Now Reading: Filmmaker Hawk Screens Excerpt from Pressure Gradient at RoCo


Filmmaker Hawk Screens Excerpt from Pressure Gradient at RoCo

svgNovember 9, 2023EventsBoom Town Press

On Friday night, Oct. 20, a sort of 2020 street protest reunion took place at Rochester Contemporary Arts Center (RoCo). Activists, artists and supporters of both converged for a standing room only screening of just a snippet of filmmaker Martin Hawk’s full-length documentary Pressure Gradient.

Filmmaker Martin Hawk facilitates a discussion of his film with activists/organizers at RoCo
– photos by Boom Town Press

ABOUT THE ARTIST (from Roco’s exhibition of Pressure Gradient (Oct. 7 – Nov. 12, 2023))

Hawk is a cinematographer, photographer, and editor. He became principal documentarian of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest movement in Rochester, NY. Trusted by the community and movement leadership, Hawk has captured an intimate portrait of love, solidarity and rebellion in one of the most segregated regions in the continent. @itsmdnt

Here is Hawk in his own words reflecting on the screening of his film that night:

Trauma in this unsustainable segregated theme park of a country is a closed loop of gaslit amnesia. Self-inflicted almost as much as it’s forcefully imposed and neglected.
That’s why I’ve grown deeply appreciative that my anger and resentment hasn’t waned towards these unsustainable oppressive systems. As destructive and depressing as that can be, I’ve found a strange bit of peace with it. It’s a state of being dissonant with almost everything I was taught / everything I had worked towards for decades but I’ve never felt so free as the day I stopped believing in a world actively trying to invalidate my experiences and existence.

I’m hoping rage & rebellion are seen more as “normal” and “sane” responses to the absurdity of the parasitic patriarchal fascist society we’re forced to twerk for in exchange for bread and shelter.

The screening on the 20th of October served as an act of rebellion as well. No matter where we have grown and regressed since 2020, we were once again, made whole. It meant the world to stand in front of so many people I’ve spent countless hours with on my screen. This film has been a collaborative effort since its inception. I’m just the one with the camera.

We won’t forget.

We won’t forgive.

We must continue to plant seeds for a forest we may not live to see. 

Onwards my friends. I’m with you all the way.


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    Filmmaker Hawk Screens Excerpt from Pressure Gradient at RoCo