Fest Digest No. 6: Sitting and Crying

Posted March 4, 2012

Rushing across the street from one breathtaking portrait of an artist (Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, at the Missouri Theatre) to another (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, at the Picturehouse), a visitor from New York observed: “You know how Marina needed lots of back rubs and baths after sitting all day at the MoMA? We’re gonna need that too—we’ve been sitting as much as she has!” This is the sort of exhilarated exhaustion True/False can bring to its visitors, particularly now that it’s Sunday, and the fest is heading into its final evening.

Finishing the True Life Run at Flat Branch Park. She might also benefit from a Marina Abramovic–style steam bath. Photo by Mallory Benedict.

Documentaries generate powerful emotions, of course—which can also make for a happily draining experience. We asked David Meiklejohn (visiting T/F with a large annual contingent from Portland, ME) and his friend David Osit (director of T/F 2012 film Building Babel) what they’d been up to. “I haven’t been doing much,” Meiklejohn said. “Just watching movies and crying.” Osit added: “I never cry in real life anymore. I only cry during documentaries.”

Gimme Truth! audience at the Blue Note. Not pictured: uncontrollable weeping. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

More weeping has been reported. Holly Henry wrote in after attending yesterday’s Bully screening at Jesse Auditorium:

Every last seat was filled, and every last eye in the place was moist by the end. The families from the film took the stage to a standing ovation. It was difficult watch, but also hopeful: the movement they’ve started is getting kids to stand up and speak up when they see bullying occur. The True/Life Fund buckets were overflowing with donations to support their efforts.

It’s not too late to send in your reports of emotional overflow, director sightings, or Abramovician leg cramps. Drop a line to, or just tweet it out.