Film festival highlights stories of life

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, May 28, 2011

“We have, in short, the right to ask — but never to insist or blithely assume — that God bless America.” — Madeline Albright

Last Saturday I got word from my friend Karl that “Persepolis,” a French animated film based on Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, was held at the Paramount Theater and it was free.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did expect more than the ten viewers or maybe around a dozen. It had been shown earlier in the afternoon with about a hundred viewers we were told.

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The Austin Human Rights Commission sponsored “Persepolis”; their mission was “to cultivate a just and inclusive community where diversity is valued and human rights are respected.”

The movie follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The story ends with Marjane as a 24-year-old expatriate.

It is good to see the Human Rights Commission providing the film festival. Five other films included The Visitor, Shrek — the family feature for the festival, Bullied — the latest film from the award-winning Teaching Tolerance program of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Freeheld follows the landmark legal battle of Lieutenant Laurel Hester, a dying New Jersey police officer who fights to transfer her pension to her domestic partner; Sunday offered “For Once In My Life” — a documentary about a unique band of singers and musicians and their journey to show the world the greatness with each of them.

The next time try to be there. I’m sorry I missed the others. Instead I’m either working part-time or usually sitting at home reading or persuading Mello to quit barking at the people passing by.

Lately I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.” I’m also hoping to complete “Faith Without Certainty” by Paul Rasor. I borrowed this from the Unitarian Church in Rochester and Mello borrowed it from me. She didn’t like the cover.