Cinematic Gift

“A good movie can take you out of your dull funk,” film critic Pauline Kael said. “A good movie can make you feel alive again, in contact . . . make you care, make you believe in possibilities again.”

Patrons who venture to the Chilmark Community Center this weekend will be transported from the funk of Island winter, through three days of films carefully chosen by movie lovers who love to be moved.

Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival director Thomas Bena gave insight into some of his choices in last week’s Gazette: “Like watching a How to Love lesson,” was Mr. Bena’s take on Hear and Now, a daughter’s film about her deaf parents’ entry into the world of sound, which screens Saturday. “Just blew my heart wide open,” he said of The Dhamma Brothers, about the effect of meditation on hard-core prisoners, the film which opens the festival tonight.

The filmmakers behind Hear and Now, The Dhamma Brothers and several other films in the festival will be there, sharing their stories with Vineyarders after the screenings.

Their discussions, their films, and this festival that brings them all to us in the March doldrums, are a gift. A gift to make us feel alive again.