Free Film Series

OPPL-logo-color Oak Park Coalition of Truth & Justice and the Oak Park Public library present a free film series once a month.  A movie about a controversial subject is shown, snacks are provided, and a discussion is held afterwards.

Shift Change

opctj-slide26 Shift Change

SHIFT CHANGE tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.

With the long decline in US manufacturing and today’s economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.

Firms that are owned and managed by their workers tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.

"SHIFT CHANGE brings you behind the scenes at some of the most exciting cooperative successes in Europe and the United States. This is a movement that’s creating jobs, strengthening communities, and showing that another economy is possible. It’s a movement that’s taking off — and SHIFT CHANGE is the way to understand what’s happening." Sarah Van Gelder, YES! Magazine

Light refreshments are served.

Following the film: A Q & A with Erica Swinney (Manufacturing Renaissance) and Dennis Kelleher (Center for Workplace Democracy) and Tom Broderick (Democratic Socialists of America, will follow the film screening.

This film showing is a co-presentation with Greater Oak Park Democratic Socialists of America (

2013. 70 min.,, Directed by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin



opctj-slide25 TIFs

Tom Tresser, founder of the TIF Illumination project, will conduct us through the arcane (to most folks) topic of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) with a dynamic and entertaining talk and slideshow presentation. Don't miss this opportunity to get the inside story of greed among Chicago's elite through Tom's thorough research. Find out how TIFs in Chicago impact Cook County and Oak Park.

Gary Schwab, long time Oak Parker and local activist, will discuss the particular history and impact of TIFs in Oak Park. Gary has worked consistently for historic preservation and planning economic development to respect Oak Park's unique, i rreplaceably built character and traditions of diversity.

"You have my profound thanks for all of your work on this project; some aldermen have served decades in the City Council managing
to perform for less public service that you have in spearheading this project." – an organizer of the 49th Ward

Light refreshments will be served.

See more information at:


Michael Harrington and Today's Other America

opctj-slide63 Harrington

Fifty years ago, Michael Harrington’s The Other America made poverty visible. Read by President John F. Kennedy, it was probably the driving force behind the "war on poverty." The Boston Globe editorialized that Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps and expanded social security benefits were traceable to Harrington’s ideas. The official poverty rate of 17% in 1965 dropped to 11% in 1978. Today, the official rate is 15%, and the Brookings Institution estimates that one-third of Americans live in poverty or near-poverty. We face expanding poverty--the result of decades of corporate greed, declining rates of unionization and wages that haven't kept up with inflation.


Harrington became the pre-eminent spokesman for socialism in America. This film captures the essence of Harrington’s ideas through the use of archival footage and interviews with people who knew and worked with him, as well as those who were in total disagreement. It raises questions concerning the merits and relevance of unions, and the problems of migrant workers, farmers, inner cities and our health care system.


"Michael Harrington was a moral giant." Larry Brown, Tufts University


"This interesting production exposes the economic inequities found during an era of supposed prosperity." Booklist


Light refreshments are served.


Following the film:

A Q & A with Bill Barclay, Democratic Socialists of America, and Michele Zurakowski, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, will follow the film screening.


This film showing is a co-presentation with Greater Oak Park Democratic Socialists of America.


2001. 75 min

Directed by Bill Donovan

Beneath the Blindfold

opctj-slide Beneath the Blindfold

A nursing home aide from Africa. An actor from Colombia. A U.S. Navy veteran from Chicago and a physician from Guatemala. They have a horrific experience in common: they all have been tortured. Rarely given a voice, they are among the over 500,000 torture survivors who live in the U.S. As they share their powerful stories, we follow them through the daunting
step of building new lives, careers, and relationships. And despite the continued psychological and physical fallout from their experience, they feel empowered to speak out and become public advocates for an end to torture. Beneath the Blindfold is the first documentary to look at the lifelong impact of torture and to paint a h olistic portrait of the survivors’ experience and path to healing.

“Beneath the Blindfold is a beautiful film with genuine sensitivity and glow… Not to be missed.” – Jerome McDonald, host of Worldview, WBEZ, 91.5 FM, Chicago
“Best political documentary of 2012.” - Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

Light refreshments are served.

Following the film: A Q & A with filmmakers Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer and Matilde de la Sierra, a torture survivor featured in the film.

This film showing is a co-presentation with Percolator Films.

2012. 55 min.

You Don't Like the Truth

opctj-slide22 You dont like truth

Four Days Inside Guantánamo is a
documentary based on security camera
footage from the Guantánamo Bay prison.  This encounter between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and a child detainee in Guantanamo has never before been seen.


Based on seven hours of video footage recently declassified by the Canadian courts, this documentary delves into the unfolding high-stakes game of cat and mouse between captor and captive over a four day period. Maintaining the surveillance camera style, this film analyzes the political, legal and scientific aspects of a forced dialogue.

The showing features a brief background introduction by attorney Patricia Bronte, principal author of an amicus brief submitted in the Guantanamo litigation on behalf of seven retired federal judges.

Light refreshments are served.

Preceeding the film: A brief background introductory talk will be presented by attorney Patricia A. Bronte, who has served as pro bono lead counsel for several Guantanamo detainees.

Open discussion Q & A with Ms. Bronte will follow the film.

This showing is co-sponsored by Oak Park resident and attorney James L. Poznak.

2010. 100 min.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

OPCTJ Meetings

You're welcome to join us. Check this space for the listing of the next meeting. We try to keep general meetings short and work out details at project committee meetings.

Free Film Series

Look for us in the fall.