Students Pursue Social Justice Through Film

Social Justice Film

The Film Studies Program at Boston College sponsored a film screening of four student-produced documentary films on Friday night. Funded by the Jacques Salmanowitz Program for Moral Courage in Documentary Film and the LaMattina Family Grant for Social Justice Film, each short documentary focused on a different social justice issue. Film professor John Michalczyk provided a short introduction for each film and lauded the students for their diligence and passion.

The first documentary, titled Haiti: The Aftermath of Natural Disaster, showcased the work of Beth Pezzoni, MCAS ’18, Sebastien Cadet, WCAS ’18, and Rusty Cosino, MCAS ’19. The film documented the students’ trip to Haiti to provide relief services to the devastated island. Upbeat Haitian music provided the heartbeat of the film that described the positivity of the Haitian people following years of recovery from the earthquake that ravaged the small island in 2010. Responding to the volunteer filmmakers’ generosity, a Haitian man expressed gratitude for the continued relief efforts on behalf of others and encouraged people who have a desire to do good to continue to help out the Haitian people.

“Help is from the heart—it doesn’t come from your possession,” the man said.

Grass Routes: CORD (Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development) India commented on the state of development in rural India, which is minimal compared to other areas of the country. The documentary took place in Tamil Nadu, India, where Louise Nessralla, MCAS ’19; Audrey Hersman, MCAS ’19; Mackenzie Hulme, MCAS ’19; and Sierra Dennehy, MCAS ’18 ventured as a part of GlobeMed. Grass Routes detailed the efforts of CORD to empower women to gain financial independence by selling sustainable goods in their villages. A zoomed-in shot focused on the process of creating and packaging peppermint balm, which has healing qualities. The organization also centers on providing educational resources to children and combatting rampant alcoholism, a serious threat to the well-being of the rural communities, as one bottle of alcohol may cost as much as a rural worker’s daily earnings.

Leah Bacon, MCAS ’18, was unable to debut her film, Kwibuka: Remembering the Genocide Against the Tutsi, due to technical difficulties, but the student filmmaker briefly recalled her study abroad in Rwanda and the filmmaking experience. The documentary details the importance of remembering the 1996 Rwandan genocide and depicts the state of present-day Rwanda. Bacon will be premiering the short film at Cadigan Alumni Center on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Featured Image by Kaylie Ramirez / Heights Editor

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