The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | film

The Pride of Springfield vs The Pride of the Lakota

Florentine Films/Hott Productions finished two films this year that, at first blush, would appear to have no connection at all.  One is SciTech Band: Pride of Springfield, a half-hour film about a band in Springfield, MA that has a profoundly positive effect on the graduation rates of a troubled high school.  The graduation rates for […]

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Herencia Latina

Latina/os in Turners Falls

On Thursday September 17th, around twenty-five people gathered at the Shea Theater in Turners Fall to watch episode six of Latino Americans, the six-hour, 3-part documentary that aired on PBS in spring 2013. Facilitator Mari Castañeda, Ph.D., reflects on the gathering.

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“Cast Your Whole Vote”: Conversations on the American Social Contract

Two days ago I had the honor of moderating the second of this fall’s four Created Equal: Conversations on Negotiating the American Social Contract events. The series of public film and discussion forums is designed to showcase the theme of Mass Humanities’ 40th Anniversary year (Negotiating the Social Contract) and encourage community organizations and cultural institutions to imagine, propose and carry out public humanities projects of their own.

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The Cream of the New England Short Film Crop

Technically, the Internet reaches a worldwide audience, but for us at, we try to think a bit more locally. The initial idea for the Online New England Film Festival came from our goal to promote local filmmaking to our local community. has provided casting/crew listings, a production directory, and an online magazine since 1996, so the online festival, which launched in 2009, is a newer part of our site.

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Othering: Lessons from Rwanda for Our Schools

Twenty years ago Rwanda collapsed amidst a hundred-day genocidal rampage by its majority Hutu population against the less numerous Tutsi. The quick ferocity of the slaughter stunned and shocked the world, though not enough to prevent it. The seeds of hatred had been planted decades before, fed by colonial Belgian overlords who deliberately promoted othering of one group, the majority Hutu, by the more-favored and socially dominant Tutsi.

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