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Femme Filmmakers Festival Review: Liberty Hill (Katie Graham)

How many accounts or perspectives have we had from a woman about the greatness of Trump’s America? Sure, we’ve heard all the squawking – I kid of course. I have many female friends in America, and none of them voted for that man. And thus, his many, insipid, offensive, ridiculous, comments and actions and mocking of the less fortunate, are not at all favored.

Of course not. And why would they? You’d have to ask that chunk of America who think they made the right choice. If you were so compelled.

Katie Graham’s quaint, essential little pocket of America, depicted in her documentary short, Liberty Hill, is something much more refreshing. And does not leave a horrid taste in your mouth. Or stomach. A newly retired woman, Karen, tells us candidly about, not exactly how much her life had changed, but rather the shift in viewpoint, given the new leadership.

Karen tells us about the art of quilting, that seems to be a natural progression for this family, going back over many generations. It could well be in their genes. This traditional Texan, appears to be facing her new band of retirement with a time to ponder on the negative alterations happening in the world.

Liberty Hill

With the election of Donald Trump, a new spin was put on her view of her home country. Claiming to be from a non-political family, Karen now finds herself super-active. Rallies, marches, making banners to show support, waving to, and getting the attention of, daily motorists churning through the freeway. And you know what, although she knows there’s a huge cloud over America, this woman does it with a smile on her face.

Karen gets together with neighbors, to analyse the election results, and the repercussions thereafter. Liberty Hill is effortlessly fascinating here, swiftly and softly told, Katie Graham let’s her story unfold, without gimmicks or persuasion. Karen is frank, but there’s no arrogance, just a kind of honest, perhaps bleak, that’s-the-way-it-is-now viewpoint.

Yet, in her campaigns, and new-found confidence to gather the troops, Karen is almost revitalizing herself. Not that there was anything going astray in her own life, far from it. Director Graham slips in warm moments of Karen, quilting proudly, or having dinner and a beer with her husband in their beautiful home, in front of the fire.

Liberty Hill is a portrayal of an ordinary woman, but with a new thirst. One that ultimately gives across a much more positive message, than the governmental changes would suggest. “He has brought out some of the worst in men,” Karen states close to the end, without a single harsh finger pointing at the male half, “and is bringing out some of the best in women.” The kind of redeeming perspective that many of us might not have thoroughly considered in all the bedlam. I’m not even American, and I was moved.

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