Lyn Goldfarb and Alison Sotomayor began the groundwork for BRIDGING THE DIVIDE while working on THE NEW LOS ANGELES, an hour-long documentary, part of the 2006 national primetime PBS series, CALIFORNIA AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. THE NEW LOS ANGELES is a portrait of a city in transition, beginning in 1973 with the election of Mayor Tom Bradley and concluding with the political empowerment of Latinos and the election of Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles’ first Latino mayor in more than 130 years.
We were surprised to discover that there were no documentaries about Tom Bradley, no scholarly biographies, no in-depth filmed interviews with Bradley, nor any substantive interviews with his staff, colleagues, friends or family.
In 2008, during Barack Obama’s campaign for President, we decided to produce a documentary on Mayor Tom Bradley. We started research and fundraising. We interviewed more than 130 people connected to the Bradley story- staffers, family, friends, colleagues, scholars, journalists and critics. We decided on fifty people who we interviewed for the films.
We produced two documentaries on Mayor Tom Bradley: BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE, narrated by Alfre Woodard, is a 56 minute documentary designed for a PBS broadcast, film festivals, and community screenings; and TOM BRADLEY’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, a 46 minute educational documentary, narrated by Shari Belafonte.
Our goal in producing these films is to encourage thoughtful reflection and dialogue about race, racial and ethnic diversity, and coalition building.