A Documentary Film by Jon Hoffman

 

Shot over ten years, this intimate feature-length profile examines what it means to grow old and illuminates the complex, lifelong effects of childhood abuse. 

 

Gwen Jackson is an institution in East Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, where she founded a grassroots community center and helped to reclaim a blighted park on her block.  Born in Atlanta in 1937, Gwen dropped out of elementary school and later left home at the age of 12, ultimately making her way to Oakland after some eventful early years in the Jim Crow South. 

 

Unique in its depth of access, this profile provides a rich window into Gwen's evolution as she navigates the aging process and struggles to come to terms with her life, past and present - while sharing deeply personal struggles for the first time.   

 

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Producer/Director Jonathan Hoffman is a Baltimore-based documentary filmmaker and writer.  Jon has a Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley, and he met Gwen while doing dissertation research in her neighborhood.  A former Director of Research at Baltimore City Public Schools, his background includes work at a leading political polling and research firm in Washington, DC.