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- Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
Groucho Marx famously played havoc with the old adage “time heals all wounds,” concluding instead that “time wounds all heels.” While I’m not convinced as to the absolute truth of either statement, it would seem that today we have plenty of heels in prominent places whose currency is divisiveness at the expense of the greater good. And their behavior needs to be addressed with some sort of healing process that reaffirms our shared humanity which transcends any differences we may have.
In covering events and penning stories for this edition of SHOOT, these concepts came to the fore, a prime example surfacing at the DGA Awards ceremony when Greta Gerwig went on stage to accept her nomination medallion for Lady Bird. Gerwig said to her peers in the audience, “Storytellers are healers and I am so honored to be included among you.”
Storytelling can indeed be healing--by raising awareness of injustices, fostering empathy for others, even helping us to look at ourselves differently. On all these fronts, consider our Sundance Film Fest coverage which includes The Sentence, the first documentary from Park Pictures Features, the feature division of spot/branded content house Park Pictures. The Sentence shows us how the family of Cindy Shank is impacted by her imprisonment for a mandatory sentence of 15 years. Directed by Shank’s brother, Rudy Valdez, The Sentence calls our justice system into question while putting us in the shoes of not only Shank but also her three young daughters and how they coped with their mother's absence.
The Sentence won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at Sundance. Jackie Kelman Bisbee, one of the producers of The Sentence and a founder of both Park Pictures and Park Pictures Features, described the experience of making this film as “a highlight of my career.” She affirmed that Park Pictures Features will be doing more documentaries.
Jordan Peele, in accepting the DGA Award for Outstanding Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for Get Out, said that the stories being told by Guild members can shed light on humanity, spark empathy for others and push back against hate and bigotry. Peele called on the filmmakers in the DGA audience to continue to “use your voice,” which is “the most powerful weapon we have against evil.”