I am still thinking about the films I saw last night at Lunafest, a traveling film festival focusing on women and gender issues.
The University of Alabama’s Women and Gender Resources Center hosted the event at Bama Theatre. It was a good chance to see many friendly sister-friends I haven’t seen in a while.
The event was also a chance to meet new friends, among them, Olive, a graduate student who donated beaded jewelry from Rwanda. One necklace was paired with the fish leather earrings I donated for the event’s silent auction. I was especially touched to learn the jewelry was made by women from warring tribes in an act of reconciliation.
I loved, too, the films, among them “Waiting for Hassana,” a short documentary addressing the friendship between two girls kidnapped from Boko Haram.
I needed the laughs offered in “Fanny Pack,” a film that upends stereotypes in and outside of airports while also putting on display the love between a father and daughter.
I was also happy to see “Jesszilla,” a documentary about a girl who wants to be an Olympic boxer someday.
And I am still pondering the horrors experienced Asian women working in nail salons as seen in “Joy Joy Nails.”
Upon this morning, I was reminded of the freedoms we take for granted and the work that still needs to be done to ensure that everyone, girls and women included, no matter our differences, real or perceived, has a right to chase and capture fulfilled dreams.
Finally, I was touched to hear opening words from Dr. Heather Pleasants of the University of Alabama who talked about the power of digital storytelling, something I often do to push my thinking and the thinking of my students. Indeed, while looking at self-surveys from former students I saw again and again mention of how videos and music help them better understand how to make connections between course content and the history behind and before us.