Sunday, July 31, 2011
On August 13th & 14th, Community Cinema Vashon will be showing two films at Ober Park that speak out on social activism and choosing one’s life calling. For those who have not heard of this exceptional and FREE program, I encourage you to come and participate in this nationwide event. Community Cinema Vashon began in April of 2011 and will be ending the first season with two sensational films that will surely bring your consciousness to a new level.
Community Cinema premiers films that air on PBS – KCTS – Channel 9 – through the Award-winning Independent Lens Series. Community Cinema is located in more than 95 cities across the nation that bring together “leading organizations, community members, and public television stations to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.” After the film we support participation and discussion. I think one of the most powerful aspects of this program is that Community Cinema is a way for us to share meaning and learn to live together in a changing world. Community Cinema, I feel, is a way for us to recognize that we cannot separate ourselves from the whole. To awaken to a broader truth means we need to see our part in it and Community Cinema is one avenue in which this participatory consciousness is taking place.
On Saturday August 13th, from 2:30-4:30, Community Cinema will be showing, Deep Down. Deep Down is set in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky and is about the battle over mountain top removal for coal. This film brings to the table an exceedingly important argument over energy in the 21st century. Bill Moyer will be the film’s discussion facilitator and The Backbone Campaign is a co-sponsor. This film echoes the very recent struggle over the Glacier Maury Island gravel project.
On Sunday, August 14th, from 3:00-5:30pm, the sixth and final film of the first season will be shown. The film is titled, The Calling. This film follows four young adults in their respected faiths on their dramatic journey to become professional clergy. This calling to serve a higher good is demanding and their sacrifice is incredible. This film provides a lens in which to view faith in America but more importantly it “calls” into question, “how can we best serve our communities?” Anyone can have a calling and it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to have a religious component, quite the contrary. How can we serve humanity and ourselves in a creative, humane, and passionate way?
What is your calling? Please come and share your experiences. We invite you to join us at a Celebratory Potluck out in the park after this event.
Mark you calendars for Community Cinema Vashon 2011-2012 season every 3rd Sunday at the Performance Room in Ober Park from 3-5pm. Watch for colorful filers about town and announcements in the papers and on island event calendars. All films are FREE and followed by moderated discussion.
Please visit communitycinema.org for more information or contact: Jane Berg @ 206-567-4532.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
After film discussion moderated by Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign
Beverly May and Terry Ratliff grew up like kin on opposite sides of a mountain ridge in eastern Kentucky. Now in their 50s, the two find themselves in the midst of a debate dividing their community and the world: who controls, consumes, and benefits from our planet’s shrinking supply of natural resources?
While Beverly organizes her neighbors to stop a coal mining company from advancing into her hollow, Terry considers signing away the mining rights to his backyard — a decision that could destroy both of their homes. Their once-peaceful mountain community of Maytown finds itself in the center of a contentious battle over energy and the wealth and environmental destruction it represents.
As the world’s population soars, humankind must keep digging deeper and deeper down for the earth’s natural resources to feed our voracious appetite for energy — fighting wars over diminishing supplies of water, oil, and coal. But it is not only the earth itself that is rapidly changing and disappearing: as we excavate resources in ever-expanding areas, small communities are being flattened, taking with them our world’s diverse cultures, traditions, and lives.
Through a complex human story that cuts across environment, economics, public policy, and culture, the story of Beverly May and Terry Ratliff reveals the devastating impact of our energy consumption against an explosive backdrop: Appalachia’s centuries-old struggle over the black rock that fuels our planet.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Father Mark of St. John Vianney will host a moderated discussion after the film, which will be followed by a potluck picnic in the park celebrating the end of the first season of Community Cinema.
(Note: this preview is for the 4 hour miniseries version. Some scenes/characters won't appear in the
1.5 hour version Community Cinema will be showing)
A look at young Americans — Christian, Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim — preparing to become the nation’s next generation of religious leaders, The Calling explores the forces that are drawing young people to serve their communities and their faith.
Embarking on life paths that demand tremendous personal sacrifice and commitment, these seminarians must uphold timeless truths in an era that values quick fixes and hot trends, and face a public that challenges the very relevance of their mission. A new look at an old job, The Calling takes viewers into the unknown world of seminaries to tell entertaining and compelling personal stories of how faith is lived today.
The Calling intercuts its characters’ stories from their first days of training, through years of study, and into their early practice as religious professionals. We follow them within and beyond the walls of their schools, confronting the sacrifices they’ve made to pursue this path. We see them debate theology and philosophy, learn to deliver sermons, perform their first weddings and funerals, and counsel people in crisis. We also experience them as young people at the crossroads of their lives, struggling with dating, partners, family, and other challenges of “coming of age.”
The United States is one of the most religiously observant and spiritually diverse countries in the world, yet mainstream media has surprisingly underrepresented the significance of faith in our lives, and our pluralism has been explored almost exclusively in terms of race and culture. Documentaries that have been produced on faith often focus on single faiths, church scandals, fundamentalist extremists, or religion’s polarizing effect on society. The Calling underscores our spiritual common ground and offers intimate portraits that provide a fresh, nuanced portrayal of faith in America.
FROM THE FILMMAKER"One of the many things I have learned in the years I spent on this
project is that equal to the characters’ religious mission is their zeal
to serve their fellow human beings. What unified this group, which
is so varied in background, faith, and approach to their work, is their
call to make the world a better place. Similarly, the word “calling,”
which was once only understood to be a holy pursuit, is commonly
used today to describe a passion or compulsion, but usually from a
place of selflessness or giving.
And herein lies what I hope that viewers will take away from this
film. The Calling’s stories portray lives not so different from all of
ours. The characters are struggling to find their way in this complex
world, but they are making a stand for what they believe in. This
is not beyond or above any of us. All of us — atheist, agnostic and
religious, young and old— can connect to these stories and use them
to ask ourselves: What do I believe in? What questions do I want to
understand? What gives me passion? How can I give back? What is
— director Danny Alpert