TIMES-NEWS - ‘America Divided’

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 01:00
TIMES-NEWS - ‘America Divided’

‘America Divided’

By Charity Apple

The goal of the “America Divided” series was to make comprehensive issues clear and relatable.

“We don’t use charts, graphs or fancy language,” said Lucian Read, creator, director and executive producer along with Richard Rowley and Solly Granatstein. “The series gives a sense of how the issues connect with each other.”

The original EPIX documentary series, which aired in March 2016, featured narratives of inequality in education, housing, health care, labor, criminal justice and the political system. Common, Norman Lear and Shonda Rimes served as executive producers.

Interviews with people who are affected by various issues, such as the coal ash spill in North Carolina, are shown in “Democracy For Sale,” one of the films in the series. Hollywood actor and Wilkesboro native Zach Galifianakis served as correspondent. Cumberland, Warrenton, Durham, Wake, Stokes and Mitchell counties are featured in the film.

The film explores the influence money has in politics. Screenings of the films have been held in various states since September.

A free screening of the film will be at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Haw River Ballroom, 1711 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, Saxapahaw. Admission is free.

The event is presented by Appalachian Voices, Haw River Ballroom and Working Films, a nonprofit organization based in Wilmington which has set up screenings throughout North Carolina, including the one on Saturday night and an upcoming screening at Elon University on Feb. 9.

The screenings are on a first-come, first-served basis and will include a question-and-answer session following the film, said Andy Myers, campaign coordinator for Working Films.

“At every screening, you can find out more about statewide activism and hear from local leaders,” Myers said.

All of the correspondents, Read said, have a biographical connection to the films.

“Zach is very proudly a North Carolinian and was excited about doing this,” Read added.

Some of those featured in the film include Carter Wrenn, Jesse Helms’ campaign manager; the Rev. Dr. William Barber II of the NAACP and Rosanell Eaton of the NAACP.

“Through these interviews, the issues are made vivid,” Read said.

He sees the film, and series, as a public service and “wants to get it out in the community as much as possible.”

“We want to educate, engage and motivate people do something about the issues in the series,” he added.