45% Percent of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions.
Even if you don’t, you’ve had the conversations and encouraged (or rolled your eyes) at your friends who vowed to lose weight or eat healthy or stop smoking. Its a cornerstone of the New Years process to look at your life and think about the passing of time and the fulfillment of some sort of goal or dream. With our social impact films, we at Cinema Libre frequently work with filmmakers who are pursuing a goal of making the world a better place or understanding what’s wrong with it presently. It’s often inspirational to watch these documentaries and experience the journey of its subjects who want to make a difference.
May I Be Frank
Ex-addict Frank Ferrante is a 54-year-old, overweight Sicilian-American from Brooklyn with hepatitis C, some bad habits and an unquenchable appetite for women. He also wants to fall in love one more time before he dies. MAY I BE FRANK documents Frank’s transformation as he stumbles into the aptly-named vegan Café Gratitude, and, over 42 days, begins a life-changing journey during which he is coached physically, emotionally and spiritually by three twenty-something staff members on the path to enlightenment. Challenged by years of addiction, fatigue, and family dysfunction, Frank’s quest for a healthier lifestyle is both tense and touching. Through Frank’s metamorphosis, we witness the powerful effects of change upon one person’s life, and the potential we all have to find the most important love of all–love of ourselves.
Watching Frank turn his life around touches upon all of those basic resolutions that most of us have tried to make, and usually end up failing at. Frank is living proof of the power of reinvention.
This American Journey
Joey Thurmond, a former professional wrestler and rodeo cowboy, quits the police force to realize his dream of performing as a clown full time, he recruits his family and puts his life’s savings into the show. However, pressures mount while on the road when his acrobat is threatened with deportation and the 24/7 schedule puts a strain on his relationship with his co-star and son.
Joey is a terrific example of someone who changed his life and risked everything to pursue his true calling and he brought his family along for the ride!
Bernadette Scarduzio was born with the most common inherited disease that no one has ever heard of: Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) syndrome. CMT is the number one hereditary neuropathy in the world, affecting 1 in 2,500 people or nearly 2.6 million worldwide. It is a degenerative nerve and muscle disorder which leads the body to deteriorate over time. Sometimes the progression is slow. Sometimes it is rapid. In some cases, it is fatal. There is no cure. It is passed from parent to child and, too often, it is perceived as an embarrassing family secret, as it was in Bernadette’s family.
Bernadette’s indomitable spirit charges the film and demonstrates that the right attitude can overcome the most difficult obstacles.