Friday, February 25, 2005


I've been running since my plane touched down yesterday. The MFA program is holding its interviews in conjunction with a film festival held on campus this weekend.

Last night, I saw a outstanding film. Most movies these days leave me cold. My reaction to most is ho-hum. Last night, though, I saw Searching for Angela Shelton.

The filmaker, Angela Shelton, sets out on a journey to meet every other Angela Shelton in America. Along the way she discovers about 60% of them have been raped, beaten, or molested as children. Uncovering these facts raises for the filmaker issues stemming from her own childhood sexual abuse.

What ensues is two hours of rough, raw, painful-to-watch footage that avoids the parallel pitfalls of self-pity and nihilistic rage. Instead, the Angela Sheltons Angela Shelton meets talk about how they have overcome their circumstances to regain their dignity.

I was surprised at the positive way the role of religion was portrayed. Faith is clearly a means to healing for most of the women interviewed.

Underlying all the emotion in the film is the problem of evil. "Why did this happen?," they want to know. The film offers no easy answers, instead demonstrates how suffering can sometimes turn the human mind to consider the Divine.

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