Filmmakers Nathan and Keary Kensinger Open a Secret Commie Bookstore


With community organizers and San Francisco taking it on the chin at the RNC last week, and the Brooklyn Book Festival coming this weekend, we figured it was time to share Nathan and Keary Kensinger’s entertaining short doc Bolerium, about the legendary titular alternative-culture bookstore in the Mission District. Billing themselves as “purveyors of rare and out-of-print books, posters, and ephemera on social movements,” the folks at Bolerium are unabashed in their fondness for lefty political movements: Among their most prized items are a record of labor chants and a manual on organizing for women's suffrage. They’re also not into self-promotion: Instead of being some kind of landmark, Bolerium is tucked away in the third floor of a building, and the owners prefer that it remain specialized. But what comes through most in the Kensingers’ film, which looks at a day in the life of the bookstore, is the sense that the spirit of social protest is alive and well, even in today’s America. It’s the best film about a secret commie San Francisco bookstore you’ll ever see.