Full Frame 2017

The main theme of almost all the films I saw this year at Full Frame was the importance of the arts in our lives. This message was particularly present in the documentaries, The Original Richard Mcmahan and Heaven is a Traffic Jam, as they both documented aspects of two artists’ lives and how they went about creating their work. Although both of these artists dealt with different adverse circumstances-an extremely dysfunctional family and mental illness-they were able to overcome their situations through art. The importance of the arts in education was also illustrated with the documentaries, School Life and Purple Dreams. Both of these films followed a particular school for part of a school year. In both of the schools, the arts not only brought people together, but they also brought the students and teachers great happiness. Especially in Purple Dreams, as the Northwest School of the Arts’ production of Purple Dreams found great success on the national and international scale. This musical not only encouraged unity and happiness among the students and faculty, but it also provided lower-income teenagers with opportunities to attend college, which they may not have been able to afford otherwise. I completely agree that the arts and the act of being creative are essential for everyday life. I believe that one of the students in Purple Dreams best described why creativity is so important. It gives you the opportunity to be “free,” to forget all the stress in your life and escape into a different world.