Westport Summer Film Series Celebrates


Critically acclaimed documentaries to be shown in August

August 16, 17, 18     7pm


Following on the success of its 2012 Summer Film Series, the Westport Cultural Council again offers three critically acclaimed documentaries. 


The series opens on Friday, August 16 with Buck, a documentary that tells the real-life story of the man who inspired Robert Redford's film The Horse Whisperer. Buck Brannaman travels the country helping people with  horse problems ease them using gentle and respectful techniques.  Or, as he puts it, helping horses with people problems. His empathy for the strong, sensitive animals has evolved from his own terrifying experiences as a child coping with an abusive father. As the film progresses, we come to understand that Buck's compassionate regard for horses mirrors the broader principles on which he lives his life.  Winner of the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and several other prestigious awards, Buck is a compelling and visually stunning film that resonates even outside the equestrian world.      


On Saturday, August 17, the 2010 documentary Marwencol will be screened. Beautifully crafted, hypnotic, strange, and extraordinary, it is a film that takes hold gradually and surely. Mark Hogancamp was a carpenter and showroom designer who survived a brutal attack and a nine-day coma to find himself physically and emotionally damaged and unable to work. In an attempt to restore his lost identity, the shy and fearful Hogancamp begins to build an amazing miniature town that he calls Marwencol, populated by Barbie-sized doll people who represent his own friends and family — some real and some fantasy. When the meticulously creative photographs he takes of Marwencol are discovered by the New York art establishment, he must decide if he is ready to leave the safety of his private upstate world.  Marwencol was voted Best Documentary of the Year by the Boston Society of Film Critics.  It's a moving story about the healing power of creativity, imagination, and acceptance.  


The series closes on Sunday, August 18 with Inocente, the 2013 Academy Award winner for Short Documentary Subject. At the start of the film, Inocente Izucar is a teenage girl in San Diego with a colorful and unique style and bold artistic talent. She is also homeless and desperate to navigate through a troubled relationship with a distant, alcoholic mother. When she connects with a nonprofit arts organization providing support and services to young people dealing with homelessness, domestic violence, and other challenges, Inocente is selected to participate in the organization's annual art show. With creative determination and energy, she completes 30 paintings for the show, and in the process begins a journey of discovery and confidence.  

Terry Somerson, one of the producers of the series, said that the concept of transformation reveals itself in each of the films. "On the surface, Buck is about the deep connection between people and horses, but in a wider sense the film is actually about humans, their relationships, and how they overcome life's roadblocks. Marwencol is quiet and quirky but viewers will ultimately love Mark, his story, and the people who help him and never judge him. They want to see him heal and succeed. And Inocente is absolutely heartwrenching but also triumphant. It's about the amazing strength and creativity of a disadvantaged 15-year-old girl who refuses to be beaten down as she sets out to follow her dreams. We especially invite the teens of our community to see this film."

Please note that the films are not rated.

 The Westport Summer Film Series is funded by a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust administered by the Bank of America.  

The Westport Cultural Council is a volunteer organization sponsored by the town of Westport and the state of Massachusetts.  Its mission is to advocate for cultural programs in our community by awarding grants with funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust. The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is a popular art space in Westport that enthusiastically showcases local artists and frequently offers concerts, lectures, dance parties, and other energizing programs to the public.  


Dedeeshattuckgallery@gmail.com      |      508. 636. 4177      |      1 Partners' Lane, Westport, MA 02790      |      W - Sat, 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 5