Reactions

photo Amy Braswell © 2009 Albany Park Theater Project

TRUST has been screened all over North America, and has received tremendous response from audiences. The following are some reactions from groups and individuals who have showed the film. Please send us a story about your screening. Your experience and innovations can be a resource for future educators who show TRUST.

Some questions you may want to think about in writing your reactions:

  1. What issues in the film did you find most interesting and important? Which was your class or audience most interested in?
  2. What did you learn from watching TRUST and facilitating activities related
    to the film?
  3. Was there anything that came up in your TRUST work with students that you were unprepared for?
  4. Which discussion questions and strategies worked best for you and which didn’t work so well?
  5. What questions are you left thinking about?

A powerful film at the White Privilege Conference

“TRUST is a powerful film which provided an opportunity for a rich, meaningful conversation about resiliency, trauma, and identity.”
–Beth Yohe, Director of Training, National Education Division, Anti-Defamation League; White Privilege Conference

“It takes time for a seed…to germinate, take root and flower” at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention

“I met Nancy Kelly on the bus to the airport in San Antonio and I rushed home to download and watch “TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives”. It’s wonderful! How fantastic to watch trust evolve amidst all that diversity of ages, stages and roles. I thought the film was brilliant in showing community as a geological phenomenon, built up in layers, and needing to be tended with care, like a garden where every action and every choice is both creative and supportive of another creation. The quiet unfolding of the story within the worlds of the film and the theater conveyed clearly the time it takes for a seed (of art and community) to germinate, take root and flower.”
–Madge Bemiss

“Shares brave narratives of triumph over adversity”

“A heartfelt film! TRUST is a beautifully crafted documentary about the cathartic power of theatre to heal the trauma and shame of domestic violence and to empower youth to re-imagine their lives in the best light. The film perceptively captures how the project provides a nurturing environment where youth can build greater empathy and confidence.

Given the current climate towards immigrants, the film helps us all gain a better appreciation of the significant challenges (and in some cases deep psychological wounds) experienced by immigrant youth. Yet, the film also shares brave narratives of triumph over adversity. The film provided a great platform for a meaningful dialogue between faculty, students and community and university-based violence prevention and victim assistance services–an inspiring model for us all!”
–Carlos A. Fernandez, Ph.D Director, Center for Latino Arts and Culture Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

“Helped us to see the roots of justice problems”

“We incorporated TRUST into two programs recently. Twenty-eight members of our Youth 360 program (youth leadership/activist development) watched it as a group and had a discussion after. We also incorporated the film into a classroom curriculum this week at a high school, so the entire junior class watched it in small groups and then discussed. It was a great experience for us and we plan to repeat it again.”
–Sondra Miller, Vice President, Community Engagement, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

“It was amazing! We had to do some breathing and imagination to let go of the pain…with so many tears of compassion. It helped us to see the roots of justice problems and understand what we need to heal from trauma. It turns out, we need community! So it was very inspiring. Thanks for the production of this DVD.”
–Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, Co-Founder, Latino Initiative on Restorative Justice

Nancy Kelly’s blog from the Southern Circuit – Tour of Independent Filmmakers, February 2013

Baton Rouge, LA– What I Learned from Agnes Varda

Suwanee, GA– My Education Begins

Madison, GA– The Town too Pretty to Burn

Montgomery, AL– Intersections

Gallatin, TN– The TRUST Cake

Tupelo, MS– Visiting the Boys and Girls Club

Charleston, SC– Regions

Nancy Kelly’s On Screen/In Person blog, September 2011

Rehoboth Beach, DE– The inaugural tour comes to a close.

Frederick, MD– The revolution will start with walking a mile in patent leather stilettos.
Listen
to the interview podcast.
See
the marquee.

Long Branch, NJ– Crucial first steps on the road to awareness.

New Brunswick, NJ– A common thread? Outsider women in front of and behind the camera.

Allentown, PA– Riveted students react with a respectful silence.
Watch the WICU news report.

Erie, PA– Bringing us back to when independent cinema got its stage.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, On Screen/In Person Tour

“Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your film, your experiences, and your words with us. We are delighted that you were able to tour with On Screen/In Person. What a way to kick off the program!”
–Ann & MAAF

Network of Ensemble Theaters Microfest, Minneapolis, MN

The discussion after the screening had to do with how our approach to making TRUST changed during the many years it took us to make the film – and the truth is, our approach never changed – we just persisted and persisted.

Someone else asked what inspired us to make the film, and we talked about Shirley Brice Heath’s terrific study about comparing the effect of afterschool programs, which proved that after school theater programs are by far the most effective. The kids in those programs are far more likely to graduate from high school, stay out of trouble, read for pleasure, solve problems without resorting to violence. Lots of people in the audience wrote her name down for future reference.

“It was great having them at the event and folks really responded positively to the film.”
-Mark Valdez, Executive Director, NET

National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference

Someone in the audience asked “Did the other members of the theater company suffer from secondary traumatization after hearing Marlin’s story?” Although David Feiner and the staff at the Albany Park Theater Project are not social workers, they are theater artists, and very experienced at creating plays that deal with company members’ traumatic experiences. And they do it in such a way that trust grows, a sense of community grows, and I was not aware of any company members suffering any negative consequences as a result of hearing Marlin tell her story.

“Utterly satisfying on every level” at the University of Southern California School of Cinema

“I saw TRUST at a recent screening in L.A. and was blown away by the dramatic and compelling storytelling. The film explores some complex and emotional issues that have been tenderly but unblinkingly filmed. Utterly satisfying on every level. It’s flat-out just a great movie!”
-Neil Gader

“Can’t say enough about this film saw it today..so moving, relevant!
 I immediately thought of my friends/colleagues at THE LEADERSHIP PROGRAM in NYC. Please see it.”
-Agustin Rodriguez

Talking Pictures Festival, Evanston, IL

Someone asked, after the film showed, “I don’t understand why Marlin didn’t tell her mother.”

A representative from Chicago’s Rape Victim Advocates, who joined us for the Q&A, took the microphone and said, “It might surprise you to hear this, but almost no one who has the experience Marlin did tells anyone about it in their entire lives.”

That statement had a profound effect on the audience members, I felt like I could see them learning something right there. And then the audience members started talking amongst themselves, it was just amazing. It goes to show that the very act of seeing this film changes people.

Starz Denver Film Festival

Several audience members were members of the Denver theater community and many of the questions in the post-screening discussion had to do with how amazed and impressed people were at the risks APTP takes and how well the company members deal with those high risks.