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IU Cinema to screen documentary "States of Grace"



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"States of Grace," a nonfiction documentary telling the story of HIV/AIDS physician Dr. Grace Dammann, will show at 7 p.m. Monday, April 9 at the IU Cinema. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

The 2014 documentary film “States of Grace” will screen at 7 p.m. Monday, April 9 at the IU Cinema. Director Helen Cohen and Dr. Grace Dammann, whose story the film recounts, will be present.

The documentary tells the true story of Dr. Grace Dammann, an HIV and AIDS physician whose life is changed forever when she is involved in a tragic car crash on the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The screening, which is presented by IU’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center, is free but ticketed.

Doug Bauder, director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, said he thinks it’s a film anyone can and will gain wisdom from.

“Young people in particular, I think, will be inspired,” he said.

He said the film is remarkable for the breadth of the social issues it spans.

“This is an incredible story, apart from LGBT issues,” he said. “It has a spiritual component. It has a medical component. It speaks to the aging community, to communities that deal with disability issues, with LGBT issues.”

He said the diversity of its themes is a testament to the incredible true story the movie tells.

“There’s almost no major issue that’s not dealt with in the lifespan of this woman,” he said. “That’s what I think makes it so appealing.”

Bauder said the film celebrates diversity and recognizes many communities.

“That’s exactly the kind of thing that gives a face to LGBT issues and reminds us we’re all connected," he said.

IU Cinema Associate Director Brittany Friesner said the film has a powerful story to tell.

“This is a film about the strength of the human spirit to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles,” she said.

She said the film will undoubtedly speak volumes to attendees of the screening.

“I am confident our patrons will be inspired and engaged by Grace Dammann and her remarkable story of resilience and love,” she said.

Friesner said when the film was proposed to the cinema’s Program Advisory Board, it was overwhelmingly favored. She chalked that up to its incredible story and important subject matter.

“The board noted the timeliness of the documentary’s subject matter, but also the story was uplifting and enlightening,” she said.

Friesner said the board's approval was exciting because moviegoers would have the opportunity to see the film, absorb its story and hear from its subjects.

Friesner said she and other IU Cinema staff members were overjoyed to be able to share the film with the community. 

"It meant not only would we be able to share Grace’s story with patrons, but that audience members would have the opportunity to speak one-on-one to Grace about her journey and to Helen Cohen, the film’s director, about what it was like to capture that story,” she said.

Bauder said he hopes people will not miss the opportunity to see the film on the big screen and hearing from Dammann.

He called it the type of opportunity you’d be sad you missed for weeks to come.

“It’s just a tender film,” he said.

A previous version of this article listed the day of the screening as April 5. The IDS regrets this error.

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