THE ORGANIZER is a film about people who have dedicated their lives to the controversial job of building power for the powerless.
It's a portrait of Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN and a legendary figure in the misunderstood world of 'community organizing.' Before its infamous demise following several highly publicized scandals, ACORN had been the largest community organization in the US. Rathke, a former anti-war and welfare rights organizer founded the organization in Little Rock in 1970 and over the next decades shepherded its growth into a national political powerhouse for the poor. His entrepreneurial vision helped build ACORN but internal conflict and external pressures would lead to its tragic downfall.
Undeterred, Rathke is now building new organizations around the world and trying to rebuild at home. The film follows Rathke on his travels while flashing back through his past, painting a fascinating untold history of America.
Shot across four continents and with a wealth of archives and interviews with ACORN organizers and community leaders, along with renowned political figures like Noam Chomsky and Marshall Ganz, THE ORGANIZER shows us how a few driven and passionate individuals can transform lives and inspire broad political movements.
Writer/Director/Editor: Nick Taylor
Producer: Joey Carey
Photography/Sound: Nick Taylor and Joey Carey
Executive Producer: Stefan Nowicki
Co-Producer: Charles Koppelman
Composers: Justin Small and Ohad Benchetrit
Graphics Artist: Peter O'Neill
THE ORGANIZER premiered in the fall 2017 festival season. It has since screened over a hundred times at film festivals, academic institutions and community events around the world. The film has won five awards including the Hoka Award for Best Documentary at the Oxford Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival. The film was picked up for distribution in North America by Grasshopper Film, had theatrical runs in New York and New Orleans, and is now available on on itunes and other platforms. Outside of North America it is available on Vimeo-On-Demand.