Coming soon this summer.
Running Time: 105 minutes
On May 24th 1955 the first racially integrated Hotel and Casino opened in the gambling boom town of Las Vegas, Nevada. Built on the Westside, the African-American enclave housing the entire Black population of the city during the Jim Crow era, the iconic‘Moulin Rouge’ would become legendary. Leading lights of entertainment, black and white, played to mixed audiences within the same time frame as the Emmett Till murder and the heroism of Rosa Parks. Local filmmakers Stan Armstrong and Gary Lipsman tell the story of how, in the short span of only six months, history was made in the unlikeliest of places. Plagued by fires and rumors of Mob connections, investors still came with plans and dreams for its future, including Sarann Knight Preddy, the first African-American woman to receive a Nevada gaming license. Ultimately all would fail,and today it stands as a vacant lot. Owners, management, entertainers, and ex-employees, such as Maurice Hinds Sr. share their memories along with contributions from others such as the Hon. Oscar Goodman, Review Journal columnist John L Smith,and Michael Green PhD. Three years in the making, Desert Rose Productions brings this modern phantom out from the shadows and into our new light as a living myth in"The Misunderstood Legend of the Las Vegas Moulin Rouge.
Running Time: 57 minutes
Stan Armstrong presents the third in the Invisible Las Vegas trilogy; The Rancho High School Riots. Hosted by actor Antonio Fargas, this documentary focuses on the turbulent years 1967 to 1974 when racial tension and violence spread throughout the Clark County School District. The film highlights the Rancho High School Class of 1971 which seemed to be the apex of the disturbance.
Fights and arguments broke out between African-American and white students in this North Las Vegas School. Outsiders inflamed the situation further by coming onto campus to stir up trouble. Dramatic confrontations with police in the volatile climate lead to dozens of students being maced, one very ill with leukemia sadly died, and a police helicopter was brought down by hurled rocks.
Former students such as local basketball star and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, and Rancho’s first black cheerleader Louise Randall, tell of events they witnessed. All-American center Lee Gray tried to diffuse confrontations personally, and white athlete Danny Gray remembers feeling torn between loyalties to friends on both sides. Black Panther members Greg and Kenny Porter, and ROTC student Daniel Crevoisier recall their experiences. Former Principal Larry Olsen, and Jerushia McDonald-Hylton give the point of view of staff at the school during the unfolding drama.
Running Time: 52 minutes
Invisible Las Vegas 2 brings the story of West Las Vegas up to date, showcasing the challenges and issues facing the African-American community now dispersed throughout the decidedly 'multicultural' Las Vegas of the 21st Century.
Through interviews with local residents, police, educators, activists, and clergy, it tells the story of modern, post-segregation West Las Vegas. With stunning cinematography, original historical research, and heartfelt testimonials, this latest documentary from Desert Rose Productions brings the tragedy and triumph, the struggle and love that drives this American community to life.
Running Time: 60 minutes
Invisible Las Vegas one is a historical look back at West Las Vegas, Nevada in the 1950's, dubbed by Ebony Magazine "the Mississippi of the West - separate but not equal". This documentary showcases stars of the time; Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway, and Josephine Baker, and tells the almost forgotten story of the thousands of blacks who came from the deep south dreaming of a better life.
Running Time: 75 minutes
The American Civil War has been call the war that divided brother against brother, friend against friend and race against race. The best indication of the latter is how Native Americans chose sides. Stand Watie led his Confederate braves against fellow Cherokee and other Indians; while Ely Parker (Iroquois) and 3,600 native Americans fought for the Union.
The third installment of the "Minorities of the Civil War" Trilogy, Native Americans of the Civil War, focuses on the five civilized tribes and their contributions to both sides as well as the northern Chippewas and Iroquois who were led and tutored by the northern abolitionist during the war. This documentary also focuses on Brigadier General Stand Watie most noted for being the last general to surrender during the Civil War. He is portrayed on film by Las Vegas local and Desert Rose Production Associate Producer, Leon Yazzie (Navajo) and Harry GoodWolf Kindness (Iroquois), the author of Walk for Justice, portrays his adjutant.
Running Time: 75 minutes
Little is known about the black men, women and children who fought for the Confederacy during the four turbulent years 1861- 1865; the loyalty of the freemen of color and the slaves who labored for the southern cause, the northern abolitionist Frederick Douglass who tried to convince Abraham Lincoln to use Black troops at the start of the war, Confederate President Jefferson Davis who knew the necessity of using blacks from the start, and the heart-warming story of the Chandler Boys - friends who fought during the war, one black, one white, yet both true Confederates. Director Stan Armstrong tells the stories of these unsung heroes of the Civil War with a degree of personal interest, inspired initially by tales told by his parents of a white ancestor who was a Confederate Captain in a Louisiana Regiment who took his mulatto son into battle with him as a body servant.
Running Time: 57 minutes
This historical documentary uses Civil War re-enactments, historical footage, photos and contemporary interviews to explore a controversial event in American and African- American Civil War history. In 1864, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest led Rebel forces that overran Fort Pillow in Tennessee. Hundreds of Union soldiers were killed, some while surrendering or retreating. Most of the casualties were African- American soldiers. Considered a massacre by some and acceptable wartime action by others, the Battle of Fort Pillow triggered congressional hearings to investigate the actions of Forrest and his command.
After the war, Nathan Bedford Forrest was persuaded to become the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, a fraternal organization formed to protect Southerners' rights during Reconstruction. Forrest later ordered the Klan disbanded in reaction to the KKK's barbaric acts against African Americans. In the latter part of his life, Forrest sought reconciliation with African Americans, as evidenced by his speeches and support of African-American advancement.
Through examination of this talented military leader and the controversy surrounding his tactics, the video clarifies some of the critical issues of the Civil War. Several Civil War experts offer differing views of Forrest's actions during and after the War.