“Film, Emotions, Us, and Them”
Film has the ability to bring people together and to drive them apart. Ken Burn’s The Civil War portrayed the conflict in a way that highlighted our shared identity as Americans. Bringing people together is partially what led Burns to become a storyteller. At the same time, film can accentuate tribal divisions, such as the Nazi propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl. In our new pandemic reality, as we burn through our Netflix offerings, how should we understand film? As the election nears, and campaigns hurl manipulative political videos at us, how should we process cinemagraphic efforts to unite us and divide us?
Hugh Taft-Morales joined the Baltimore Ethical Society as its professional leader in 2010, the same year he was certified by the American Ethical Union as an Ethical Culture Leader. He also serves as Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia. His presence in Ethical Culture has been termed “invigorating.” Taft-Morales lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife Maureen, a Latin American Analyst with the Congressional Research Service, with whom he has three beloved children, Sean, Maya, and Justin.