4.08.2011

No Right To Despair

Saw a few more docs today, some better than others. First up was Hot Coffee, a very well-made film about the civil law system in the US and "tort reform". . . but I promise you it's WAY more interesting than it sounds! If you have any interest in consumer rights (or journalism, or big business control of politics), you should see this film!

Then I saw Living For 32 about the killings at Virginia Tech. It follows one of the survivors of the shooting who, while an interesting young man, wasn't really compelling enough to drive an entire film. It was beautifully shot but sometimes it felt like it relied too much on how good looking the main character was, and the over-all aesthetic of the film, and didn't really dig deeply enough into either the shooting or the main issues. It was a great sort of intro into some of the problems with gun control in the US but just didn't impact me as much as some of the other films.

Next up was The Fence, about the border fence. I wasn't really a fan. I felt like the filmmaker was too focused on being sarcastic and witty and ironic and it just fell flat for me, and felt like it made light of the whole situation a bit too much.

Sin Pais, however, was wonderful. A fairly simple and short film, but it really shows the humanity of one family forcing deportation. I cried a number of times, probably because it reminded me so much of my clients. I accosted the filmmaker afterwards to tell him about some of the pending legislation here in Oregon, in the hopes he would spread the word in his upcoming post-screening Q&As when people ask, "What can we do?"

Finally, over dinner between films, I started reading Howard Zinn's autobiography, You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train (great title, also the title of the wonderful movie about him). Towards the end of the intro, he talks about being asked how he can possibly be hopeful when things seem so dark. He talks about what he has overcome in his life and the friends who have died and says, "And so I have no right to despair. I insist on hope."

So true. I have no right to despair. I was born into such privilege and luck and love. I have no right to despair, regardless of what I see. I insist on hope. Onward.

Image: source.

1 comment:

sebasquiat said...

So much of this post, but especially the title, reminded me of a TED talk Courtney Martin did recently. It's her mother's comment that she would not stand for Courtney's desperation that did it, I think. The talk is called "Reinventing Feminism," and it emphasizes the issue of intersectionality. If you're interested, here's a link: http://www.ted.com/talks/courtney_martin_reinventing_feminism.html