Review: 2021 Global Peace Film Festival impresses students

Reflection: A Walk with Water ”explains the root of the climate crisis

Written by Emma Lostutter (’23)

In a world hyper-focused on production and readily available materials, it is clear that we

have lost touch with our most precious natural resources. Our environmental destruction and rapid water depletion require a call to action, which begins with conversation first.

Reflection: a walk with water”(2021) does exactly that. Director Emmett Brennan follows like-minded activists on a 200 mile LA aqueduct hike, engaging farmers, engineers, city planners and indigenous voices to discuss how our most precious resources and most elementary ones are exhausted.

“Reflection: A Walk with Water” appeals to the viewer’s sense of ethics most effectively, using stomach-turning imagery and breathtaking cinematography to support its message.

Unlike many contemporary plays on the climate crisis and water shortages, this documentary does not focus on the consequences of the neglect of previous generations. Refreshingly, he sees a more positive future through a lens of hope and action instead.

Emmett Brennan’s passion spanned the film to its audience. After seeing this film, I felt motivated to take action, as I expected to leave fearful for the future of the world.

I was impressed by the film’s attention to what the company can do instead of focusing on what we should not to do. This movie is a good illustration of how the first step in helping to resolve the problem is to understand the problem. To everyone, I would suggest doing this through the captivating and moving “Reflection: A Walk with Water”.

“Finding Howard” rediscovers the golden rule

Written by Jordan Mclean (’23)

In opening of “Finding Howard: The Legacy of a Song”(2021), Lee Domann says:“ There comes a time when we have to say, ‘I wish God that I never did this, but I did.’ Isn’t it great knowing that I did something wrong and maybe I can make some changes? “

David Levine’s film “Finding Howard” carries a strong message: Treat others as you would like to be treated. The Golden Rule. ”The call-to-action film follows Levine as he educates students and communities across the United States, focusing on the emotional story of Howard Ray as Social outcast. Lee Domann witnessed Howard’s bullying, and his vision of being a spectator is a heartbreaking prospect that goes unreported.

This moving film features the families of the Sandy Hook victims, the students of David Levine and the family of Howard Ray. He shares the overwhelming impact of tragic stories on the people who heard and experienced them. The students featured were especially inspired to analyze the way they treat others and ensure that no one has to feel like Howard Ray or Lee Domann again.

When people take the time to watch this film, they will walk away with more understanding for each other and compassion for everyone.

“Cured” depicts the battle against systemic oppression

Written by Michael Fisco (’23)

In a past filled with pleasure and pain, it is worth asking what tragic ordeals the LGBTQ + community has faced in the era of sexual repression. Previously perceived as a mental illness, homosexuality is the subject of Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon’s feature documentary, “Cured“(2020). The directors shed light on a group of activists who challenge negative perceptions of the LGBTQ + community.

While recent progress towards equality has been set in motion relentlessly, nothing can prepare the public for the rampant prejudices and latent social climate of the 1950s to early 1970s.

The film’s graphic imagery and provocative clips firmly affirm its position as a timeless critique of culture, triggering the call for an intellectual awakening. While the film serves best as a chronicle of historical and anecdotal efforts to fight the American Psychiatric Association (APA), it still effectively uses action to build powerfully relevant commentary.

Only 52 minutes long, this documentary incorporates interview testimonies of affected people with B-roll footage of protests to cement his plea for change as an uprising. Moreover, the progression in which these figures achieve their goal of changing the paradigms instilled by the hegemonic structure of the APA is revealed with intention.

The montage of Singer and Sammon never ceases to invoke a sense of urgency for the success of the movement, as well as the elimination of unethical operations on LGBTQ + youth.

“Cured” highlights the APA’s exposure of sadism toward marginalized groups of people and boldly demonstrates a new horizon of hope for those in the throes of systemic oppression.

“Sowing change” calls for sustainable purchasing

Written by Lily Denneen (’23)

Sowing change”(2021), directed by Richard Yelland, raises awareness of the important work that various social enterprises do to promote sustainable consumption.

The film features several social enterprises, but primarily focuses on Sambazon, a company that sustainably harvests acai in the Brazilian rainforest.

As a social entrepreneurship major, I enjoyed learning about the design and implementation of Sambazon initiatives, as I had never heard of the company before. The film emphasizes the need to support sustainable businesses through footage of environmental destruction coupled with shocking statistics of climate degradation over intense music.

After the film, Yelland participated in a question-and-answer session that delved into the topics presented. Yelland explained in more detail the sustainable companies entering the market and that there has to be a societal shift in which more people normalize and prioritize purchasing in a sustainable way.

One of the current barriers to this is that sustainably sourced products are often more expensive than convenience products from big brands. This is because commodity products have the financial resources to keep their market prices low, and their production often costs less than the costs of producing products from sustainable and ethical sources.

“Soul Settlement” offers a first-hand perspective on the ordeals of war, immigration

Written by Elsa Medina (’22)

Soul settlement”(2020), directed in Germany by Hille Norden, follows the struggle of a family of four to cope with the war in Syria and to immigrate to Germany.

The film opens with the father, Saher, moving to Germany and being separated from his family for four years. His wife, Lubna, and their two children, Melad (13) and Zeen (10), were in Syria during those four years, enduring the war.

The film shows how families integrate into their new country and back into their own families. It’s a beautiful film that gives a personal take on how immigration and war affect people, from children dealing with the trauma of the death of their neighbors, to feeling like outcasts in a foreign land and culture.

Norden’s goal is to demonstrate that despite their past and present challenges, the featured family continues to strive for a better future in which their happiness is made. These are people who have been shattered by the war, but that does not mean that they cannot rebuild themselves to find peace.

The filmmaker manages to show the audience how people deal with these situations in their daily lives and gives an almost direct perspective through the eyes of this family.

“Sleeping Warrior” Showcases the Strength of Young Women and Their Communities

Written by Allison Stewart (’22)

How can we change lives in seemingly simple ways? In the film by filmmaker Janet Wells titled “Sleeping warriors (2021), the public sees the real impact that simple means can have on people’s lives.

In the film, we follow the story of the first African women’s lacrosse team and the steps necessary to secure the U19 world championships in Canada. Throughout the players’ journey, we see their growing empowerment and strength, as well as growing support from the community around them in Western Kenya.

Wells builds a very ingrained image of the women on this team and their daily struggles. Even at the start of the film, we see how one of the girls works daily, shoveling the dirt and taking care of her adoptive family at home.

The sound design, in part the placement of silence and ambiance in the film, emphasizes the close connection to the land on which these young women train.

The title “Sleeping Warrior” refers to the mountain under which they train. Just as these young women train under a mountain, the strength and courage they exude from their interviews and training clips shines through onscreen. One of the young women even reunites with her long-lost mother during the film as she discovers her identity.

Audiences will leave this film feeling touched and determined to support their global community.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of Sandspur or Rollins College.

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Gerald R. Schneider

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