When right wingnuts collide with a film festival you can bet that filmmakers have some tools to bring to the conversation. Ky Dickens and Dee Wallace recently produced a short film about a film festival:
Dee Wallace: Hi, I’m Dee Wallace.
Ky Dickens: Hi, America, I’m Ky Dickens.
Dee Wallace: And we’re here at…
Ky Dickens: …the Show Me Social Justice International Film Festival.
Dee Wallace: Yeah, this is a fabulous film festival. We have films from amazing film makers from all over the country…
Ky Dickens: …dealing with social justice issues.
Dee Wallace: Right. Homelessness.
Ky Dickens: Poverty.
Dee Wallace: Autism.
Ky Dickens: Gay Rights.
Dee Wallace: Racism.
Ky Dickens: Immigration…
…Dee Wallace: All of the things that expand our thinking, that expand our awareness…
Ky Dickens: …and make our country better.
Dee Wallace: That’s right, because we’re Americans, right? That’s what we do. We talk about everything, we think about everything, we’re passionate about everything, and we speak out for what we believe.
Ky Dickens: And we also believe in the power of art to create dialogue to make social change. And that’s what this festival is here to do.
Dee Wallace: From the beginning of time artists have been some of the best creators and healers of our world. We allow you to think when you won’t, cry when you can’t, be happy when you’re sad, face fear when you’re too afraid to, and show you that you can handle it. [crosstalk] And that’s what…
Ky Dickens: And give you hope.
Dee Wallace: And give you hope. And, what’s going on here, Ky?
Ky Dickens: Hope has been taken away in a major, major way. And Thursday, the day before the festival started the stimulus money that was given to this festival over a year ago…
Dee Wallace: Right. A year, they’ve had to contest this, a year and look into it.
Ky Dickens: …was being threatened to be taken away. [crosstalk] Why, why?
Dee Wallace: The night before, the night before. Well, because, ah, oh my God, we’re dealing with liberal issues.
Ky Dickens: There are certain people in central Missouri that think this festival is, is creating a social or a liberal agenda, or, or promoting a liberal agenda. And what that means to me is that art, unless it fits into a very specific category and, and, and pushing a very specific, specific ideology is not acceptable.
Dee Wallace: And it’s against our Constitution. Let’s just start there. We have a right to discuss, film, believe and write anything we want. And, uh…
Ky Dickens: But I just want to know, what’s scary about just discussing, opening up the conversation, about racism, homelessness, poverty or autism? Really? Talking about that stuff is creating a liberal agenda?
Dee Wallace: You have to think for yourselves, people. It is time to step forward and go, okay, do I want love, do I want harmony, do I want peace in this world? Or do I want fear? Because they’re shoving fear down our throats.
Ky Dickens: That’s right, that’s right.
Dee Wallace: Stand up and say what you believe. Come on, we’re gonna go for a walk.
Meredith Cisco: My name is Meredith Cisco. I was a music consultant on and a singer on Winter’s Bone. And I, I find it astonishing that the people who are questioning the, how the money was spent for this venture, then, that is talking about some of the most important issues that we can ever face in this country, would, would not only have a year to question it and then question it the day before the festival starts and not talk to the festival people, but instead just go to the newspaper. That’s not, that’s not social concern, that’s not good politics, that’s just playing the field. And it, it’s despicable. This is, this is important work and they need to get out of the way and let it happen.
Melanie Corporon: My name is Melanie Corporon, I’m with Missouri Valley Community Action Agency. And this project was two things – one is to educate and engage the community in social justice issues so we begin a dialogue about these issues. And these are real stories, real people, and we wanted to share that with the community. The second thing was economic stimulus – we wanted to bring new people to our community, to promote our area. We have a strong history, we have a strong culture and we wanted to share that with other people around the state and, uh, hopefully our businesses in the mean time.
Dee Wallace: …new jobs here…
Ky Dickens: Yes.
Dee Wallace: …we’ve got caterers, [crosstalk] we’ve got wineries.
Ky Dickens: We funded, yeah, food, restaurants, gas stations, hotels, everything you can imagine, print houses.
Peter Loth: My name is Peter Loth, I’m a Holocaust survivor. I was born in one of the death camps, Nazi Germany, experimented and torture, and also my mother. And after [inaudible] I was left behind under Stalin prison for fourteen years, in orphanages, was raped, tortured…
Dee Wallace: And what is your wonderful message?
Peter Loth: My message is on forgiveness. If I can forgive so can every one of us can forgive.
Dee Wallace: Yes, and that’s about as liberal as you can get, forgiving all of the people that have hurt you, even those people that want to take our rights away or make us feel wrong.
Ky Dickens: …the message this festival is promoting, So, forgiveness is terrifying enough to shut it down. I think we’ve got real problems.
Dee Wallace: Exactly. So, people, write [crosstalk], express yourself.
Ky Dickens: Call, blog,…
Dee Wallace: Blog.
Ky Dickens: …tweet, Facebook. Festivals like this need to stay on the map and need to be supported by everyone.
Dee Wallace: We need you to think for yourselves.
Ky Dickens: And stop being bullied by people who think differently than you.
Dee Wallace: Exactly, and say then, and take action on what you think. Think love, think forgiveness, think peace, think unity, let’s all come together and do with this country what we want to do.
Ky Dickens: And celebrate art.
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The show must go on (September 10, 2010)
Veto Session Reviews for Rep. Denny Hoskins (r): great potental for a Razzie (September 15, 2010)
Rep. Denny Hoskins (r) and the Film Festival: demagoguery, not oversight (September 18, 2010)
Rep. Denny Hoskins (r) and the Film Festival: that was then, this is now (September 20, 2010)
Rep. Denny Hoskins (r) and the Film Festival: no one knew about it… (September 21, 2010)