Monday, February 29, 2016

Winners to Love

Besides the victory of sexual abuse survivors and investigative reporters with the Oscar for Best Picture going to Spotlight, the 2016 Academy awards gave hope to other survivors.

  • The award of Best Actress to Brie Larson for Room gave hope to those who have been kidnapped and held or who have missing relatives.  I knew she would win the minute I stumbled out of the theater; that film had my teeth chattering as she and her son tried to escape the clutches of her 7-year kidnapper.  
  • All the nominees for Best Documentary Short highlighted survivors, but the winner A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness gives hope to women who have been attacked with acid or other forms of so-called honor violence and killings.
  • Best documentary went to Amy, the story of non-survivor, Amy Winehouse, but this scrutiny of her battle with drugs may help others to win.
  • Best Foreign-Language Feature went to Son of Saul, the quintessential Holocaust story, another film about those who did not survive but struggled to preserve their own humanity in inhuman circumstances. The award is well-deserved though I also liked Mustang, about young girls in Turkey being sold into marriage--a fun film with a great plot, even 90% cheerful in spite of a situation of abuse.  
  • Best Animated Feature went to Inside Out, the story of an average girl's feelings of fear, anger, disgust, and joy in junior high and high school.  All of us who have survived those years have to applaud.
  • Even Stutterer, which won Best Live-Action Short, is a heart-warming survivor story.

Film critic Mary McNamara described last night as "the first Oscars in memory that, nakedly and unapologetically, attempted to do something other than hand out a bunch of gold statues.  Which is revolutionary in and of itself."

It included Vice President Joe Biden "calling on the audience to help end rape and sexual assault on campuses before introducing Lady Gaga and her nominated song 'Til It Happens to You.'"

McNamara ended with the overall goal of film, to be "a medium of truth-telling and a catalyst for change"--which these winners surely are.  

Our job now is to find these films online or in theaters and be changed by them.

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