The Bubble


Northwestern group at the Windrider Forum

We lived in a bubble this past week of compelling stories, striking images and multifaceted conversations. That bubble burst today.

The students return to dorms and piles of homework. I return to a slate full of classes and a pile of laundry.

You’ve heard from our students this week as they grappled with story and shared some of what they’ve gleaned from this complete immersion into the Sundance Film Festival. We are all thankful for this opportunity and return with new ideas of visual storytelling and deeper challenges in living our lives.

Alfred Hitchcock once said, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” This sentiment also reflects our time at the Sundance Film Festival. We went from one film masterpiece to the next, heard from directors and chatted writers and producers about their processes and intentions. We heard in a matter of minutes their years-long journey of financing, casting, and rewriting their films. While we nodded our heads and understood the sweat and tears of the process, we did not share the agony with them. We shared in their mountaintop experiences.

On one such mountaintop experience involved Rocky, the subject in the documentary Blood Brother, shared that his journey to live and work in an orphanage in India for those infected with HIV began with his desire to live an authentic life; he wanted his life to matter beyond his own comfort and security. Hearing and seeing his honest expression of faith tested me to think deeper about how I can live my faith life in a vibrant, tangible way.

Our challenge now as we return to tasks and to-do lists is to remember what we learned in the bubble of Sundance. But more than just remembering it, we are called to translate what we’ve seen and heard into our film work…and our lives.

– Professor Ann Sorenson


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