You still have time to catch Speed Sisters tonight at 8 (Thursday, April 14) at Hanesbrands Theatre. Part of RiverRun International Film Festival’s documentary line up, Speed Sisters tells the story of the Middle East’s first all-female racing team.
But, it’s more than that.
With the permission of Avi Goldstein, one of the producers of the film, I showed the first 15-minutes to students in my Media Theory and Criticism class at Wake Forest University yesterday as an example of how films can expand our understanding of the world by challenging our preconceptions.
Students were drawn into the story immediately and grasped the themes the filmmakers hope to convey. I hope some of them will make it downtown tonight to see the entire film, which turns out to be as compelling as it is unexpected.
Avi, who will be at the screening tonight to answer questions following the film, is eager to engage viewers in discussions about essential issues, the same types of issues that drew Jessica Devaney to the project as part of the producing team.
Although Jessica is not traveling with the film tonight, she has deep connections to the Winston-Salem Community. With support from the Wake Forest University Department of Religious Studies, Jessica traveled to Palestine and Israel to conduct fieldwork for her masters thesis in 2005.
“I went to research the evolution of feminisms in Israeli and Palestinian societies and their relationship to nationalism and the struggle for freedom and equality,” says Jessica. This experience and the relationships that grew out of it, nurtured a commitment in me to highlight stories from the region that challenge stereotypes and bring attention to those struggling for freedom, dignity and an end the occupation.”
Jessica has been producing films in Palestine and Israel for eight years, but she still thinks of Winston-Salem as one of the places she calls home.
“Winston Salem is such a special place — a vibrant community of artists, activists and though leaders,” says Jessica. “Screening at RiverRun was one of the stops in the Speed Sisters festival run that meant the most to me.”