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California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown

2011
1h 26m
Biography/Documentary
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Cast

Tom BrokawJerry BrownWillie BrownWarren ChristopherGray DavisDianne FeinsteinTom HaydenNancy PelosiStu SpencerKevin StarrPete Wilson

Director

Sascha Rice

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Synopsis

CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND tells the story of how one man rose against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and shaped the future of modern California. Rather than lionizing Brown as "the Architect of the Golden State," the film looks critically at Pat Brown's odyssey to build a "Super State," raising issues that transcend eras and geographic borders. As the Vietnam War shifts the nation's consciousness, Brown is caught in the middle of the cataclysmic 1960s, with the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, fiery race riots in Los Angeles, and the United Farm Workers Movement in the Central Valley. Brown's epic battle against capital punishment unleashes an international uproar. Finally, a telegenic Ronald Reagan steps onto the world stage promising to sweep all that away. Brown's tenure ends as a new "era of limits" begins. Told from his granddaughter's perspective, Brown's struggle to overcome humble beginnings reveals a dynamic American Dream story - a compelling journey that unfolds through interviews, archival footage, home movies, and cinema verite as the filmmaker wrestles with the inherited optimism of her grandfather's legacy. The issues Brown faced have urgent relevance now - in the West and nationwide: failing education, crumbling infrastructure, gridlocked traffic, and water threatening to become the next oil. This intimate portrait of Pat Brown has the power to ignite optimism and provide a template for what we can and should expect from leaders today.

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