Is art’s role to provoke or placate? What happens when it no longer reflects current societal views? These questions and many more were the subject of hot debate when Victor Arnautoff’s thirteen-panel mural “The Life of Washington” became an object of local controversy, then a media firestorm. On display since San Francisco’s George Washington High School opened in 1936, it offers a view of the Founding Father both celebratory and critical, referencing his involvements in slavery and Native American genocide. (The Iroquois dubbed him “Town Destroyer.”) But some present-day students, parents, and observers found those depictions racially offensive, calling for the work to be removed or destroyed. Would doing so be a “redaction of history,” “identity politics gone off the rails”—or a justified blow to a lingering American “colonized mentality” as well as ongoing “traumatization” of young minds? Longtime Bay Area documentarians Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman interview historians, artists, activists, and GWHS students to probe a fascinating microcosm of today’s culture wars. – Mill Valley Film Festival.