Three documentaries will be shown at Saturday afternoon at Washington University‘s Brown Hall Auditorium. They are part of the Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF), a project of Cinema St. Louis.
At noon “Give a Damn?” a film directed by American Dan Parris, will be shown.
In this moving but surprisingly lively documentary, three friends from St. Louis – a pair of idealist activists and a skeptic who is uncertain about his responsibility to care about the poor – immerse themselves in poverty by traveling through the U.S., Europe, and Africa while living on $1.25 a day. Their journey takes an especially harrowing turn when they survive a plane crash in Africa and must fight to finish what they started. Along the way, the trio encounters an array of inspiring activists, whose stories are interwoven with the tale of the filmmakers’ eventful travels.
Destroyed in a dramatic and highly publicized implosion, St. Louis’ Pruitt-Igoe public-housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians, and policymakers. “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” explores the social, economic, and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America and traces the personal and poignant narratives of several of the project’s residents. In the process, the film provides important insight into St. Louis’ history, the evolution of the civil-rights movement, and the charged racial climate of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. In an enthusiastic review, Variety notes that the film “combines concise but thoroughgoing sociological-historical analysis and elegant cinematic resources in service of an uncommonly artful example of film journalism.”
Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. By reviving the ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leonean John Caulker is helping his countrymen build sustainable peace at the grassroots level – succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts failed. Using powerful footage captured at village gatherings where perpetrator and victim meet face-to-face and reconcile, the film explores a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals – and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities. The Hollywood Reporter writes: “Director Sara Terry brings a career’s worth of journalism experience to this assured filmmaking debut, organizing her material into chapters that escalate in drama and illuminate her main subject’s mission without ever getting distracted by his personal life or history.”
- Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Plaza Frontenac, Lindbergh Boulevard and Clayton Road
- Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar Blvd.
- Washington University/Brown Hall Auditorium, Forsyth Boulevard and Chaplin Drive (two blocks west of Skinker Boulevard)
- Webster University/Webster Hall’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood Ave.