Meaningful screening in Northampton

Hi Lisa,

The screening went really well!

My sincere apologies for being so slow in letting you know. A couple extra things with my family and my day job and just my life came up at the same time, and I got overloaded. So, as I said, I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you before now.

About the screening – It seemed like people got a lot from the film. We showed it last Friday evening at our regular Friday Night Free Film Series. Around 35-40 people came to see the film, which is what we often get. However, around 25-30 of them stayed on afterwards for the discussion, which is way over average for our series! Almost everyone who stayed on participated in the discussion People were moved by the film and energized by the veterans and their stories, and by Coffee Strong.

It was our good fortune that two local members of IVAW Amherst chapter, which co-sponsored the event, were able to come to the screening and stay on to facilitate the discussion. These vets are Jen Blain (currently serving on the national board of IVAW) and Ted Goodnight. Their participation contributed so much to the amazing quality of the discussion.

Several other US military veterans also attended the screening. All these vets are engaged, in one way or another, in bringing to light the process of dehumanization that has to occur in order for ordinary people to take part in military life. These vets are involved with Veterans for Peace, the Veterans Education Project, the G.I Hotline, anti recruitment counseling, in writing and publishing their stories, and in organizing veterans and allies around the issue of public accountability for the military to recognize the humanity of service members.

About 15 people lingered on after the discussion, talking with each other in small groups as we cleaned up the community room and put it back in order. The general impression I have of the evening is that good connections were made and/or deepened among veterans and civilians doing anti-war work in our local area.

Thanks and much respect for your film, Lisa.

All the best,

PS – The Northampton Committee doesn’t really have the capacity to do fundraising, but I will be making a personal contribution of $25 to the film, as well as $25 to Coffee Strong. Thanks again!

About Lisa Gilman

I am a professor of Folklore and English at George Mason University. This is my first film project though I've been working for several years on a project with veterans about music and war. I also do research in Malawi on dance, gender, and politics.
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