this era.  It is an impressive work at the intersection of documentary film-making and social research, and an invaluable resource for teaching about poverty.   If there is one "must" film on homelessness for every sociology film library, Taylor's Campaign is it."   
   TEACHING SOCIOLOGY Leon Anderson, Ohio University  
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   (co-author of DOWN ON THEIR LUCK)   

"Fascinating...stands out among documentaries on homelessness... highly recommended for all collections." 
   LIBRARY JOURNAL, Kellie Flynn,Cook Memorial Public Library, IL  
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"The brash honesty of Taylor's Campaign infuses the tragedy of homelessness with both humor and empathy. The film pulls viewers into the situation of the homeless, making us feel what it is like to be second-class citizens."     
  Holly Payne, RELEASE PRINT
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"Engrossing  and funny ... rare glimpses into the daily activities that are aboslutely familiar yet when shown in the context of street living, become much more potent.  Cooking beans and rice, sweeping a dirty rug, making a bed - these images all reflect the common desires and activities in which humans engage in the places we call home, whether it be a studio in the Mission, a condo in the Marina or a dirt lot in Santa Monica.  Taylor's Campaign succeeds in fairly representing the very complex problems of homelessness."
    SYNAPSE, UCSF MEDICAL SCHOOL NEWSPAPER, Matthew Leising   Read complete article...

Taylor's Campaign street life
Taylor's Campaign  survivng

"Is it a crime to be poor? Do homeless people have rights? These are some questions raised implicitly by Richard Cohen's remarkable documentary....  Comparisons to The Grapes of Wrath are well deserved."
   EXPRESS Kelly Vance * Critics Choice (Berkeley,California)

"Quiet, heartfelt film then - POW- .... Taylor's Campaign is about civilized society's attempt to criminalize homelessness to the point where the people on the streets are no longer human beings." 
   THE SACRAMENTO BEE Joe Baltake Movie Critic
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"Lively, compassionate... illuminating."     CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR David Sterritt

"Excellent documentary"    Kevin Thomas, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES 


"A rare opportunity to transform one's perceptions and by extension, our society."
  Michael Fox, SF WEEKLY

"Taylor's Campaign is a personalized and poignant mirror of how our nation has addressed the ever-growing issue of homelessness over the past fifteen years. The homeless people in the film are not idealized by any means.  They are not "pretty."  But the film depicts them as survivors with the same needs and sense of justice that we all harbor" 
   Diana Bowman, Project Director
   National Center for Homeless Education at
   Re-printed from Humanity and Society, 23 (4)  Read complete article...

"Extremely compelling...a wonderful resource for undergraduate and graduate students as well as researchers in anthropology, sociology, geography, social work, urban planning, public policy, and urban studies.
   Lois M. Takahashi, Prof. Urban and Regional Planning UC Irvine

Yogi Close Up

"The Grapes of Wrath for today, a stirring, uphill fight for justice."
Terry Messman, Editor 


Recommended for personal enjoyment, community screenings and a range of academic interests including: sociology, urban studies, nursing, leadership, psychology, social work, public health, medicine, disability studies, legal studies, public interest law, community service, cinema studies and history. 

Special Jury Award , 1998 Big Muddy Film Festival, Reel Award Arizona International Film Festival

Directed, Edited,Written by Richard Cohen
Produced by Amy Ziering Kofman and Richard Cohen
Cinematography: by Gil Kofman and Baird Bryant
Narrated by: Martin Sheen 
A production of Raindog Films in association with Film Arts Foundation
1997 release  75 minutes

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