The Staff of Larryville of Lawrence, KS made it to a recent screening at Liberty Hall, and “armed with popcorn and beer” took a reflective journey into the politics of their home state. We feel that they may have found the heart of the movie, as they conclude:
The character selection in this documentary showed some real genius. As often as one may cringe, there is cheering at the mindsets more similar. Regardless of what one may or may not choose politically, one still has to stand back and admire the conviction.
Some of the genius in the film is subtle. When the camera crew interviews Angel, she sits at her table and says grace with her children. Looked closely and you will notice she sits a place at the table for the entire crew. Visit someone in Kansas and you are going to get fed. Food gets grown, raised, prepared, and shared in Kansas. Donn Teske would understand if he were to hear anyone in Kansas say there is a worship of food here that is not understood in New York, NY.
The film then goes on to talk about Kansas political history. The largest socialist newspaper was founded and located in Kansas. History included a strong population of the left-wing Populist movement. People in Kansas were considered radical in Washington D.C. So what changed?
The political climate changed. Religion and “family values” began to affect the ticket. Abortion and gay rights become issues. People originally comfortable allowing politics to happen around them, suddenly felt a calling to get involved. Churches began to preach of making change happen and began to direct congregations on how to vote. The churches led the way and the people followed.
They followed and then they began to lead. They began filling up local election ballots without opposition. They ran and won uncontested political leadership seats. From there, momentum grew and they filled county seats and state seats.
In short, what is wrong with Kansas is people got involved. One may not agree with the viewpoint or the beliefs, but they got involved and stayed involved. They wanted change. They wanted their family values, their family values and had the determination and passion necessary to bring about change. There is a powerful and courageous statement in that.
Maybe it is time for the rest of us to get involved.
Read the entire review here.