Music and Film

The Long Night

The Long Night

As part of my 36 Hope Expands Series, I am practicing proximity by sharing the film The Long Night by Tim Matsui with other members of The Global Team of 200. The film is free to watch through this weekend.

The film follows lives effected by domestic sex trafficking in the Seattle area.

Seattle. The United States. Human trafficking happens here too.

 

The Parents.

The Runaway

The Addict

The Police

 

The film is difficult to watch. Being exposed to such profound pain is not fun. I almost deleted this whole post, when I realized that part of proximity is hard.

Lisa-mcdsI would like to share two parts of the film with you.

Lisa, a heroin addict and prostitute, arrived at Genesis (a program implemented by the police to help trafficked minors into a new life.) A police officer gave her a bathrobe. She wept at the simple act of care.

Here you can see a photo essay of Lisa’s journey.

The runaway returned home, yet felt she would never be able to win her parents forgiveness. ‘I didn’t need to. They loved me unconditionally.’

 

Tim Matsui has not stopped with just making the film. He worked with The Fourth Act, an organization that brings storytellers and images together to create change and The Fledgling Fund doing the same through filmmaking.

 

There are hard things out there that shouldn’t be. It is so easy to look away.

Our challenge is to look and shrink the distance between us and those in need and respond. 

It’s about proximity. 

Start by viewing this photograph. It is cause to pause. 

a song that breaks

yet

Ginny Owens. Her song, if you want me to, breaks me.

A degenerative eye condition left Ginny blind. I never knew that about her. It is her story now and she sings.

 

It’s these words that I love…

You are not through with me yet.

Thank goodness. Because I feel like one frigid mess right now. I’m not even a hot mess. For everyone that is put together, I don’t get it. I get so weary of battling myself and all I feel like I should be.

 

What you want… I say yes.

Because God, you are good to stay with me and not be through.

 

One of my other favorite songs is Coldplay’s Fix You. 

Sometimes he doesn’t want us to fix ourselves constantly. He kind of loves us just as we are.

yetyet

What are your favorite songs? How do they break you and draw close to God? 

Trade of Innocents

trade of innocents

A big welcome to our guest writer, Diane Harvey. She’s a super woman at placing herself in the proximity of renewal. She’s also our steady friend from Australia full of insight and encouragement. 

I saw the movie, Trade of Innocents last night, starring Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino, which focuses on the worldwide problem of human trafficking. It was powerful and distressing just like I thought it would be. It was a thriller. I felt my heart beating in some places, and spent most of the time with my hands gripping my tissue packet.

The movie is set in one community in South East Asia. The American husband and wife were played by Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino. He was a detective and they were both trying to come to terms with the kidnapping and loss of their own young daughter in an idyllic American suburb.

There was resistance to the investigative operation. The police chief argued that the problem was too big to fix and that they were only after one man, that it was better to agree with the community who see and remain silent. We later found out that he was being paid off and was himself part of the problem as he was gaining financially by tipping the trafficker onto raids and turning a blind eye.

The disturbing trade is highlighted in the interaction between the American tourist, who appeared to be a married businessman and family man, but who wanted to use really young girls, and the brutal trafficker who agreed to supply ‘freshly picked flowers’ for him through kidnapping.

We got a glimpse into the lives of  the women and girls who were already captive, in one scene we saw one lady physically, verbally and emotionally abused by the trafficker who later died of her injuries. The dialogue transitioned to unsubtitled Thai in this scene, which added to the viewer’s feeling of powerlessness, horror and fright.

In the quiet moments we were taken with the sweet American lady (Sorvino) who shared about her story of loss, and helped escaped victims tell their story and begin to heal as they woke up each day in a safe environment. When she began her work, they were wary of her. A local had said to her, “they don’t trust Americans. They come, take their photos and leave nothing (good) behind.”

