On Tour: Waynesboro, VA

2 May

April 6, 2017 | States of Grace | Waynesboro, VA

It is a beautiful drive through rolling hills dotted with farms and small towns, not unlike the area in northeastern Connecticut where I grew up.  Spring is on fast forward as I head south – the trees are budding and there are no more hints of snow.  When I arrive the theatre is bustling with a board meeting, followed by a meeting of volunteers and I get to meet some of the folks who help the theatre function.  It’s a beautiful facility, open just about a year, with a very professional and friendly crew.

During the Q&A a local minister I had spoken with in the lobby earlier says he was thinking about my role in the filmmaking and asks how it has impacted my life, since this was such a big deal over such a long period of time.  I agree that it was life changing on many levels.  Professionally I reengaged with my love of cinematography which is where I began as a filmmaker 35 years ago before moving into the editing room.  And personally I think the most profound change is a movement toward gratitude…gratitude for being alive and sensate.  With all the challenges they faced, Grace and Fu retained this attitude which was remarkable to see and a privilege to be around.  It is essential to their practice of Buddhism and to who they are as human beings.

After this conversation, a hand goes up among a small cluster of people in the back of the theatre.  A gentleman introduces himself as Ralph Dammann, Grace’s cousin.  It’s a thrill to have him in the audience, especially since he says he hasn’t seen Grace since the accident and hadn’t seen the film before this.  He and his wife along with another couple have driven from Charlottesville and they’re very grateful that we recorded Grace’s story.  It makes my day.

Post provided by On Screen/In Person  filmmaker Mark Lipman

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