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Teresa Bergman and her students are working on a documentary to shed a bright light on the legacy of George Moscone '53.

Teresa Bergman and her students are working on a documentary to shed a bright light on the legacy of George Moscone '53.

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Pacific students produce mini-documentaries about Pacific alumnus Moscone

Apr 2, 2018

George Moscone '53 is one of Pacific's most notable alumni, but few students are familiar with his legacy. Professor Teresa Bergman and her students are working to change that.

A new documentary produced by Bergman, with the help of graduate students, will shed a brighter light on Moscone. The former state senator and San Francisco mayor led the way for the city to become the hub of diversity and inclusion that it's known as today. He also worked to improve accessibility for people with disabilities and played a key role in the election of Harvey Milk, the nation's first openly gay city official. Tragically, Moscone was assassinated, along with Milk, on Nov. 27, 1978.

"It's an honor to work on this documentary about a man who changed San Francisco as we know it today," said communication graduate student Chris Cannon '16, '19. Cannon says he has come to appreciate Moscone as an agent of change.

Bergman also gave Pacific undergrads the chance to explore Moscone's life through the camera. She tasked them with producing two- to five-minute mini-documentaries.

"The students, by and large, were unfamiliar with George Moscone," said Bergman, who also worked on the 1984 film, "The Times of Harvey Milk." "They come from a variety of majors across campus - from communication to business to sociology - and these students have a wide range of filmmaking skills, from absolute beginners to fairly experienced."

Piper Davis '20 said the assignment was immersive and informative.  

"I decided to start my documentary assignment by showing a picture of Moscone to students on campus, asking if they could identify who the man in the photo was," Davis said. "Many could not."

Students prepared for the assignment by previewing the Moscone documentary interviews and footage that Bergman and her team have filmed so far. They were encouraged to incorporate their own footage as well.

Like Cannon, Davis was impressed by Moscone after learning more about him.

"I realized how important George Moscone was to the people who had any sort of interaction with him, during not just his time as San Francisco's mayor, but also throughout his entire life," said Davis. "The impact he had on what is now arguably the most culturally vibrant and diverse city in California or even the United States will hopefully never be forgotten."

The film is scheduled for release in November to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Moscone's and Milk's assassinations. The production team is working to air it on PBS stations throughout California. Pacific has launched a crowdfunding effort to raise $50,000 to finish the documentary. To help close the gap, visit the crowdfunding website at

For more information on Moscone, visit the Pacific tribute page in his honor.

To view the remaining student projects, click on the links below:

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