I had never been to a film shown during the Citizen Jane Film Festival until Sunday. I attended the screening of Georgina Lightning’s “Older Than America” at Ragtag Cinema. The film is based on actual incidents when Native American children were forced to attend boarding schools and often physically, sexually and emotionally abused.
Citizen Jane Film Festival, hosted by Stephens College, occurred last weekend. Festival events took place at both the campus at Stephens and Ragtag Cinema. As previously reported by the Missourian, this is the second year Stephens has hosted the festival.
The festival, which celebrates women in film, showcased animation, documentaries and feature-length movies. Most of the screenings were followed by a question and answer session; members of the audience discussed the film with someone involved with the making of the movie, usually the director, producer or writer.
For “Older Than America,” the theater was completely full; several moviegoers sat on the floor or stood to see the movie. I thought it was excellent and highly recommend others see it. During the question and answer portion, I saw that many people were also deeply moved by the film. Lightning discussed making her way into Hollywood and developing the idea for the movie as well as the problems of racism in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Many audience members shared their feelings about the issue and thanked Lightning for coming to show the film.
Leaving the theater, I saw a long line of people waiting for the next screening that nearly flowed onto the sidewalk outside.
It was a great experience, and I was glad to see so many people taking advantage of the film festival.
Submissions for this year’s festival grew by 2 percent, according to the Missourian article.
I hope the festival continues to attract more submissions and attendees.