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A Town Divided: An Editorial Film

By Stephen Dafoe

This editorializing will be brief as the meat of what I want to say is better shown by the 70-minute news film I’ve produced on the Morinville schools issue. What remains to be said is why I put it all together.

In covering this story since it began last fall, I’ve talked to a number of people on the issue: politicians, parents, school trustees, etc. I’ve also dealt with numerous commenters who have responded to articles and letters published on MorinvilleNews.com about the issue.

Many of these comments have been vile, disgusting, and utterly contrary to what is publishable. That my fellow residents would be capable of so demonizing their neighbours over religion made me realize it is easy to do so when one is responding merely to the printed word. Words that, no matter how careful we in the media are, can be interpreted differently by those reading them, particularly if those reading them have their minds firmly made up on the issue.

Perhaps it would be better to show both sides of this story visually, allowing everyone to see the human face of a passionate issue. That project ended up being 70 minutes of largely raw footage of many of the parties involved. We asked for involvement from both sides. Some were reluctant, some refused, some changed their mind in retrospect, and others chose to submit letters to the editor instead of on camera time.

Everyone was given time to just state their case about an issue that has created A Town Divided.

A Town Divided

Editor’s note: This film is 70 minutes long and is 5GB of high definition video. As such, the smoothness of the production will depend on the quality of one’s Internet connection and computer. We’ve done our best to use a service that will stream the video well, but cannot control how well it will play on individual machines. Views expressed by participants in this video do not necessarily represent the views of MorinvilleNews.com

A Town Divided from Stephen Dafoe on Vimeo.

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