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Six-part documentary series on body politics kicks off at IU Cinema


The IU Cinema screened four documentaries covering themes of body politics Monday. These screenings are the first entry into the six-part “We Tell: 50 Years of Participatory Media” series to be shown at the IU Cinema.

The four documentaries explored how politics can affect and are affected by the bodily autonomy of a given population, and each film follows a specific group of people at a particular period in time.

This series was approved back in February 2019 by the IU Cinema's Program Advisory Board to be included in the fall, associate director of IU Cinema Brittany Friesner said in an email.

“The board rarely approves a five-film series," Friesner said. "But it recognized many critical points of importance, including community building, inclusion and multidisciplinary themes.”

The film “HSA Strike ‘75” follows a group of Chicago doctors fighting for better patient care over the course of a two and a half week strike. “Testing the Limits” is a 1987 documentary that calls for an improved national dialogue surrounding the AIDS epidemic.

“Bodyworks” showcases the works of artists suffering from different physical debilitations and their struggle to shift attention toward their works instead of their disabilities. The last film featured was “Diabetes: Notes from an Indian Country,” which details the struggles of the growing diabetic Native American population.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this ambitious and broadly diverse program, culling community media from across the U.S. from the last five decades,” Friesner said. “Indiana University is the second stop on a cross-country tour of the program, and we’re excited for the future of the series while at IU and beyond.”

The IU Cinema will present four more “We Tell” events before the end of the semester. The screenings for “Collaborative Knowledges” and “Environments of Race and Place” will take place Nov. 16 and Nov. 21. Screenings for “Wages of Work” and “States of Violence” will show Dec. 5 and Dec. 15.

“We Tell” is a national, traveling series and is presented as a partnership between the IU Cinema and the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive, which screened the first entry of this series “Turf” on Oct. 18. This partnership is part of the cinema’s Creative Collaborations Program, which allows for community members to select films for viewing at the theater.

Additional information regarding these showings and more is available on the IU Cinema website. Tickets are available for these showings online, at the IU Auditorium box office or in the IU Cinema lobby an hour before each showing.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated how many parts there are in the documentary series. There are six parts. The IDS regrets this error.

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