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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

HotDocs 2009: Talking optimism with Yung Chang, Eva Weber and Sarah Goodman

Documentary filmmakers are the most determined, yet optimistic artists I know. There are grumps and divas, but still… Last March, at Hot Docs 2009, I asked three filmmakers I admire to cheer me up with their optimism: Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, Eva Weber (The Solitary Life of Cranes, Steel Homes) and Sarah Goodman (Army of One, When We Were Boys). I hope to capture some of the same spirit later this week in Toronto.

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“There are different signs that this is not stopping. I don’t think that anger and frustration and those feelings can go away. I hope they don’t. The attention and support for the victims needs to be continued, more than people worried about these abusers and what’s next for them, how are they going to move on — shut up. You know what? If any of these people come back, I would say, “I can’t wait to see who is actually going to support them.” That is going to be the glaring horror. Who is going to be, like, “This is a pressing issue, and we need to get them back?” If a janitor was so great at cleaning the building but also tended to masturbate in front of people, would the people at that building be like, “Yes, he masturbated, but I’ve never seen anyone clean so thoroughly, and I was just wondering when he’s going to get his job back, he’s so good at it.” No, it would be, “That’s not acceptable.” It’s fame and power that people are blinded by.”
~ Tig Notaro in the New York Times

“It’s never been easy. I’ve always been one of the scavenger dogs of film financing, picking up money here and there. I’ve been doing that all my life. This was one was relatively easy because certain costs have gone down so much. I made this film in 20 days whereas 30 years ago, it would have been made in 42.”
~ Paul Schrader