‘We Know How to Live’
by Christine Baniewicz
Cinema 2 of the New Parkway Theatre in Oakland is deserted. I take a seat against the arm of a cushy brown couch on the third tier up from the floor. The place is lousy with sofas and retro red vinyl chairs. They’re flung about the room, clustered around off beat end tables like so many hipsters in a beer garden.
Two more folks enter, separately. We smile thin greetings at one another before they choose their seats in distant corners according to that awkward geometry of strangers. A fourth patron glides in. I recognize him from solidarity demonstrations in the city. I wave him over.
I remind him of my name and he apologizes for forgetting it. We fidget. The lights go down and I calculate: New Parkway is making $24 dollars in ticket sales from this matinee. I’m flooded with gratitude for this brave indie cinema and her clutch of pretty furniture and the (financial, political) courage it takes to screen films about Palestine in the United States. The opening credits roll. (more…)