March 14, 2012 11:08

Free documentary screenings tackle important social issues

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Although there have been constant updates in the media recently that the US economy is on the rebound, a lot of people aren’t so sure — having been stung financially in the past. With so many confronting their own economic situations — good, bad or otherwise, especially during tax season — the issue of money is foremost on many people’s minds. Money may not buy happiness, but it does buy a better class of misery. (I forget who said that, but they weren’t far from the truth!) This Wednesday, the Occupy Greensboro Foreclosure Working Group will present a special premiere screening of the new, locally produced pseudo-documentary Let’s Lose Our House: A Modern Foreclosure Tale at the Carolina Theatre (310 S. Greene St., Greensboro).

The film, which encourages social and political action by the public, examines (sometimes in a humorous way) the origins how the housing crisis really started, and what citizens can do about it. Expected guests include experts on foreclosure procedures, local government officials, community activists, and area residents who have unexpectedly found themselves facing foreclosure — many through no fault of their own. The film explores how “the land of milk and honey” can turn curdled and sour in the blink of an eye, or foreclosure by a bank.

A special guest for the event scheduled to attend is Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen, who has gained national fame (and notoriety in some quarters — those quarters the movie tends to criticize) for speaking out against fraudulent foreclosures, both here and throughout the nation. The website FireDogLake.com has hailed Thigpen’s efforts, noting that his investigation “was one of the first systematic assessments of mortgage document fraud in the entire country” and that “the man is dedicated to pursuing justice for those who have been wronged by the financial services industry.”

This event, promoted as “Save Our Community: Fight Foreclosure,” will also feature members of the film’s cast and crew, as well as red-carpet appearances by the nefarious “ForcloseBot 2000,” a state-of-the-art (in a manner of speaking) robot programmed only to foreclose — although apparently programmed with spellcheck — and “Linda Greenbot,” described as the “notorious robo-signer.” Both of these “automatons” make appearances in the film.

Clearly, the filmmakers have brought a dash of absurdist humor to a situation that, until now, not everyone’s been laughing about. The event is a chance to bring together the community to be entertained and educated, to make their opinions known and to learn how they can get involved.

The screening will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

To check out the film’s trailer on YouTube: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=YdYjjk-eJrs. For more information about the screening or the Occupy Greensboro movement overall, visit the official website: occupygreensboro.org/tag/ lets-lose-our-house/.

For a country as technologically advanced as the United States, there has long been an inordinately high infant mortality rate. It’s another issue that confronts many Americans today, especially those who have suffered through it.

Planned Parenthood will present a special screening of Christy Turlington Burns’ documentary feature No Woman, No Cry on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Carousel Luxury Cinema (1305 Battleground Ave., Greensboro). The film, which marks the supermodel/ actress’ debut as a filmmaker, juxtaposes Burns’ own experiences with a complicated pregnancy and her ready access to top emergency obstetric care with the challenges faced by mothers in other countries where healthcare isn’t as advanced.

Turlington Burns, who has a son and a daughter with her husband, awardwinning filmmaker/actor Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, Sidewalks of New York, Saving Private Ryan), has long been involved with the crusade for maternal health. She began work on the film in 2008, traveling the globe to focus her cameras on four different women dealing with at-risk pregnancies in different parts of the world: Tanzania, Guatemala, Bangladesh, and New York City.

No Woman, No Cry had its world premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and earned Turlington Burns a Do Something With Style Award nomination from the VH1 Do Something Awards. Turlington Burns has also founded the self-explanatory advocacy group Every Mother Counts, which is devoted to increasing awareness about maternal mortality throughout the world.

Admission to the screening is free.

For more information, e-mail patricia. dillon@pphsinc.org. To RSVP the screening: app.etapestry.com/cart/Planned- ParenthoodHealthSyst/default/category. php?ref=873.0.697574619. To view the official No Woman, No Cry trailer or for more information about Every Mother Counts, visit the official website: www. everymothercounts.org.

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