THE FIRST STEP
Progressive political commentator Van Jones weathers criticism from both sides of the aisle as he pushes for a bipartisan prison reform bill during a moment of intense polarization.
Activist and political commentator Van Jones, who’s perhaps best known for his impassioned address labeling Donald Trump’s election a “whitelash” on live TV on election night 2016, might seem an unlikely candidate to bridge the gap between deeply divided political parties. Yet that’s exactly what happened in the years after the election, when Jones teamed with Jared Kushner and other unlikely allies in a bipartisan push for prison reform. A proud progressive used to being labeled a “radical leftist” in the conservative media, Jones now found himself the target of scorn from the left. Director Brandon Kramer follows Jones throughout this stormy period, as he continues to fight for the passing of the First Step Act while navigating the heated, contentious climate of the Trump years. With Jones as its center, THE FIRST STEP offers a sweeping portrait of a fascinating moment in recent American history, with activists and reformers debating the benefits and potential pitfalls of seeking common ground at a time of high stakes and high tensions.
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