When Eric Desatnik founded the Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) ten years ago, environmental documentary filmmakers still had to lay the groundwork for why the general public should care about broad issues like climate change and food sustainability.
In 1825 in Litchfield, Conn., William Grimes wrote and published the story of his life as a slave and of his subsequent escape to freedom.
Almost two centuries later, his great-great-great-granddaughter Regina Mason picked up where her pioneering ancestor left off, with a book, a documentary and her own story of self-discovery through a rigorous commitment to her family’s past.
On Monday night at the New Haven Museum, Mason and filmmaker Sean Durant presented Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes, a new documentary about Mason’s 15-year pursuit to research, publish and celebrate the life of a family member (and former New Haven resident) who wrote the first autobiographical slave narrative.
A documentary offering an in-depth look at how Connecticut is moving more people out of prisons and keeping them out could get a second life as a training tool particularly for educators and parole officers.
It could also become a tool for advocacy for more resources for rehabilitation.