In parts of Nepal, menstruating girls and women are considered impure. They are banished from their homes or sequestered to a room; forbidden from eating most foods and not allowed to attend school, visit a temple or even look at male family members. In this moving short film, nine Nepalese girls share their menstruation stories. The film derives its power from allowing the girls to speak for themselves, demonstrating their courage, strength and inspiring desire for change.
They fell in love, immigrated from India to America to work in tech and were building their dream. Then Sunayana lost her husband to a senseless hate crime. And she was left grappling with the question of whether America is truly her home. The answer, which revealed itself through humanity, is profound.
Born with half his brain, 7-year-old Finn Sheets lives with cerebral palsy. He’ll never walk or talk without assistance, and, his dad Ethan explains, has every reason to hate the body he’s been given. Instead, he’s a joyous child who comes alive when he’s outside. “I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about it that awakens his soul,” Ethan says. So dad does whatever it takes to get him outside. Finn, in return, teaches the entire family incredible lessons about the true definition of happiness.
Mired in the darkness of a broken marriage, the loss of her mother, a crippling back injury and unsettling weight gain, Azzah finds herself jolted out of her grief by the question: “What do you want to do before you die?” Inspired, she compiles an ambitious bucket list that gets her outside of her comfort zone, and the light begins to shine in again.
Mountainfilm Commitment Grant
In a world of untold millions of refugees, is there any refuge left? “I was just trying to find some place where I will be safe,” says Alpha, from Guinea. “I’m no longer afraid of much because I’ve been through a lot of things,” says Zeferino, from Congo. These two men fled brutal persecution and endured a perilous journey, only to be put into indefinite detention when they reached the U.S. border. Then, the legal battle to win asylum was a new torture.
Mountainfilm Commitment Grant
America has yet to heal from the trauma of its darkest era, and Winfred Rembert is living proof of that. Rembert, who lived on a plantation, joined the civil rights movement as a teen and was put to work on a chain gang, is a rare survivor of a lynching attempt. Decades later, he still carries the scars. “That lynching is on my back, and it’s dragging me down, even today,” he says. As he etches the history, bloodsoaked and cruel, into leatherwork, fellow artist Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker organizes a different kind of ceremony to search for healing. “It’s not just black history,” she says. “This is American history.”
For almost two years, Rosa Sabido has been living in sanctuary in the United Methodist Church in Mancos, Colorado. Born in Mexico, Rosa has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years. Due to technicalities in immigration law and unfortunate legal errors, she missed opportunities to obtain permanent residency and now faces deportation. From inside the church, aided by parishioners and other supporters, Sabido tells her story, and works to shine light on the cruelty of the system. With its spiritual overtones, sanctuary is a potent symbol of resistance, but imposes its own high cost on the person who takes it.