Michigan Documentary Showcase
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The Bath School Disaster
The Bath School Disaster stands as the worst mass murder of children in American history, claiming more lives than Columbine and Virginia Tech combined. Despite having occurred over eighty years ago, the parallels with modern killings and terrorist tactics are disturbing, as the culprit set multiple explosions in different locations before a suicidal car bombing of the rescue workers. From the dramatic rise and fall of the eventual killer to heart wrenching survivor interviews, the documentary illuminates an epic tragedy nearly lost in time.
Saugatuck and Douglas Michigan, sister villages nestled next to each other along the Kalamazoo River in conservative (Dutch Calvinist) western Michigan, with a combined population of under 2,500, epitomize small mid-western towns. That is, in every way but one: They have a substantial, but decidedly minority, gay population, one that traces at least as far back as the 1930s. Gays and straights do not merely tolerate one another in this otherwise conservative area, however. They are thoroughly integrated politically, economically, socially and religiously among other ways. Gays and straights bowl together, run businesses together, drink beer together. More than that, residents do not identify each other firstly according to sexual-identity, though ones sexual identity is generally no secret either.everydayPeople examines how gays and straights get along so well in these small rural communities. It considers historical factors, including the influence of a nearby art academy, economic incentives and the consequences of a small economy, and the advantages of small-town intimacy. It does so in part by asking residents from farmers to mayors how they themselves account for longstanding gay-straight integration in a place the culture wars forgot. The film suggests the power of unself-conscious human decency.
Lansing Public Media Center (View)
2500 S. Washington Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910
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