Acceptance

In this Full Frame Seminar, I saw five films. All of them seemed to have a connecting theme of acceptance. The first film I saw, Still Tomorrow, captures a Chinese female poet with cerebral palsy. The movie follows the journey of the acceptance of her poetry, her disability and her own self-acceptance. A female poet writing truthfully about her own sexuality is not common in China, or most places for that matter, so the acceptance of her poetry at all is interesting. Secondly, she is invited as a guest speaker to events and seen as a role model despite her disability, showing acceptance as well. Finally, by freeing herself from her marriage in order to find true happiness, she comes to the realization that she is bigger than her disability or her marriage, gaining self-acceptance. The next film I saw was Zaatari Djinn, a film following four different children’s lives in a refugee camp. One of the female children is acting in a play and playing on a soccer team. However, her father forbids her from continuing these activities when he finds out. He cannot accept his daughter for what she wants to do because of her gender. In addition, one of the male children’s father remarried and the boy has to learn to accept this new woman, which proves extremely difficult. In the same day, I saw another film about children, School Life (In Loco Parentis). This film followed an elderly couple who were two teachers at an odd middle school in Ireland. In this film, there are many instances where the children seek acceptance, both from each other and the teachers. Specifically, when a transfer student comes in mid-way through the year, she is incredibly self-conscious as she is a young model. Because of this, when she tries to join the school’s band and isn’t instantly given praise for her drumming, she has a break down. This youthful need for acceptance was very present in School Life. The fourth film I saw was Purple Dreams. This film was about a Charlotte High School for the arts putting on a production of The Color Purple. High school is one of the times where people seek acceptance most, so the themes in each students’ lives relate to how they’re accepted. For example, Javontre is amazing in his ballet skills and overall grace in dance, but is not always accepted by his family and friends for pursuing dance so seriously instead of a different sport. The biggest theme of acceptance in this film however, is through the audition process. A large part of the film is the drama before, during and after auditions. Auditions, and acting in general are all about being accepted and craving that acceptance. The final film I saw was This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous. This film was about a transgender youtuber name Gigi who basically discovered herself and made her transition through youtube. This film was all about acceptance because Gigi grew up in a conservative family and it took a while to get her brothers, father and friends to accept her. And, her life as a youtuber, and having her main income come from that means that she is constantly seeking and needing acceptance from the world to be successful. All of the films I saw in this seminar were absolutely incredible and I think it’s very cool to find a parallel that is very clearly seen in each one. I think the only explanation I have is that all people seek acceptance of some kind and therefore it is a theme all viewers can relate to. Thank you so much Ms. Bessias and Mr. Haynes for making this happen!

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