SundanceNow

I started my Sunday morning with signing up for a free trial for SundanceNow…let the tear-jerker-documentary-binge-festival begin! The first film on my list was, “You’ve Been Trumped” directed by Adam Baxter. You may have seen the ad for it on Instagram or Facebook: the film Trump doesn’t want you to see. Even before his decision to enter the US presidential election, Trump was dealing with protesters…however not in the US but Scotland. The film documents the ruthless construction by Trump for a luxury golf course & hotel. The plan failed sustainable development standards on numerous occasions, because it was ecologically unsound. It was for this reason it was deeply resisted by the majority of local residents. Despite protests, the plan to build eventually passed and the coastal wilderness, remarked as one of nature’s phenomena in Scotland was ultimately demolished. The film follows the stories of the local residents in Aberdeenshire who face security harassment, legal threats and the cutting off of water and electricity supplies due to attempting to protect their own land from Trump’s tiny greedy hands. The film highlights the incompetency that is our nation’s president based on his willingness to utter falsehoods (even pre-election), & severe lack of knowledge/ respect for science & the environment that due to his power & money leave huge irreversible damage to our planet. Definitely recommend this film!

The second film I watched (instead of doing homework) was “Equal Means Equal,” directed by Kamala Lopez. BRILLIANT! A kick ass,uplifting, while also heart shattering film about women’s status in America. Lopez spent six years studying issues women face: Foster Care + Child Sex Trafficking, The Law, Female Poverty, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reproductive Health Care, Domestic Violence, Wage Discrimination, Female Incarceration, Rape + Sexual Assault, International Women’s Rights. I know YIKES but despite the hard truth of the reality of these issues, the film presented solutions to combating them!  Without giving everything away here were a few main takeaways. The Constitution was written at a time where slaves and wives were viewed as white male property, it was not written to provide equal rights for all. This is why it says “all men are created equal” NOT human beings. If society has shifted (which it has) then there should be a shift in the federal law. So what do we need to ensure the rights of women no matter who is elected president in the future… CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT! The ERA stands for the Equal Rights Amendment & states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” This amendment was introduced in 1923 and continued to be fought for by first wave feminists in the 70s. In order for it to be ratified, it had to be signed by 38 states; in 1979, 35 states signed for its ratification…3 states short. A women in the film said where older generation feminists failed was not telling the story of ERA which virtually obliterated its existence, “we were so hurt when it didn’t pass we just went home & didn’t tell its story.” One of my favorite role models in the world, Gloria Steinem speaks several times in the film (obviously being one of the most famous feminist). Speaking to Lopez about the interrelationship of all the issues discussed in the film, Steinem says, “It’s a circle, like nature, like us it’s a circle. Patriarchy, nationalism, racism is a triangle.” Highly, highly recommend this film to everyone!

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