Last year Bennett and I had the opportunity to attend the Omaha Film Festival and were fortunate to see a screening for the documentary Give A Damn and have a question and answer session with the filmmakers. Here is a short trailer for the film that depicts three young men going to Africa to film the hunger there while trying to live on $1.25 a day themselves (the international average for someone living in poverty ).
Bennett and I both loved the film and speaking with the filmmakers - we even got the t-shirts to support their cause. I write about his now because I think about this film frequently. The project speaks to poverty and gives a hopeful view of some of the populations that extreme poverty hits. The goal of the project is to depict reality and inspire the viewer to act. I always think about that perspective and how powerful it is for me. The other reason I think about his film frequently is because of something that the director, Dan Parris, said in the question and answer session. He said he made the film because the hunger in Africa breaks his heart and he wanted to find a way to use making movies, what makes him happy, to contribute to the cause. He created this film to bring awareness to the poverty and knew that making a documentary was the best way he could contribute to the effort with this talents. After explaining this, he then challenged the audience to answer two questions:
Dan then encouraged the audience to find a way to pair the two answers together when thinking about what to do for a career. Find something that breaks your heart and then help that cause by doing something that makes you come alive. While looking for a job these days I am constantly thinking about these two questions. So many things break my heart: child abuse, hunger, persons with disabilities, mental health concerns, and on and on. There are also so many things that make me come alive: teaching, research, talking about creativity, mentoring, being an advocate, dancing, and on and on. This week I am going to do some reflection to think about how I would answer these two questions and use that when considering the next step in my career.