I have been thinking about this topic for a while so I wasn’t being presented with this grimy reality for the first time. The thing that did shock me was the reference to the practice of sewing girls back up to make them appear as virgins. I knew that women sometimes do this before marriage in some cultures to appear virginal, but it didn’t occur to me that this was being done as part of this evil trade.

At the end of the movie we had various non-profit partners speak to us about what they do in prevention, rescue and rehabilitation and heard some stories of hope. We were encouraged to pray about what part we could play and encouraged that we can act both individually and corporately to fight this trade (which is larger than the arms trade and the drug trade). I signed a petition for our country to have a minister for human trafficking, gathered some brochures, a fridge magnet on a “Walk for Freedom” fundraiser and left with the determination to fight this evil trade.

Will you join with me in my fight to abolish modern day slavery?

The Film Website and trailer

Resource Website

Facebook  and Twitter 

diane profile

Diane Harvey resides in Perth, Australia.  She is 36, has been happily married for 6 years, and has two beautiful children. She has studied education and theology. Currently, she is on maternity leave and serving in her church in the areas of women’s discipleship and social justice.

A Place at the Table

A_Place_at_the_Table_2


A Place at the Table is a film that looks at food insecurity in the United States.

The film features three people struggling with where their next meal will come from.

  • Barbie a single Mom who grew up in poverty trying to claim a better life for her children. 
  • Rosie a fifth grader who depends on neighbors and friends for food and has difficultly concentrating in school.
  • Tremonica a second-grader whose health issues are furthered by her lack of healthy food.

Watch the trailer here.

The companion book features thoughts from the those leading the fight to end hunger.

 

How can we help? 

Educate others about SNAP.

Behind every SNAP card is a family and children. Their faces should motivate us to compassion. Their stories are so much more than we assume.

SNAP

SNAP (food stamps) facts and stories. If you have ever wondered about food assistance through the government please read these facts.

From Feeding America: Snap Facts, Myths, and Realities.

From the Hunger Coalition: 6 SNAP (Food Stamp) Myths

Common SNAP myths downloadable print out via USDA

From Bread for the World: It’s Time to Bust Myths about SNAP

 

Church Resources:

Bread for the World is a faith based organization working to end hunger. Download their follow up toolkit here.

When families have limited means for purchasing food they buy the cheapest options. This is often unhealthy food full of empty calories. A way to fight hunger in the United States is to help make healthy food available.

Get Involved:

  • Make your local food pantry a priority. 
  • Teach your kids about food insecurity. Sesame Street Download Eating Well on a Budget.
  • Many farmers’s market are accepting SNAP payments, see if your local market makes this available.
  • Support community gardens.

Barbie

[Barbie Izquierdo and kids in A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.]

Girl Rising Advanced Screening

1681736-slide-slide-3-girl-rising-10-by-10-cnn

About Proximity is so excited to be hosting an advanced screening of the film Girl Rising. 

If we can gather enough interest, Holland will be in the first wave of screenings.

 

I know all of you beautiful people are not from Holland… here is the link to host a screening near you, go for it! (Seriously!)

This is a life-changing film and an invitation to make a difference!

 

Watch the trailer

Visit the Girl Rising Website

 

How can you help?

To bring the film to Holland we need to have at least 100 tickets reserved.

Holland 7

Thursday, March 7, 2013

at 7:30

 

You can reserve your ticket here. Cost $10.00 (a portion goes to the organizations that work with the movement.)

Gather your girlfriends, your book club, church group…

 

Find Updates on the Event Facebook Page.  Please feel free to share this event through facebook.

Thanks for being such amazing people to take time to watch this film.

 

After the showing About Proximity will run a series on how we can respond through the sponsor organizations of Girl Rising.

Please let me know if you have questions! lisavanengen@gmail.com

girl

Affluenza

ts eliot

When your life closes…

“How much of your story will be about moments of clarity and grace, kindness and caring? … [or will you appear as] a tiny cartoon figure, darting frantically among mountains of stuff?” pg.247

We have a responsibility to think about how much we consume, especially in relation to the rest of the World.

