“Town Destroyer”

“Town Destroyer”

2022, 53 minutes

Town Destroyer explores the ways we look at art and history at a time of racial reckoning. The story focuses on a passionate dispute over historic murals at a public high school depicting the life of George Washington: slaveowner, General, land speculator, President, and a man Seneca leaders called “Town Destroyer” after he ordered their villages destroyed during the Revolutionary War. The controversy becomes a touchstone for a national debate over public art and historic memory.
Produced and Directed by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman
Executive Producer: Peggy Berryhill (Muscogee)
Editor: Gregory Scharpen
Original Music: Carla Khilstedt and Matthias Bossi

Now available from Bullfrog Films. To preview or purchase the film:
Educational/Institutional, community group, and home video rates available

Mill Valley Film Festival
Roxie Cinema, San Francisco
Sebastopol Film Festival
Salem Film Fest
Sarasota Film Festival
FilmFest D.C.
Mendocino Film Festival
Ouray Film Festival

“Not to be missed.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Fiery, Nuanced, Remarkable. Town Destroyer sheds new light on our first president. It also illuminates a work of art that roiled the city and the nation.” —San Francisco Examiner

“A fascinating overview of a case that encapsulates many of the bitterest divisions of our era.”
Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

Town Destroyer prompts a critical examination of the role and limits of provocation in art, especially in regards to who provokes whom.” —Jonathan Cordero, Exec. Director, Assn. of Ramaytush Ohlone, the original peoples of the San Francisco Peninsula

“For a documentary to even-handedly and adroitly cover a complex, painful, and controversial subject requires not only talent, but a clarity of vision and cinematic compassion. Award-winning Bay Area filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman have accomplished just that in their timely Town Destroyer.” —C.J. Hirschfield, Eat, Drink, Films

Help us distribute this film:

Contributions of any size are welcome and will be acknowledged. Make checks payable to “Snitow-Kaufman Productions” and send to: Snitow-Kaufman Productions, P.O. Box 7402, Berkeley, CA 94707.

A production still of Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow shooting footage on location in front of the controversial mural at George Washington High School in San Francisco