documentary discussion group

Brent Finnegan -- January 25th, 2008

If you’re like me, you like watching documentaries, but you want to discuss them with someone after the credits roll…

I’ve been involved in starting a group for people who live around Harrisonburg, and want to get together to watch and discuss documentaries. It’s sort of like a book-of-the-month club.

Our first screening will be this Monday (January 28) at 6:30 at Court Square Theater. There’s no admission fee. Future screenings will likely be in the basement of Clementine.

You can join the Google Group to find out what we’re watching, and to stay informed of future screenings.

19 Responses to “documentary discussion group”

  1. Frank J Witt says:

    If anyone that is opening the restaurants downtown is in need of some equipment, please contact us…we have alot that is less than 2 years old. The list is on my blog. Thanks

  2. finnegan says:

    I just realized that the film at Court Square Theater tomorrow evening will be happening during Bush’s final State of the Union Address (and possibly during Jim Gilmore’s visit to JMU?).

    For those of you more interested in a film and discussion about debt and the credit industry than in Bush’s or Gilmore’s addresses, the film and discussion will still take place at 6:30 at CST. Hope to see you there.

  3. finnegan says:

    Last night’s screening of “Maxed Out” at Court Square Theater went well. There were over 100 people of all backgrounds and ages — a nice cross-section of the community.

    The discussion after the screening touched on topics ranging from government regulation of lenders versus government bailouts of financial institutions, personal responsibility versus corporate corruption, and the current “economic stimulus” plan being carried out in DC.

    One of the more interesting suggestions on slowing personal spending habits: freeze your credit card in a block of ice and leave it in your freezer.

  4. Gxeremio says:

    I enjoyed the film and discussion last night. I noticed something interesting in a news story today about Wal-Mart:

    “In addition to the extra discounts on ‘thousands of products,’ the retailer said it will offer no interest for 18 months on purchases of $250 or more with a Wal-Mart Credit Card.” and “While its rivals, including Target, have seen sales decelerate dramatically in recent weeks from a consumer spending slowdown, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is actually benefiting from more shoppers trading down to its discount stores.”

    Maybe we should put Wal-Mart, the High Cost of Low Price on the list of films to be screened. It certainly opened our eyes to their predatory, community- and economy-damaging practices.

  5. finnegan says:

    Either that one, or Our Town (which I have not seen yet). I also liked this episode of Frontline on that topic.

  6. Lowell Fulk says:

    High Cost of Low Price is on my list to show at some point.

  7. danno says:

    Another good documentary idea – I don’t know how easy it is to get these from BBC, but I saw the rest of the pieces of this on Youtube last year, which they have deleted since. It’s got a lot of unsettling hatespeak, but it’s still great to see how this reporter tried to get through to that family.

    It was great to see such a good turnout last night.

  8. linz says:

    Thanks to everyone who had a part in putting on the event last night. I look forward to many more like it. I enjoyed the nature and tone of the discussion. I was challenged to think about various aspects of the topic and it was a good format to keep things from getting off-course or heated. The event was a good reminder that there are many intelligent, thoughtful, articulate people in our community.

  9. Barnabas says:

    I didn’t really like ‘Wal-Mart, High Cost of Low Prices’.
    It had good info but was poorly done. I didn’t feal like it told the whole story. If you want a good anti Wal-Mart propaganda film than that is a good film to show.

  10. Josh says:

    Danno: Thanks so much for posting the Phelps documentary reference. I was able to find the remaining clips online. It was unsettling to watch but I somehow feel that I understand that family better now. I had always assumed they were a neighborhood church with an extreme message; I had no clue they were a close-knit compound with a prophet leader.

  11. danno says:

    Yeah it gives you a different perspective when you actually watch them going about their normal lives away from all the picketing nonsense, and the kids going about regular old kid things. And the reporter manages to have some actual *dialogue* with some of them. Except the leader of course, what a screwball.

  12. Frank J Witt says:

    So, going against Wal-Mart, we can expect the local markets/employers to provide products that lower to middle income people can afford?

    Being a small business owner myself, I can afford to buy in bulk…but I guess COSTCO isn’t under the same spotlight…right. Where can I and my neighbors get “stuff” at a relatively affordable price?

    Before you slam my response as ridiculous…please inform me where I could get all the things I need for my family. Without W/M can you tell me that Red front and Sharp Shopper would not have the same products but with higher prices? Would there still be such a bizarre shopping experience as Big Lots/Dollar General/Family Dollar…or would these these places just be another low ball competitor offering cheap goods to the masses?

    It is easy to blame one company but if people didn’t find value in it, then there would be no need for it.

    If there were no need for a W/M, then I guess we wouldn’t need
    H3’s or Mercedes…

  13. finnegan says:

    If you’re not doing anything this evening at 7:30, come to the basement of Clementine. We’ll be screening and discussing the documentary “Garbage.”

  14. Gxeremio says:

    We ended up cutting out soon after we arrived at Clementine tonight because it was too full and there were no remaining chairs that weren’t spoken for…maybe next time the viewing can be at CST and the discussion at Clementine. Clearly the discussion drew a lot of people, which is a good sign for the future!

    I’m a little confused why we were told to RSVP for a place that couldn’t accommodate us.

  15. finnegan says:

    Sorry that happened, Gxeremio.

    There were a lot of people that RSVP’d that later canceled, so the thinking was; let people come and fill those seats. The only problem was too many extra people showed up, and they didn’t want to make it exclusive.

    I don’t know the best way to show films down there. Perhaps a no RSVP, first come, first served policy would work better?

  16. kai says:

    “Perhaps a no RSVP, first come, first served policy would work better?”

    I agree.

  17. Lowell Fulk says:

    Things went fine Brent. Great event. Great turnout. Great movie. Great venue… Things went very well! Sold out is a good thing. My daughter Sarah, who I can assure you has been exposed to documentaries to the point of being numb, thought the whole thing was cool. Everyone I spoke with enjoyed the evening and the documentary.
    We even had people come downstairs to see what was going on who stayed, and wanted to become involved!
    A very successful event my friend!

  18. jos says:

    hie, i am of the view that all all documentaries in the representation of the historical world are biased in one one or another. so can i have your views regarding the my opinion, and if u have happened to have watch the documentary BATTLE OF SAN PIETRO, can u make your view in relation to it, but if not any documentary view will be highly appreciated. thank you in adavnce for yr contribution

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