Is there evidence that a documentary can change the opinion of an individual that has viewed it? Can such a change inspire an individual to become an example of how cinematic art can transform? The documentary, “Miss Representation” has been screening to receptive audiences across the continental United States and the world. The documentary was recently shown at the crown jewel of Sacramento, California-“The Crest Theater” and the reaction the film received was quite amazing!
This nextooze.com reporter has always wished to document the very moment when art(in all of its myriad forms) clearly and dramatically alters a person who is in the same space as when the artistic trigger is pulled! This article is a chronicle of that night at the Crest Theater and the moment when an individual was transformed.
Sacramento is clearly undergoing an artistic revolution at the moment. One of the individuals behind this artistic upheaval is actress/filmmaker, Christina Marie. It was Marie who was the driving force behind bringing the documentary to screen at the theater. Christina was also the hostess for the night of the screening and she had detailed how she contacted the creator of the documentary, Jennifer Siebel Newsom and requested if she might be able to show the documentary in Sacramento.
Film screenings will vary in style and quite often reflect the individuals’ tastes. Many behind these screenings will often try to create a festive element so the the audience is more receptive to the film being screened. The ambiance Christina Marie created that night was an interesting juxtaposition of a cocktail party and a Hollywood premiere event sans red carpet. Marie impressed with her genuine enthusiasm and cheerful disposition discussing the documentary with those that had arrived early, indeed she was able to converse with each and every one who was present.
Miss Representation is a documentary which illustrates the subject of how women and men are bludgeoned by images from the mainstream media. The purpose of which is to program both sexes into believing that a woman’s true worth is in her youth, appearance and ability to have sex. The documentary includes many interviews with notable figures such as Condoleezza Rice and actress, Rosario Dawson discussing their experiences and thoughts about many topic beyond “the glass ceiling”. The documentary presents its case using the same editing techniques that can be found in most of the currently viewed media and this ironic twist is one of many that creator, Newsom utilizes to arrive at her well researched conclusion.
After the screening concluded and house lights were slightly lit, Christina Marie introduced a panel of local movers and shakers to the audience. The first to be introduced was Tracy Saville. Saville is truly a person that cannot be labeled easily. She is a published writer who has graduated from Harvard, Saint Mary’s and the National University! Saville is a dynamo who seemingly appears not to need sleep as she multi-tasks several projects such as publishing her magazine, “Leading Possibilities”. The next panelist was talk show and news host, Kitty O’Neal. O’Neal is the afternoon radio host on radio station, K.F.B.K. 1530 in Sacramento. The last to be introduced was Steve Hamm. Hamm is an artist and designer whose work tends to be favored by those with tastes for high end kitchen and other interior design.
Many who have attended more than just a couple of panels will know that these panel events can be quite dreary, but these panelists were able to effectively engage the audiences’ attention through sometimes harrowing tales of personal tragedy and triumph. It was these personal experiences that inspired an unexpected and ultimately moving story spoken by a teenage member of the audience. She had spoken of the alienation and the estranged relationship she had with her mother who was also in attendance in the theater. The documentary and the panel had apparently changed her at that moment and in an amazingly touching demonstration of the power art can sometimes have-she reconnected with her mother on an emotional and physical level. The scene left most in the theater reaching for each other and for many others-a kleenex to wipe true tears of joy! Panelist, Tracy Saville was so moved that she left the stage to hug the teenage girl and her mother.
What is the purpose of art? Is art created to satisfy a need? Is art meant to demonstrate the best that we human beings have to offer? Is art created with the intention and hope that all who view, read and experience it will change for the better? It is these questions that one could successfully argue that Miss Representation clearly answered considering the many conversations that those in attendance could be overheard to have had as they collectively left the theater only to be embraced by the frigid sting of the Sacramento night.