Two weeks ago I had an idea. Nothing more, just a simple suggestion. Several of my friends, however, took the idea seriously enough to challenge me to take it as seriously and follow up. So, I took a timid step, then another and another. Fourteen days later a plan has taken shape. I am nervous, humbled, and thrilled all at the same time.
What I suggested was that we might show a world-class documentary somewhere in Little Rock, probably at my local church. The movie would be related to one of several social issues of current debate. I had mentioned three movies, but my thinking was to pick one and see what kind of response we could get first. Then several of us discussed a weekly series of up to, say, four weeks. I liked the idea of a series a lot, but upon further reflection and discussion, one showing a week seemed too intense. What about once a month? Perfect.
So, which documentaries should we select to bring to Central Arkansas. My personal favorite, Home, did not make the cut because it did not quite fit the 'theme' as described below. Here are the ones that did get picked.
- Do the Math is the shortest of the four (43 min), but it may be the most important, as it articulates what may be the only question that matters in the long run, how to address the climate crisis. This brings us to the 'theme', which is that we must tackle these crises together through non-violent direct action on a grass-roots level, here and around the globe.
- The second movie, Occupy Love, brings home this point again and again. It is only through compassion and solidarity that we will we overcome these most troublesome of issues in every arena.
- The third, A Place at the Table, looks at the heart-rending problem of hunger and poverty in our country. Here again the magnitude of the problem seems overwhelming, but the solution is not without precedent and it requires all of us. These first three films were released this year, quite current.
- The final movie, The Day After Peace, came out in 2009. It is the middle of three Peace One Day documentaries, but we chose it over the third at the recommendation of the producers. ("If you only see one, pick this one.")
After choosing these films, we next considered the venue. A church building is not exactly the most conducive setting for several reasons, perhaps the least of which have to do with projection, lighting, and sound. Fortunately the owner of Market Street Cinema came forward and graciously offered a more appropriate facility for the film series. It has not gone without notice that St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, the host of this series, began its ministry and had its first worship service at this theater. Just a bit of nostalgia.
No public film series would be complete without publicity. We will use conventional advertising where feasible, certainly, but these films are the kind that are intended to be shared virally through social media. Please help us spread the word by Liking, Sharing, Commenting, Inviting, Tweeting, Posting, Pinning, and Emailing, even if most of your network friends do not live in Arkansas. These movies deserve to be "talked about" around the world.
From the outset we decided we would not focus on just one issue, such as climate or poverty or war. But there is a common denominator among these films, which is that our world now faces a number of serious crises, any one of which could be demoralizing by itself. But instead of inviting us to hang our heads in despair, we are inspired to come together in compassion and in unity to make a difference and change the world. The theme is that our hope is found neither in apathy nor in violence, but in working together through love.
The "One in Seven Billion" film series Home page is http://1in7b.donnal.net.
|Do the Math||Preview||350.org|
|A Place at the Table||Preview||magpictures.com|
|The Day After Peace||Preview||peaceoneday.org|