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Nat Bates For Mayor

A Film by Eric Weiss and Bradley Berman

75 miutes and 57 minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 7 - Adult
Item #:NBM-1129

Select DVD License (limited PPR included)

K-12 Schools, Public Libraries, Community Groups - $89
Colleges, Businesses, Other Institutions - $295
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $395
Premiered on KQED's "Truly CA" Series


Nat Bates for Mayor tells the story of the outrageous 2014 mayoral race in Richmond, CA - home to the state's second largest refinery where Chevron spent more than $3 million to back 83-year-old African-American candidate Nat Bates.

Opening with footage of a 2012 fire at the Chevron oil refinery and a heated town hall where blue-collar employees clash with environmentalists, the film sets the groundwork for the election that shifted the balance of power in the city. Councilman Nat Bates makes a Faustian bargain with the corporate devil in hopes of keeping the waning working-class African-American community intact, as it deals with gentrification occurring throughout the Bay Area.

His biggest competition comes from the Richmond Progressive Alliance, an advocacy group who wants Chevron's influence out of the city's affairs. They rally behind Councilman Tom Butt, a man with his own history of dismissing the concerns of low-income residents of the city.

The guerilla-style documentary follows the candidates on the trail, captures revealing personal moments, and records audacious city council meetings as they campaign to take control of the Bay Area's overlooked oil town. Nothing is clear-cut as the film potently mixes issues of corporate influence, race, gentrification, homophobia, political self-determination, and humor -- all told through the lives of bigger-than-life small-town characters.
Nat Bates For Mayor

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