RI International Film Festival presents FREE Film Screenings at PPL August 11 & 12

PROVIDENCE, RI – As part of its 2011 showing, the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), will present four free film showings at Providence Public Library, two each on Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12.  The showings will take place in the Central Library’s Auditorium Theater, (3rd floor), 150 Empire Street, Providence, as follows:

Thursday, August 11 – 1:00 pm

STANDING SILENT, Scott Rosenfelt (2010)

An insular Orthodox neighborhood in Baltimore is scandalized after a journalist uncovers generations of child molestation at the hands of prominent rabbis. Unrelenting in his pursuit despite terrible personal repercussions, Baltimore Jewish Times reporter Phil Jacobs is determined to break the silence of victims and expose the predators, trusted and powerful religious leaders. Expecting community support and action, Jacobs is stunned to find himself ostracized by those who would cover up decades of abuse lest they bring shame to the rabbinate and themselves. Through a multiyear investigation, Jacobs confronts not only the Orthodox establishment, but demons from his own past. From Baltimore to Brooklyn, to the streets of Jerusalem, case after case of abuse is slowly brought to light. Recipient of a Sundance Documentary Filmmaker Grant, this taboo breaking film recounts how a courageous reporter’s pen became his sword of justice.

Thursday, August 11 – 3:00 pm

BETTER THAN SOMETHING, Jay Reatard, Ian Markiewicz, Alex Hammond (2011)

BETTER THAN SOMETHING documents the prolific and notorious career of the late Jay Reatard, an iconic underground garage rocker. Through candid interviews about his 15-year career, this documentary captures a remarkably open and eerily prophetic depiction of the rocker only months before his untimely death at age 29. The film features never-before-seen performances and exposes elements of Reatard’s life that will surprise viewers and leave a lasting impression.

Friday, August 12 – 1:00 pm (2 films back to back)

CAROLINA, RI: THE SMALLEST STATE, Carla Ricci (2011)

Fire, famine, and flood, and one particularly difficult mill owner, and one social visionary were the challenges that confronted this community. Through oral interviews and historical research these stories make these challenges alive for the viewer placing our contemporary lives into a different perspective.

GOLD STAR CHILDREN, Mitty Griffis Mirrer (2010)

Gold Star Children is a documentary about America’s children of war: survivors whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving our country. The film is a first-person narrative, told through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl and adult-children of the Vietnam War who are reaching out to help heal this younger generation of survivors. This documentary takes an intimate look at a unique part of the American story – one that is happening now. The film opens with 9-year-old Cierra running through a dirt field in south Texas. She explains she is running for her daddy, training for a race she will run in Washington, DC. Cierra explains she feels like she is the only one this has ever happened to. Her father was killed in Iraq. It is that loneliness of a Gold Star child the film explores as Cierra shares her fears, hopes and pain. Forty-three year old Jeanette is also a war orphan. She was two when her father was killed in Vietnam. Her story begins with the images of black and white video of her father holding her as a baby just before he left for duty. Jeanette discovered the film as an adult. She explains watching the film over and over and over. The film introduces five survivors of the Vietnam War, all of whom lived through an era when their grief was silenced. It was a time when there were no support groups specifically for families and child survivors of war. The events of September 11, 2001 changed everything. For the first time, Jeanette and other survivors of the Vietnam War began to ask the question, what can I do to help a new generation of war orphans. In the act of reaching out, many survivors of the Vietnam War are finally able to heal. While a new generation of children may not face as much anti-war sentiment, their stories are difficult all the same: Cierra must leave her military home base and friends in Alaska, fifteen year old Erin found her father hanging in their garage shortly after he returned from war, ten year old Westin worries his father will be forgotten. Arlington National Cemetery’s section 60 is filling up with the new grave sites of young combat casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan. Jeanette stoops down to help a child at the grave site of her father who was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan. This image brings together the idea of healing for both generations. For the Vietnam era children who were treated indifferently, directly or indirectly, by the military and the culture, this new generation of war orphans is the change to get it right. Gold Star Children examines the common threads that run through the lives of all children whose father or mother was killed in war. Ultimately, it is about the importance of honoring a person’s story. Today’s generation of Gold Star children is healing with yesterday’s child survivors of war.

 
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