Its only a coincidence that the ninth and final film in the inaugural season of Durango Community Cinema is a local favorite. But Bliss Bruen, who brought the PBS series to Durango last fall, said Two Spirits is the perfect closer to whats been a successful first year.
When we show a film here, we are aware that its being shown in 99 other communities across the country so not only can we forge new relationships here between individuals and nonprofit organizations, we can as a community connect with dozens of other organizations and community efforts nationally, she said.
Two Spirits is the critically acclaimed story about Fred Martinez, the Cortez transgendered teen who was murdered in 2001. His dual gender roles were viewed as a gift in his Navajo culture, but the bigotry inherent in his local community is blamed for his murder, and Southwest Colorado takes a black eye in the filmmakers recounting of the incident.
After the screening, a panel and audience discussion will be led by Fort Lewis College professor Majel Boxer and by Greg Weiss, president of the Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity.
Durango Community Cinema is a free monthly screening series that features films from the PBS series Independent Lens. The previous films were Reel Injun, Deep Down, The Calling, For Once in My Life, Me Facing Life: Cyntoias Story, Pushing the Elephant, Bhutto and Welcome to Shelbyville.
Right from the start, this series of social issues documentaries seemed like a great fit for our community, Bruen said.
Each film is followed by a discussion panel of locals with some expertise on the topic. Films from the 2010-11 season were sponsored by 23 local organizations and panelists included a private investigator who followed the money trail in East Africa, a former prison warden and many international travelers with insight into the films locations and cultures.
Panel discussions are televised on Durango Community Access Television.
What intrigues me is that in the very cool process of figuring out what the local resources are for these challenging problems, weve been recreating and strengthening relations between DCAT and various segments of the community. Ive had people on panels say they had no idea what other people were doing to address these problems, Bruen said.
The Durango Community Cinema screenings moved from the Durango Public Library. Two Spirits will be the third film shown in the Vallecito Room in the Student Union at Fort Lewis College. Attendance for the films ranges between 40 and 80 people. Bruen said the series will resume in the fall, and she hopes to see the crowds grow.
My hope is that next year well get even stronger local campaigns going to support these individuals and connect them with a wider audience of potential volunteers and donors, she said.
People really want to do something after they watch a compelling documentary about how their lack of doing anything is contributing to the problem. Theres always something we can do.