Many times, folks who review the lineup of the Dietrich’s film festivals bring personal experiences when they talk about a particular movie.
But Harry Sweppenheiser shared an extra special story with the rest of the group on Friday, during the discussion at the recently concluded Fall Film Festival.
One of the 22 movies shown during the Fall Film Festival was ‘Dawson City: Frozen in Time.’ The movie is a documentary of the Canadian gold rush containing approximately 500 films from 1910 to 1929, which were uncovered frozen in the Yukon Territory near Dawson City.
The film also incorporates historical photographs, interviews and newsreels.
“While watching the film, a picture flashed on the screen of my great-great uncle William Young,” Sweppenheiser explained.
He said that his daughter, Sharyn Davis, is the family’s genealogist, and was able to find a copy of the picture published in the July 1968 edition of the National Geographic. The picture shows Young pouring out gold dust on scale.
Documentaries were popular subjects during the Fall Film Festival, and ‘Centralia: Pennsylvania’s Lost Town’ hit closer to home than most. The film depicts how the community, located in Columbia County, slowly disappeared after a mine fire broke out in 1962. Ronnie Harvey said that at least one person who was from Centralia attended the showing of the film.
Anne Davis had recalled seeing purple flames from mine fires in the Wilkes-Barre area when she was a girl.
‘The Women’s Balcony,’ depicting women fighting back against oppression in an Orthodox Jewish Community, prompted a discussion on social issues. Kim Ryon said she attended the film with some Jewish friends, who confirmed what was depicted on screen. The film shows how women are segregated in the synagogue, and how they are expected to conform to strict gender roles.
On a lighter note, most everyone who saw it said they enjoyed the film ‘Lost in Paris,’ about a woman who headed to France when learning her aunt was in trouble. When she arrives, the aunt has disappeared, and the heroine falls victim to various mishaps as she attempts to find her.
Sweppenheiser compared the film to various ‘I Love Lucy’ episodes, while Harvey found it ‘very Chaplinesque.’
“It’s just pure fun,” he said. “It’s a wonderful thing when a movie is pure entertainment.”
‘A Woman’s Life,’ the story of how a woman in 19th Century Normandy deals with the chronic infidelity of her husband while raising her children received the harshest criticism.
Ryon said she did not find one happy moment in the entire film.
Harvey said he thought the story was “dour just to be dour.”
The subject of global warming was addressed in ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.’ A sequel to ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ the film depicts former vice-president’s Al Gore’s attempts at influencing an international climate policy. All who spoke about the film said that - although the message had a strong impact - it seemed too focused on Al Gore.