Rory Kennedy on Film and Social Change – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Rory Kennedy on Film and Social Change

Ever wonder what the world looks like from behind the lens of a camera that has seen some of the most vivid, poignant moments in world history? Or how a camera can change society and politics? Fortunately, the HWS community can see for themselves at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12 in Albright Auditorium, when Rory Kennedy – renowned documentary filmmaker and co-founder/president of Moxie Firecracker Films, Inc. — will deliver the first Centennial Center for Leadership lecture, titled An Evening with Rory Kennedy. During her lecture, Kennedy will discuss leading social change through the lens of a camera.

Kennedy is one of the nation’s most prolific independent documentary filmmakers. Her impressive body of work tackles some of our most pressing social concerns-poverty, domestic abuse, drug addiction, human rights, AIDS and mental illness — and has garnered numerous awards and been featured on HBO, A&E, MTV, Lifetime, The Oxygen Network, Court TV, TLC and PBS. In her films, Kennedy illuminates issues via the stories of everyday people.

Her 2007 documentary, “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” examines the abuses by U.S. soldiers at Iraqi prisons in 2003 and explores what the events reveal about American society, government and military operations. It premiered to critical acclaim at the ’07 Sundance Film Festival before being broadcast on HBO.

Other Kennedy-directed projects include: “The Homestead Strike,” part of the History Channel’s “Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America” series; “Street Fight” (Academy Award nomination for “Best Documentary”), tracing the controversial 2002 Newark, N.J., mayoral race between Sharpe James and Cory Booker; “American Hollow” (Emmy nomination for “Non-Fiction Primetime”), illustrating the plight of an Appalachian family caught between century-old tradition and the modern world; “A Boy’s Life” (“Best Documentary” at the Woodstock Film Festival), painting a dramatic portrait of the troubling forces shaping the life of a young child from impoverished Mississippi; and “Pandemic: Facing AIDS,” recording the triumph as well as the heartbreak of five people afflicted with the disease. Other films include: “Epidemic Africa,” “Fire in Our House,” “Juvies,” “The Changing Face of Beauty,” “Travelers,” “Different Moms,” “Healthy Start,” “The Nazi Officer’s Wife,” “Sixteen” and “Girlhood.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Centennial Center for Leadership, Media & Society Department and the Arts & Social Change House.