Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gloria International Film Festival, Salt Lake City :: Day Two

After having been up for almost twenty-four hours, Duncan and I got a fairly late start to the day. We went to the Temple Square and got a quick tour of the Mormon's conference center — really a magnificent structure that seats thousands and thousands of people! Our tour guide was an elegant, delightful and friendly woman, very sweet. In fact, almost all the people I have met in this city have been friendly folk. Duncan and I were walking around the downtown area when a stranger (a woman) stopped us on the street and asked if we needed help. We must have looked like tourists. She was very helpful in directing us to some dining establishments.

We arrived at the festival at 4 and watched a bunch of short films. Most were very dramatic with a very serious theme. My favorite film of the evening was this beautiful documentary called THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR. It was about a man in WW 2 who held to his religious convictions regarding the Sabbath and the commandment of "Thou Shalt Not Kill". He still wanted to support his country and so refused a deferment to become a medic in the infantry for the Pacific theater. He always refused to learn how to use, or indeed even touch a gun! His sweet and firm conviction was inspirational. From being mocked by the men of his unit he became a source of healing and pride for them. He would go into the most dangerous of situations to administer medical aid to his fellow soldiers. He was even reported to have helped an enemy combatant. He believed he was not there to kill, but to help cure. Eventually he received a Congressional Medal of Honor presented to him by President Truman. I am not doing the story justice. The film, though, moved both Duncan and me to tears. True nobility.

Afterwards we chatted with other filmmakers and the organizers of the event. Very nice people, lovely ideas. We hung out with a filmmaker from Minnesota: Mary Britton, who has a short film called SEARCHING FOR GREAT AUNT MARY. She was fun and even gave us a ride back to our hotel. Unfortunately her film and ours run at the same time, but Kevin, one of the organizers said he would try to figure out a way to allow us to see each other's films.

Had a late night afterwards hanging with Duncan in the room. Watched some TV, drank some wine, did some Blind Dog business.
Slept great!

— Doug


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