 

Affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. 

 

Affluenza is a PBS documentary film and a book:

Watch the 1 hour documentary online here.

Check out the teacher’s guides from grade 5- high school. There are ten lessons with video clips and discussion guides for all subject areas.

Here is a link with 100 ways to break away from affluenza.

affluenza book

Coming Spring 2013… Girl Rising

People are moving in compassion and in the hope of renewal.

We can be a part of the movement! 

Mark your calendars for next spring to watch the documentary film Girl Rising.

10 Girls

10 Countries

10 Writers

10 Actresses Narrating

Giving girls globally an equal opportunity for education has been proven to:

  • reduce poverty
  • reduce child morality
  • reduce population growth
  • reduce HIV infections
  • change conditions leading to terrorism
  • reduce corruption

Visit the 10 by 10 website. 

Meet the Girls .

Watch the film trailer  and videos.

Learn More about how education to girls can change our World.

Start a 10 by 10 bookclub.  We’ll look at some of these books in the coming months leading up to the release of the film. Their are book club toolkits for adults, young adult and middle grade.

If you are an educator or know an educator check out the educator toolkit . There are options for upper elementary through high school, to use in the classroom.

You can also work with partner organizations, see the options here.

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Shakespeare Behind Bars  is an award winning documentary film.

The movie documents a year of following the Shakespeare Behind Bars theater troupe. The troupe began in the mid 1990’s with volunteer director Curt Tofteland and inmates at Luther Luckett.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest takes place on a remote island. The story follows Prospero whose throne was taken unjustly by his brother. Prospero seeks to restore himself and establish justice. There are strong underlying themes of forgiveness and justice in this great work of Shakespeare.

The film is a beautiful and moving example of the power of creative arts in the lives of those who seek to be renewed.

This film is also an example of the term restorative justice.

The restorative justice page of the organization World Renew is a great resource.

Definition: Restorative Justice is a biblically based view of criminal justice that attempts to engage victims, offenders and the affected communities in bringing about deep and lasting solutions by focusing on restitution, restoration, healing, and the future. At its core, it’s about relationships.

Have you witnessed creative arts help restore life? 

Half the Sky Documentary Film

I thought this needed it’s own blog post!

Husband and wife author team, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, wrote the book Half the Sky, Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. 

Their book was turned into a documentary film to be shown on the PBS series Independent Lens in a two-part series.

Tune in October 1 and 2 on your local PBS channel to watch.

The authors, film makers, and activists visit ten countries. Through the film they put a human face of the abstract ideas of trafficking, prostitution, violence, and poverty. In the midst of difficult circumstances, they profile woman who have sought innovative ways to change their situations and the situations of others.

You will be inspired by the courageous stories of the women and girls profiled. This is an important conversation to join in making a difference.

If you have not read the book Half the Sky, I highly recommend adding it to your reading list. 

Someone Exactly Just Like You

I like music. (Sometimes I listen to ‘secular’ music.) But, it doesn’t really feel that way to me.

I really, really like LOVE stories. I love them so much, I watch You Tube montages of love stories. My friends know, but I don’t think I should admit with what regularity I do this in. (Am I watching this montage of Anne of Green Gables and Gilbert for the seventeenth time? No, that’s absurd…)

 

Lyrics are words that move hearts, set to music.

Whether a song has a secular theme or not, I always feel Christ’s love for me.

 

Use Somebody is originally by Coldplay. I like the version by Laura Jansen, too. (I listen to it seventeen times in a row.)

 

A Love Letter to You:

I’ve been roaming around…

 

And God calls out~

You know I could use somebody

Someone like you and all you know and how you speak

Someone like you…

 

Someone exactly just like You.

 

This is truth.

That is why the God of this Universe created You.

 

I am ready now~ 

That is our love letter back.