“We had this sense that something interesting is happening and Bernie was clearly tapping into it.”
Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution is a documentary that tells the story of the 2016 presidential race and the fight for civil rights, economic fairness, and a democracy that works for everyone.
Jacob Smith, former Vice President of Campaigns at Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and former mayor of Golden, served as Bernie Sanders policy advisor on climate energy and environment. He’s one of the directors and producers of Waking the Sleeping Giant.
“When I was working for Bernie in his senate office in DC and he had started to think about running in the Presidential (election) and had started to travel around the country a little bit, because he had sensed there was something happening out across the US, and at that time we started to think “well wouldn’t it be interesting if he runs to film a documentary about the Bernie Sanders campaign,” but really quickly we realized that for one thing, the thing that he had started to sense clearly was out there. He was doing these town hall meetings in deep red states all over the country and getting incredibly enthusiastic reactions. We were watching Thomas Piketty (who) wrote this 900 page economic text book that was on the New York Times best seller list for something like 25 weeks, we were seeing socialists win races, self-identified socialists win elected office in the US. We had this sense that something interesting is happening and Bernie was clearly tapping into it.”
Smith and his co-producers realized that Bernie Sanders was just a part of the story “so we shifted gears pretty quickly to look at the progressive movement and its effort to re-energize for the 21st Century. We used Bernie’s campaign as a skeleton for the film. He certainly is a main character in the film, we spent a lot of time with him, but we also then folded in some stories of other people that are activists on the ground in their communities that are finding ways to take on the same kinds of challenges, but in their own really specific circumstances. All of which hopefully adds up to a re-energized progressive movement.”
Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution will have its Denver premiere at 7pm on Friday, June 23 at the Sie Film Center (2510 East Colfax Ave.) The screening will be followed by a Q and A with the film makers.