Jordan Somers’ new documentary short Hope is not cancelled is a heartening introspective through the eyes of Seattle street artists during the 2020 pandemic.
Somers interviews and observes artists creating colorful and healing murals from blank plywood “canvases” for some of the 4,500 businesses that were forced to close. With an optimistic and upbeat soundtrack, Somers delivers an uplifting story for a community around the time of the now infamous CHOP zone in Seattle. This documentary cleverly juxtaposes honest interviews from artists while highlighting their murals- a reflection of what is failing in our society during the worldwide pandemic- and the results of those failures; homelessness, vandalism and racial injustice.
Somers captures this unusual time in history with the artists coming together to bring not only their art, but their words. The cinematography is simple but effective and allows the art to shine through the screen. It is inspirational to hear the artists' stories and viewpoints as to why they do what they do. It is a calling, a need to create- and the blank, plywood-boarded-up neighborhood allowed them to give back something beautiful. This documentary story shows how many of these artists are given a bigger audience than any gallery could deliver and in return are given a much overdue thanks from people in their community. Somers splendidly connects the true spirit of the artists and their inspirational message in conveying a hopeful future. It is interesting to note that Somers found such articulate artists to bring into his medium and the visual story of Hope is not cancelled is greatly enhanced with their insightful narration. One in which the artists describe the pain and suffering within themselves during this moment in time and then let us in on their healing process, which is to give back to their community.
This city of artists shares not only their alluring visual murals but also their private hopes and dreams which are thoughtfully communicated to us by Jordan Somers’ socially important documentary Hope is not cancelled.