Film Review: Our Words Collide

Film Review: Our Words Collide title=
Still from "Our Words Collide" (courtesy photo)
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By Mahil Senathirajah

"Our Words Collide"
Directed by Jordan W. Barrow, Matt Edwards
94 min - United States
Documentary Competition
World Premiere

Our Words Collide won the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Stand Up award as the unanimous choice of the jury.  It is a passionate and compassionate film that follows five Los Angeles students in their last year of high school, all of whom are participants in the Get Lit poetry program.  Shot during the pandemic, the students are courageously self-revealing, sharing their thoughts and feelings as they struggle and sometimes triumph at this unusual point in history.  While poetry isn’t everyone’s thing, it was compelling and vivid and used well during the film.

Dan Meisel of the ADL conducted a great Q&A with the students, filmmakers, and creators of the Get Lit program.  He started by noting that poetry and the film were part public speaking, part performance, and part private confessional and asked how the poets overcame the fear of public speaking.  It was a nice way to make everyone comfortable on a film festival stage.  Some may question the value of poetry these days but, as stated during the Q&A, a saying within the world of poetry is that “a blank page is the best therapist”.   

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t have another regular screening but should be part of the “Third Weekend” screenings if SBIFF is maintaining that tradition this year.  Rosario Dawson is a producer and an interview with her and the filmmakers can be found here (724) SBIFF 2022 - "Our Worlds Collide" Interview with Rosario Dawson, Jordon W. Barrow & Matt Edwards - YouTube

The Santa Barbara ADL does some great work, increasingly important given the rise in hate, even here.   Their website is  Anti-Defamation League | Initiatives | Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties (adl.org).

Visit sbiff.org for more information on how to view the film.

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