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A Snake Gives Birth
to a Snake

Directed by
Michael Lessac

USA, South Africa / 2014 / 101

US Premiere
In English, and Afrikaans, Albanian, Bosnian, Serbian, Xhosa, Zulu with subtitles

Screening Times and Venues:

Q&A Attendees
*subject to change:
Hugh Masekela (Woodstock screening only), Michael Lessac, Jackie Bertrand Lessac, Emma Tammi, Henry Jacobson
How do we heal a world where neighbors kill neighbors and violence runs rampant? A diverse group of South African actors try to share a message of rapprochement based on the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in their own country. As the troupe tours war-torn regions of Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia, they ignite a highly charged dialogue among people still suffering from the raw memories of recent atrocities in their own countries.

Emotions are right on the surface. This powerful play turns real as the actors question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness. Everyone is forced to confront their homelandís violent past and no one comes out of it unscathed. Featuring original music composed on screen for the play by jazz legend Hugh Masekela, A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake brings us full circle to the question of can we put aside our differences to create a world where all people can live with respect and justice. óBen F. Fischer

Director, producer Michael Lessac wrote and directed the feature film House of Cards starring Tommy Lee Jones and Kathleen Turner. He has directed sixteen pilots and over 200 television episodes, among them Taxi, Newhart, Grace Under Fire, The Drew Carey Show, Just Shoot Me, and Everybody Loves Raymond.

For the stage, Mr. Lessac has directed at the National Theatre of Yugoslavia, The Guthrie Theatre, The Denver Theatre Center, The Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, The Hartman Stage and The Public Theatre in New York City. He was also founder and artistic director of the Colonnades Theatre Lab in New York where he produced and directed over thirty productions with a company of established actors, playwrights, and composers. He is founder and artistic director of Global Arts Corps, which seeks to develop new theatre pieces around the world highlighting the struggle for justice, basic human dignity, and the possibility of perceptual change. The Truth in Translation project was the first major production of those efforts. He is currently developing productions in Northern Ireland, Cambodia and Bosnia for both the stage and film.

Before life in theatre and film, Lessac was a singer songwriter and had an album out on Columbia Records called Sleep Faster, We Need the Pillow produced by John Hammond. Lessac also holds a doctorate in Developmental Psychology.

Executive Producer(s): Jonathan Gray, Nick Quested, Robert Lear
Producer(s): Michael S. Lessac, Jacqueline Bertrand Lessac, Emma Tammi
Director(s): Michael Lessac
Cinematographer(s): Henry Jacobson, Anastas Michos
Editor(s): Joel Plotch
Composer(s)/Music: Hugh Masekela, Nathan Halpern
Sound Designer(s): Tom Paul
Other Credits: Consulting Producers: Josh Alexander, Yvette Hardie
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The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.
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