Saturday, June 25, 2016


Welcome back to another installment of SHORT FILM SPOTLIGHT.  This week, we take a look at the powerful short documentary by director A.J. Schnack...SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT.

A scene of tragedy unfolds, accompanied by fear, chaos and disbelief. As 'Speaking is Difficult' rewinds into the past, retracing our memories, it tells a story about a cumulative history that is both unbearable and inevitable.

This really is a hard film to talk about...

Gun Violence and Mass Shootings has been an epidemic across the world. Whether it be schools, plazas, restaurants, movie theaters, or anywhere else, people have invaded the areas that are meant to be safe and have caused truly unimaginable pain. Harming our fellow men, women and children beyond repair, in and out of the firing line. It's an absolute tragedy...

Coming off the critical success of Citizenfour, producer Laura Poitras and director AJ Schnack bring us Speaking Is Difficult. A 14-minute short documentary that doesn't preach the gun control argument from both sides in the conventional, repetitive doco manner... instead we listen. We hear the victims' screams. The agony in the callers' voices. The phone operators in pure disbelief, attempting to calm the victims amidst this horror. Rounds firing contentiously as human lives are taken from this Earth. Showing still camera shots of the locales in the peaceful state they once were, imagining the events ourselves... it's enough to leave you in tears...

We must ask ourselves, whatever country you're from, wherever you fall on the gun control issue spectrum, is the right to keep and bear arms greater than the right to live without fear of random murder? Does the screaming mean nothing to you? Does mass shootings happening every 77 days not shake you to the bone? Is it possible to look past our own political, greedy agendas and make bold steps towards peace? Is what we're doing now truly the best we can do?

I don't think so...

I admire people like Gabrielle Giffords. People who are shaken by the aftermath and are willing to step back and see the bigger picture. Who despite her speaking issues, stands in front of millions saying the time to act is *now* (A statement she made back in 2013). Even politicians I can't stand deserve my immense respect on this issue. Former Australian PM John Howard successfully leading the ban on all fire arms in 1996. American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wishing to do the same. Other politicians at the very least wanting background checks. Putting the value of life over the value of ownership.

For me personally, it's these kinds of actions that are worth commending. That lead us down a better path, where men, women and children will live grow in safety. Too many have been lost not to speak out and act.

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