“When the Swan Sings on Hastings,” a period short film reflecting the 1950s based on the novel by local author Thomas Galasso. with a screenplay by Heather Buchanan and Thomas Galasso premieres at the Main Theatre in Royal Oak at 7 pm on August 28th.
In 1960s Detroit, friends, lovers and enemies face the demise of their neighborhood and way of life. In the early days of Detroit city area, Paradise Valley was a happening place. Populated by Black-owned businesses, it was an exciting collage of culture, a mecca for after-hours establishments where the giants of Jazz such as Dizzy Gillespie and Blues greats such as John Lee Hooker played until all hours of the morning. It was also tainted by vice from illegal numbers running to booze running and drugs, among others. But it was a place where everyone seemed to watch out for each other.
Hastings street was the main artery through the Valley. That is, until Detroit politicians thought they would carve up that district by running an extension of the Interstate up through it in the name of urban renewal and “slum clearance.” (A slum often included any area of older buildings not lived in by wealthy people, and any area where black residents lived, regardless of its economic or social value to its residents and patrons. )
“When the Swan Sings on Hastings” is a journey through the underbelly of Paradise Valley, its circle of musicians, numbers runners, hustlers, business owners and the everyday inhabitants struggling to deal with the loss of their neighborhood.
Director of Photography: Kahn Santori Davison.
Based on the novel by Thomas Galasso, directed by Heather Buchanan and Arthur Ray, Jr. “When the Swan Sings on Hastings,” stars Arthur Ray, Jr., Grover McCants, Thomas Galasso, Shahidah Hasan, David Hines, Jr., Cynthia Shelby-Lane, Bryant Tipton, Jillian Craighead, Yakeem Tatum, Darryl Towns, Jerry Iaderaia, Caroline Bucholz, Mark McGruder.
Produced by AUXmedia, “When the Swan Sings on Hastings” was shot on location in Hamtramck, Michigan.
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