Friday, September 28, 2007

Music Hall show

We have an upcoming screening in Portsmouth of our Fernald film and I'd like to get many people at the screening who have been effected by disabilities and institutions to be present and to talk about how the issues of the past are alive today. New Hampshire has closed its institutions, and even in Massachusetts a dwindling group receives services at large facilities. But to what extent are the issues of Fernald (and in NH Laconia) still with us?

I made Front Wards, Back Wards because I feel the issues of the past are very present. I am concerned that if we say that we've closed institutions we might say we can forgot the mistakes (and triumphs) of the past. Or simply use them as fodder for horror films. Many people lived and died behind walls like those of Fernald (and Laconia and Pineland). Those lives had meaning and value, even as the people who held that value and meaning were systemically devalued.

As I mentioned in a post earlier the film will show again on Channel 2 on October 23 at 10PM, a couple weeks after the NHFF screening on October 12 at 4:15 at the Music Hall.

I was in a play – Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage – quite a few years ago directed by Tony Kushner (Angels in America). I played The Cook who tries to lure the charismatic Courage away from The War. But it's futile. The War is where she makes her money, and my character was left to beg for a stone for his soup, singing for his supper. I feel that's what we, creators, must do; sing our most passionate song to get people to listen. But we really are in service to others, at least in relation to others. So come to the Music Hall. You'll hear some passionate songs.


Bill Rogers said...

And by the way the NH Film Festival has a great interactive site where they've also posted this blog. In case you didn't get here from there the address is:

Suzanne said...

Hi Bill
You ran into me (wiscsuzski) on You Tube. I have done a bit on looking into your Front Wards Back Wards. I just want to say thank you for making it. As a mother of 2 developmentally delayed boys, the way they will be perceived and treated in this world is of major concern. I do not know about how Fernald is run, but I do know that there are still institutions in the US where inhumane treatment goes on in the name of "helping" autistics. I hope I will see your complete production some time.