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Lauren

True/False Film Festival

by Lauren on April 13, 2016

in In Saint Louis,Organizations, Activities & Events

Over this past weekend, I attended the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO–again with my partner in crime, my sister. I’m less experienced when it comes to T/F, as this was just my second year. So if you want to learn more about the origins of T/F, I suggest clicking this link: http://truefalse.org/about/history

As with any journey, there are highs and lows, but this trip exceeded my expectations. It was all thanks to good friends and good films. Seriously, the films this year were extraordinary, and I was in excellent company.

Back in 1903 when the silent film The Great Train Robbery surfaced, audiences were immersed in a narrative movie (the first of its kind to my knowledge) that leant itself to an outpouring of all different kinds of emotions and reactions. And the best thing? Everyone was experiencing them together, united in laughter or astonishment.

And that’s exactly how T/F felt, sitting amongst fellow festival-goers who were just as eager to see the film. Everyone laughing in unison, or applauding at particularly moving moments. The films that inspired such boisterous reactions were Wiener, a documentary about the life, struggle, and political career of Anthony Wiener, and Sonita, a brilliant documentary about a 14-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran whose dream is to be a rapper.

I was able to see two other films, The Pearl about transgender women and their struggle to fit themselves into society and Author: The JT LeRoy Story about an intense web of characters and personas created by a woman named Laura Albert to attain the credibility and celebrity to write the stories she always longed to write.

Sonita won my heart, and the hearts of many, as after the film she appeared in person and performed. She was met by overwhelming applause, and in that moment I felt so lucky to have had such an experience. Documentary films may not be the most popular, but they have power.

Hopefully, these documentary films will make their way to St.Louis! In the meantime, seek out films that might not be the most popular but embody a message of social justice. And, soon enough the annual St.Louis International Film Festival will roll around. Can’t wait!

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