2pm: Crucible Of Conflict

Program 5: Crucible Of Conflict
Saturday, February 26, 2022
2:00 p.m. Varsity Center

What happens when the institutions that frame our lives and set up our expectations let us down. Narratives and documentaries, and one stunning animated film  about our relations with institutions and the polis.

Excluded By Design (d. Simon Madore)
Documentary (John Michaels) – 6 minutes

Writer and community organizer Dave Meslin thinks that bad public notices are hurting our democracy – and he’s calling on graphic designers to show us what we’re missing.

Scream For Ice (d. Emir Autemur)
Animation – 4 minutes

The Sun shines, ice melts
A polar bear on its own
A child cries out ah!

The haiku poem you read above is the core of the “Scream For Ice”. And the narrative form of “Scream For Ice” is based on the traditional Japanese art of poetry, Haiku.

Coo-Coo (d. Svetlana Belorussova)
Narrative – 19 minutes

Dasha, a young biologist, prepares to defend her Ph.D. on the Baikal seal. Her Ph.D. advisor is skeptical about Dasha’s love for animals, and her mother only cares about the girl not missing night prayers. A story about a conflict between science and religion, love and suffering, between what Dasha wants and what others push her to do.

Behind These Walls (d. Rehabilitation Through the Arts)
Documentary (John Michaels) – 6 minutes

Behind These Walls documents the experience of Sean “Dino” Johnson through his own unsparing words. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Johnson served a 15-year prison sentence for a drug-related charge. His conviction occurred during the national war on drugs, and before New York State began to reform its notorious Rockefeller drug laws. While incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Johnson discovered the prison’s theater program and was initially skeptical, saying “We are in a maximum security facility and you want me to run around in tights talking about to be or not to be?” Johnson takes the leap though, and the film’s archival excerpts of his in-prison performances alongside his compelling narrative reveal how the dramatic arts impacted his ability to self-correct and express empathy. He describes his mental and emotional transformation as liberating, concluding “I found my freedom behind those walls.”

The Militiaman (d. David Peter Hansen)
Documentary – 32 minutes

In the hills of rural Pennsylvania, the leader of a local militia must prepare his men for the turbulent political landscape of 2020 while at war with his own conscience.

For over ten years, 48-year-old Iraqi War Veteran and machinist Christian Yingling has commanded a troop of private militiamen and women concerned with the government’s infringement on their constitutional rights. The group practices paramilitary drills, stockpiles food and ammo, and attends gun rights rallies in preparation for a doomsday scenario. Now that a worldwide pandemic has hit, followed by a summer of racial injustice protests and a Presidential election like no other, Christian—out of work and nearly out of money—must confront his allegiance and choose to act or not.

One’s Right To Solitude (d. Felix Armand)
Narrative – 9 minutes

Gabriel, 11 years old, is struggling to fit in at school. He is trying to escape the world that surrounds him by using is imagination.

Dancing In My Sadness (d. Casual Affairs)
Animation – 4 minutes

A dark hip-hop song and its animated music video that tells the common story of a traffic stop going downhill, involving a young Black man and a White police officer.

Ignacio (d. Justin Beaulieu)
Documentary – 12 minutes

Under a combative exterior, an orphan conceals deep wounds. Ignacio is preparing for the fight of his life. As he exposes the horrors of Guatemala’s armed conflict, he reveals the tragedy that led to his adoption. Behind this terrible discovery, Ignacio has found hope, that of finding the family that never abandoned him. His biggest dream becomes a possibility.

Ain’t No Time for Women (d. Sarra El Abed)
Documentary – 19 minutes

Tunis, November 2019. A group of women is gathered at Saïda’s, the hairdresser, on the eve of the presidential election. The salon is transformed into a town square, mirroring the internal turmoil of the country. In this female sanctuary, we get an intimate look at the county’s teenage democracy.