In 2015, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities and its Chairman William Adams announced a new initiative on The Common Good. Congress spoke of the need to attend to “the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life” in the 1965 NEH establishing legislation. That year Chairman Adams suggested that need was greater than ever.
In her essay “The Mother of All Questions”, social critic Rebecca Solnit points out “We talk about open questions, but there are closed questions, too, questions to which there is only one right answer, as least as far as the interrogator is concerned. These are questions that push you into the herd, or nip at you for diverging from it….”
For 2015, the featured films and essays raised a number of open questions for which answers could be difficult, perplexing and consistently resisting closed questions which limit the imagination to simplistic political, social, legal or even moral solutions. The stories in these films carry us away from safe and predictable reporting, however fair and balanced, to situations that are charged, unfamiliar, and not at all obvious in terms of what should be done.
Click HERE to read the essays.
FILMS FEATURED IN 2015
FRAME BY FRAME
SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME
WONDERFUL WORLD END