Reflections on Our January Screenings

We are so grateful every time we get to share our film with a new audience. We screened the film at two community spaces this week, The Franciscan Sisters in Kirkwood and Mary Mother of the Church in Oakville. Both screenings were full, with new faces, long-time supporters, and returning viewers. We get important questions after each screening, including many we have to follow-up on after additional research (see our blog post on questions we’re in the process of researching). We’ve had controversial questions and moderated discussion between audience members. We envisioned sharing the film this way, in small community settings where the film can spark dialogue between viewers. Every time we leave with a new sense of the issue and a new sense of how our communities can become more engaged in the conversation about energy in the United States.

Everyone who attends our screenings brings a valuable perspective. The film is not really complete without interaction from the audience.

We began this month of screenings in Kirkwood. We had shown the film with the Franciscan Sisters before and to be welcomed back into such a thoughtful, engaged community was a wonderful start to our month of screenings. The audience asked lots of informed questions, and I was particularly impressed by a question from a student about how making the film impacted my everyday relationship with oil products. Not able to say that I had eliminated them from my life, which would be ideal, I could only respond that I now saw much more clearly the impact that transporting oil products has on communities and wildlife. We heard several stories from audience members about triumphs of other communities over pipeline construction, and the sense of hope at the evening’s end was, for me, very palpable and energizing.

At Mary Mother, we were welcomed by a diverse audience – members not only of Mary Mother parish but other organizations and communities of faith. We had many audience members who were new to the issue of tar sands and lots of great knowledge sharing amongst audience members.

We look forward to our two remaining screenings as well as some to be announced in the Kansas City area later this spring.

Thank you so much to Maurice Lange, the Franciscan Sisters, Ginny S., Sister Jan, Diza V., and Mary Ellen for organizing these events. You all make the vision of this film come to life.


Director Caitlin Zera with Mary Mother of the Church screening organizers (from left) Ginny Schrappen, Sister Jan Stocking, and Mary Ellen Factor.

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