The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

Community Bonds Cannot Be Broken

Families and children who fled violence in Central America during a surge of migration in the summer of 2014 are being targeted by ICE. What are their stories?

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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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Latina/os in Turners Falls

Herencia Latina

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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Living With Bipolar Disorder: New Documentary Film on Singer Meg Hutchinson

Meg says in the film, “There is a medicine as old as humanity. It’s human kindness and compassion.”

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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 NewEnglandFilm.com, 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. NewEnglandFilm.com 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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See, Hear, Feel Film at Amherst Cinema

It’s a familiar routine, one that doesn’t necessarily inspire pride: I come downstairs most mornings to see my eight-year-old huddled on the couch under a blanket, comfortable and happy, giggling away as he fritters away the first half hour of his day, watching Disney teen sit-coms available on Netflix.

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Creating Community through Film

What does “WIIFM” have to do with fostering interfaith and multicultural understanding? This is a question I asked myself when a public relations consultant volunteered to advise the Steering Committee of the Sharon Pluralism Network (SPN). “WIIFM,” or “What’s in it for me?” refers to the idea that people take interest in activities when they believe that paying attention leads to something of value for them.

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Doc Films and Social Impact: Outreach, Outreach, Outreach

Documentary films are changing the world. From the global warming warnings of An Inconvenient Truth to Supersize Me’s cautions about our fast food culture and Spike Lee’s study of Hurricane Katrina’s human cost When the Levees Broke, audiences are discovering hidden truths the headlines can’t reveal through the unique character studies and craftsmanship of non-fiction film.

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