Community Cinema

WILL - Community Cinema - May 10, 2011

Community Cinema, “Welcome To Shelbyville”

Community Cinema, "Welcome To Shelbyville

This is the discussion following the screening of the film, "Welcome To Shelbyville," at the Champaign Public Library, May 12, 2011.

This is the discussion following the screening of the film, "Welcome To Shelbyville," at the Champaign Public Library, May 12, 2011. Jack Brighton from Illinois Public Media moderated the discussion. There were about 25 people in the audience.

Welcome to Shelbyville, is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America's Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone's throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

Set on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, the film captures the interaction between these residents as they navigate new waters against the backdrop of a tumultuous year. As the newcomers - mostly of Muslim faith - attempt to make new lives for themselves and their children, leaders in this deeply religious community attempt to guide their congregations through this period of unprecedented change. Through the vibrant and colorful characters of Shelbyville, the film explores immigrant integration and the interplay between race, religion, and identity in this dynamic dialogue. The story is an intimate portrayal of a community's struggle to understand what it means to be American.

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WILL - Community Cinema - April 26, 2011

Community Cinema, “Bhutto”

Community Cinema, "Bhutto

This is the discussion following the screening of the film, "Bhutto," at the Champaign Public Library, April 28, 2011.

This is the discussion following the screening of the film, "Bhutto," at the Champaign Public Library, April 28, 2011. Jack Brighton from Illinois Public Media moderated the discussion. There were about 20 people in the audience.

Two of the audience members one from Pakistan and the other from India helped the rest of the audience understand some of the issues facing these two countries. Bhutto chronicles the life of one of the most complex and fascinating characters of our time. It's the story of the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation: Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto was born into a wealthy landowning family that became Pakistan's dominant political dynasty. Often referred to as the "Kennedys of Pakistan," the Bhuttos share a painful history of triumph and tragedy, played out on an international stage.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford, and with an eye on a foreign service career, Benazir's life changed forever when her father, Pakistan's first democratically elected president, chose Benazir to carry his political mantle over the family's eldest son. Her two terms in power saw acts of courage and controversy as she eradicated polio and stood up for women, while fighting the male-dominated political elite, and a nervous military leadership, while battling accusations of corruption and scandal. With her assassination she transcended politics, but left a legacy of simmering controversy and undeniable courage that will be debated for years.

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WILL - Community Cinema - March 21, 2011

Community Cinema, “Pushing the Elephant”

Community Cinema, "Pushing the Elephant

This is the discussion following the screening of the film, "Pushing the Elephant," at the Champaign Public Library, March 17, 2011.

This is the discussion following the screening of the film, "Pushing the Elephant," at the Champaign Public Library, March 17, 2011. Professor Eyamba Bokamba of the Lingustics Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, led the discussion. Jack Brighton of Illinois Public media moderated the discussion. There were about 25 people in the audience.

In the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo was imprisoned with her family during violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her harrowing experience included the nighttime arrest of her entire family by government agents, the execution of her husband, the birth of their twin sons in prison, and grim negotiations with prison guards to save the lives of her children. She emerged from the harrowing experience advocating forgiveness and reconciliation.

When war came to Rose's village, she was separated from her daughter, Nangabire, who was 4 years old at the time. Rose managed to escape with nine of her 10 children and was eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona. More than a decade later, Rose and Nangabire are reunited in Phoenix where they must face the past and build a new future. Rose struggles to find balance in her life as a mother of 10 and a full-time advocate for refugees, women, and peace in her country.

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WILL - Community Cinema - February 28, 2011

Community Cinema , “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story”

Community Cinema , "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story

This is the discussion following the screening of "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story" February 24, 2011 at the Champaign Public Library.

This is the discussion following the screening of "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story" February 24, 2011 at the Champaign Public Library. Illinois Public Media partnered with Access Initiative, Champaign and Peer Ambassadors to present this screening.

Tracy Dace and Shalonda Sayles represented Peer Ambassadors and Carol Bradford and Shandra Summerville represented Access Initiative on the panel. Jack Brighton of Illinois Public Media moderated the discussion. There were about 75 people in the audience.

In 2004, Cyntoia Brown was arrested for murder. There was no question that a 43-year-old man is dead and that she killed him. What mystified filmmaker Daniel Birman was just how common violence among youth is, and just how rarely we stop to question our assumptions about it. He wondered in this case what led a girl - who grew-up in a reasonable home environment - to this tragic end? Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story explores Cyntoia's life.

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