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Event celebrates international films

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Noelle Blumel 
Staff Writer

The 19th annual Common Good International Film Festival was held last week in the Campus Center ballrooms.

For four days, the festival featured 10 films with the intent of restoring and renewing the common good among attendees through filmography and discussions that were held after each showing.

Jeremy Fackenthal, director of the film festival, said that the people behind the production of the Common Good Film Festival emphasized what they refer to as creative transformation, or ways that individuals or society can change for the positive.

“The purpose is to promote the common good through film and to get people together to have dialogues about common good and dignity of all people,” Fackenthal said.

He said they try to facilitate these conversations through film. Each film was created with the purpose of eliciting conversation about controversial topics with an open mind, contemplating the true meaning of the common good.

One Kenyan film, “Rafiki,” was directed by Wanuri Kahiu. The story followed two young girls who have been taught their whole life to be good Kenyan girls expected to grow into good Kenyan wives. However, both longed to pursue their dreams of becoming doctors and travelers.

The post film discussion for “Rafiki” was conducted by Megan Anderson, a recent graduate from the Claremont School of Theology. Anderson posed questions about the morality of the movie and what we value and define as love.

“I hope to just help people think more deeply about what we see… And I think discussion in this way helps,” Anderson said. “I’m hoping that the people are thinking about the relationship, like what is morality and why are we thinking that has to be a certain way?”

Displaying films that question the common good, the festival also emphasized the wisdom of late philosopher Alfred North Whitehead in order to analyze his teachings and whether or not they remain relevant today.

“His philosophy is about connection and sort of emotion and about evolving,” Fackenthal said. “We use his philosophy to talk about the common good by saying that no matter where we are today as either individuals or a society, there’s always room for transformation and positive change.”

Elaine Padilla, associate professor of philosophy and religion, said that this event was designed to bring attention to issues that the student body may have been unaware of.

“These topics are very relevant, very multicultural,” Padilla said. “It’s important because it shows human concern that is shown through a very different world.”

Richard Rose, department chair of the philosophy and religion department, said that it is important for people to understand what the festival stands for.

“I hope people take away a better understanding of our connectedness to global issues of the common good…and a notion of sustainability with regard to our culture,” Rose said.

Noelle Blumel can be reached at

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