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      FIRST PERSON PLURAL - movie and Somali meal in Seattle


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      April 27, 2019

      Saturday   4:30 PM

      3515 South Alaska Street
      Seattle, Washington 98118

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      FIRST PERSON PLURAL - movie and Somali meal

      Seattle-based Eat With Muslims (eatwithmuslims.org) is pleased to present an evening of film, Somali food and intercultural dialogue with a special preview screening of FIRST PERSON PLURAL, a new feature film by Minneapolis filmmaker, Eric Tretbar. Fathia Absie, who co-founded Eat With Muslims with Ilays Aden, also acted in the film and provides the meal for this event.Developed with actors, artists, composers and musicians from the Twin Cities’ thriving Somali, film, theater and music communities, FIRST PERSON PLURAL is the very timely story of two Minneapolis filmmakers—the son of a Somali imam and daughter of a white Baptist preacher—who fall in love on Thanksgiving Day and bring together their estranged families for Thanksgiving dinner.With empathy and humor, FIRST PERSON PLURAL shows two families grappling with doubt and imperfection to discover their common family conflicts of love and faith.  Created before our eyes by its film making characters, FIRST PERSON PLURAL takes us inside the creative process—of Cinema, belief, and love—showing how the images we create and consume can bring understanding, but also destruction.  With a cautionary twist, FIRST PERSON PLURAL expresses hope and tolerance at a time when we need them most. Following the screening, Movie & Meal ticket holders join actors Fathia Absie, Mikey Johnson and director Eric Tretbar for a discussion of the film’s issues and production over a delicious Somali meal provided by Fathia Absie’s Eat With Muslims program (vegetarian options available).  Movie & Meal tickets ($25) limited to our dining hall capacity of 120 Movie only tickets ($12) are also available.Event Timeline:4:30pm        Doors5-6:45pm     Film Screening6:45-7pm     Intermission7-8:30pm     Somali meal and discussion with director and actors.                                      (This is a non-alcohol event.) FAQsAre there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?The film is PG-13, with kissing scenes, brief language, and adult emotional situations that may be beyond pre-teen children.   What language is the film in?  Are there subtitles?The film is in English, with some Somali phrases.  There are no subtitles. Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?You can bring a printed ticket or show your e-ticket on your phone upon entering.Can I update my registration information?Yes. Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?Yes, until Friday, April 26, 2019. FIRST PERSON PLURALwritten and directed by Eric Tretbar
USA / 2019 / Winter Light Films / 94 min / drama / color+b/wStarring Faysal Ahmed (Sicario 2, Captain Phillips) and Amanda Day (The Seeker, The Lumber Baron). With Barkhad Abdirahman (Fargo, A Stray), Mikey Johnson (Supermoto), writer Ahmed Ismail Yusuf (A Crack in The Sky, The Lion’s Binding Oath), filmmaker and poet Fathia Absie (The Lobby), Pearce Bunting (Boardwalk Empire) and Guthrie Theater great, Michelle O'Neill.  With soundtrack music by Somali pop stars Nimco Jamaac and Nibo Hudon, Ethiopian superstar Gizachew Ligabaw, traditional songs by Abdi Salam and Fathia Absie, sitar by Mark Ilaud, and score by Helsinki composer Alex Freeman.STORYWhen Faysal and Bettina meet in a camera store, their painful Thanksgiving plans are pleasantly interrupted by love at first sight. They dive into a lively discussion of life, love and their personal filmmaking styles.  Both children of clergy, they’re consumed by questions of doubt and faith in their family traditions, and in their common, personal religion - Cinema.   As the lovers' plans converge, so do their Thanksgiving film projects, revealing unexpected truths as they remove their camera masks and step in front of each other's lenses. In filming each other, they see themselves. But the closer they become, the more their families begin to intervene. Their little brothers are spying on them, angered at their worldly ways and interaction with perceived enemies. Faysal is angry to be judged by his little brother whose condemnations rekindle his own self-judgement. Bettina also judges herself harshly, still anguished over the family and church she left long ago. Faysal invites Bettina to dinner at his parents’ apartment, and she accepts. Little does she know her family has tracked her down, her mother intent on reuniting her estranged children.  Soon, the two families are thrown together for an impromptu meeting of cultures and rituals that will test their love and belief. In the end, it is Cinema itself that expresses hope--that a story of sad love might begin again and go a different way, a better way.  PROJECT BACKGROUND  Director, Eric Tretbar, met a number of the cast working on Musa Syeed’s A Stray.  Faysal Ahmed and Barkhad Abdirahman signed on to play the male lead and his younger brother, then helped develop the script, along with other Stray actor Ahmed Yusuf who plays The Imam.  Tretbar discusses the project’s process:“Political extremism was on the rise as we developed the script, and I asked myself how we could counter the demogogues’ grim and violent caricatures.  If ‘cinema makes visible the invisible,’ as a Japanese cinema master said, it was time for some serious uncloaking!  Time to reveal the truth—of each other, in each other, for each other.  We began with two families so often portrayed as enemies—one Muslim, one Christian.  But before the families meet, their oldest children fall in love at first sight, an undeniable bond even a demagogue can’t question.  Looking through their cameras into each other’s eyes, we participate in the birth of their love.  Throughout the film, characters reveal their intimate selves and realities, encouraging viewers to see themselves in people who might at first look unfamiliar.”“First Person Plural also documents the ever-changing realities of its setting.  Physically, the action takes place in  well-known Twin Cities locations, some of which are already gone, such as Intercontinental Video.  Culturally, the story’s two families represent a new Minnesota that, in the last decade, has become home to the largest Somali community in North America.  Set in this increasingly international Twin Cities, First Person Plural points beyond the Midwest toward the many conflicts now threatening to take shape around the world.  While posing questions about interfaith understanding, gun control and the exploitation of vulnerable youth, it’s also a story of happy love that shows that love can conquer all.  But there’s sad love, too, reminding us that love is fragile, and needs our care and courage.”“Aesthetically, this project allowed us to explore the changing language of Cinema in a way central to creating empathy for its characters.  The title, First Person Plural, alludes to the film’s visual and emotional strategy to create such empathy.  As it moves from character to character, the film collects individual first-person points of view to build a plural portrait of each family, moving from ‘I’ to ‘We’.  The lovers, their brothers and family members each use a specific image device that identifies them to viewers and shows not only what they see but how.”“Through the images of these families and their film-making children, First Person Plural brings viewers inside the conflicts of desire and belief common to all families.  What it ultimately expresses are the many paradoxes of love.”

      Categories: Film | Neighborhood

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