By Peter Cramer | Contributing Writer
I was drawn to the Sundance Film Festival because I like movies. I’ve always had an obsession with movies. I talk about them, read about them, I think about what would make for a good plot in a movie — but this trip has pushed this obsession to new heights. Movies have the unique ability to highlight universal truths to an audience in such an effective manor, making it one of the best mediums in which to spark up a conversation. Here at Sundance, many conversations have been sparked.
My first film was “An Inconvenient Sequel,” the follow up to the worldwide sensation: “An Inconvenient Truth.” The documentary follows up where Al Gore left off in his last film, offering hard-to-swallow evidence in areas like natural disasters, which have become more destructive than scientists had ever imagined ten years ago. In the conclusion of the film, Al Gore himself came out to speak. There was something so special about that moment, especially due to the fact that while former vice president Gore spoke, the presidential inauguration was occurring across the country, at the same time. The film (and Gore’s speech) left me with a feeling of hope and a drive unlike any other I have felt, which was only built up more the following day at the Women’s March in Park City, Utah.
I have never been one to be too involved politically. However, the combination of the current political climate, as well as, being a part of a class that encourages conversation regarding our own personal stories drew me to the march. Seeing Al Gore the previous day was the highlight of my trip, until I started walking to the march from our condo. It was 20 degrees out, with fresh snow lining the streets, but the cold weather didn’t stop thousands of people from taking to the streets. Artists and consumers, celebrities and average folk, tourists and locals, all came to Historic Main Street. The march itself was no more than five blocks, but it funneled into an open area with a stage where the rally was held. At the rally, I had the opportunity to hear from Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist, as well as several artists, all with valuable and powerful stories. The rally showed a strength that comes with organizing and demonstrating, and has lead to me looking into further political action.
Since Saturday I have had the chance to see sixteen more films and two screenings of short films, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed, but I know that my first 48 hours here at the festival will be some that I will remember for years to come.
Peter Cramer took Jan Term 183: Sundance Film Festival.