If you’re in need of a good cry on a Monday night, boy, are you in luck next week.
Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation will be showing the 2022 documentary “Repairing the World: Stories From the Tree of Life” at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s George Rowland White Performance Center, Downtown. The film documents Pittsburghers’ efforts to unite against hate following the 2018 shooting at Squirrel Hill’s Tree of Life synagogue.
“It’s about the whole community and the process of working together in the aftermath of the attack, and what people do to stop the spread of antisemitism and hate,” director and producer Patrice O’Neill said via a Point Park news release. “Pittsburgh continues to live and breathe the motto that was coined then — we are stronger than hate.”
Anyone interested in attending this free screening can register via eventbrite.com. It will include a discussion with O’Neill and “other special guests,” according to the news release.
“Repairing the World” was produced by O’Neill’s Not In Our Town movement that has been working to fight hate and promote inclusivity nationwide since 1995. It had its world premiere last May as part of JFilm, Film Pittsburgh’s annual festival celebrating Jewish-themed works of cinema.
In case you were wondering, “Repairing the World” is not the Tree of Life documentary that aired on HBO last fall. That was “A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting,” which was directed by Pittsburgh native Trish Adlesic and executive produced by (among others) famous Western Pennsylvanians Micheal Keaton, Billy Porter and Mark Cuban.
This screening will be occurring weeks before the man accused of killing 11 worshippers on Oct. 27, 2018, is set to go on trial in federal court.
“We are honored to work with Patrice and our co-sponsors to bring this screening to campus,” said Andrew Conte, director of Point Park’s Center for Media Innovation. “As Pittsburgh news outlets prepare to cover the trial, it’s important for all of us to remember and celebrate the resilience of the city and our region.”
‘In the Company of Men’
You can warm up for that cry on Monday with a little psychodrama a few days earlier.
Pittsburgh Sound + Image, a local nonprofit with the stated goal of being “the city’s accessible film and video archives/theater,” is hosting a screening of the 1969 documentary “In the Company of Men” at 8 p.m. Friday at Homestead’s Eberle Studios. Tickets are available for $10 via eventbrite.com.
William Greaves’ film chronicles a psychodrama workshop that was enacted to help solve a dispute between Black workers and white management at a Southern auto plant. The version of “In the Company of Men” that will be shown Friday is an original 16mm print from the University of Pittsburgh’s collection.
Psychodrama is a form of therapy involving acting out past events from multiple perspectives in order to gain clarity. Vernell Lillie, founder of Pittsburgh’s now-defunct Kuntu Repertory Theatre, often employed psychodrama as an exercise to challenge her actors.
This “In the Company of Men” screening will be followed by a discussion with Billy Jackson, a filmmaker who collaborated with Greaves on multiple occasions, and Vickie Bey, who has a lot of experience with both Kuntu and Lillie’s psychodrama techniques.
“It’s exciting to get to present one of [Greaves’] finest films to an audience,” Steve Haines, Pittsburgh Sound + Image’s director of programming, told the Union Progress via email. “And, since I’m always tying things back to local history, I know our event will be even more special with our generous guests.”
Those who enjoy “In the Company of Men” may want to mark their calendars for April 21, when Pittsburgh Sound + Image will be back at Eberle Studios showing a selection of works by experimental filmmaker Maya Deren.