Monday, December 24, 2012

The Brick People: The Documentary

In the now-classic 1988 historical novel, The Brick People (Arte Público Press), Alejandro Morales used the Simons brick factory as his literary springboard. Now a documentary based on the novel has been made which tells the true story of a company-town built around the legendary Southern California brick factory. The documentary was produced by Art Kirsch, directed and edited by Mike Kirsch, with a screenplay and script by Morales’s daughter, Alessandra Morales-Gunz; Morales-Gunz also narrates.

Art Kirsch is an independent producer who also serves on many industry boards including MAOC, MCAI, MCAI International, and OCMMA. Mike Kirsch is director of Video Production at The Buddy Group and also does steadi-cam work and remote helicopter cinematography. Alejandro Morales is a professor of Latino Studies at UC Irvine. Alessandra Morales-Gunz is an English teacher at the Newport Mesa Unified School District.

I had the opportunity to watch a screening of the documentary at the recent Latino Book & Family Festival. The film presents an incredibly engrossing, well-crafted chronicle of the mostly Mexican-American community that sprung from the employment offered by the Simons brick factory. Through narration, old photographs and interviews of scholars and the brick people themselves, viewers will enjoy the honor of entering a world that no longer exists. Running at about one-half hour, The Brick People is perfect for the classroom and community events.

To purchase or rent the documentary, The Brick People, click here (you may also watch a preview of the documentary at that site). The Brick People is also on FaceBook.

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