Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | October 10, 2017

Stories to be, films to watch

I’m 9 days away from the 26th annual film festival of Philadelphia, an event I usually take a week off of work to attend. I haven’t seen the lineup of films yet though I already have the book for it. Every year I like to retain as much spontaneity as I can regarding the film fest, so I often do not plan for it. There have been some years where I will plan very carefully everything I want to see, but sometimes that leaves me with a feeling of too much organization for vacation time. I’m not sure which I will do this year and I like not knowing.

Each year I try to challenge myself in some way, to see a movie or genre that I haven’t been previously interested in. Sometimes these experiments work and sometimes they do not, though I’m glad I challenged myself in the first place. I cannot know what opportunities I’ll have for challenging myself this year without going through the movie lineup and reading all the movie synopses. I can, however, reflect on previous years and see what challenges I want.

Last year I remember seeing a documentary about the work that local volunteers have done for helping non-documented immigrants with medical assistance. The subject matter was relevant to ongoing discussions in this country as well as around the world. I found myself more than fascinated to see this documentary covering the work of the medical personnel, their struggles, what challenges they have to face now and in the future. Afterwards I got to meet some of them and learned that if I wanted to help there are ways to do it.

This was only one film out of the many documentaries they show every year in the film fest. And it’s not only the documentaries that may reflect relevant hot topics around the world today. The filmmakers of today often target these topics because there’s a story to be found there.

We see news reports from all around the world telling of countries that have been torn apart by war or terrorist attacks. There’s a story of a family that has lived through this, a military group that is left behind and confronted with a possible change of view, a musician/artist who feels it’s their responsibility to perform/create more, a group of friends who continue to party as if there’s nothing wrong.

We see scientists and doctors working on new advancements to cure the deadliest diseases, sometimes that heavily target a particular area of the world. I want to know the viewpoint of a parent who’s lost someone and the child who grew to never stop fighting to find the cure.

I want to see the person who thought they could be the next big star in a country that doesn’t allow it.

A scientist studying the pictures from the Saturn Cassini Probe discovers that there’s someone trying to communicate with us.

A previously thought extinct sea creature pokes its head out from the iceberg that just fell away from Antarctica.

These are the stories that react to the world we live in, and that I’m used to this film fest offering each year.

See you there! 🙂

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