Precious Knowledge with Eren McGinnis
With only two days prior knowledge I hit the road to make the 30 mile journey out to DeKalb to visit some lovely ladies at Northern Illinois University. Seeing some of the members of DREAM Action NIU again is wonderful, what a progressive, far-thinking group! As many students are concerned about assignments and graduation, this group is actively taking a role in ensuring a better future for undocumented students. They have traveled to Springfield and even Washington DC to demonstrate their support for legislation that allows all students the opportunity to achieve higher education.
But that’s beside the point! What is really calling me to Northern Illinois University is the chance to meet Eren McGinnis, the filmmaker behind the bran new documentary ‘Precious Knowledge.’ Two days prior I had never heard of this film, but after watching a short, 2 minute documentary, and after drying my eyes, I knew that this was something I couldn’t pass up! http://www.preciousknowledgefilm.com/
The debate over ethnic studies in Arizona hasn’t been simple. From increasing graduation rates to engaging students, and from identifying oppressors to uncovering truths, the Mexican-American studies program has nurtured some while scared others. Through political and personal lenses, ‘Precious Knowledge’ pulls at the heart strings as it follows a group of Tuscon High School students through a year of study and hardship.
Upon first seeing Eren I was surprised; she dresses so casually and is so informal, I have to remind myself that she has produced 11 films, lives in a number of countries, and was a Fullbright Scholar! She easily blended with the crowd until she took the floor at the ‘meet n’ greet’ session. With pure honesty she engaged the crowd with upfront remarks and grit. Giving her personal involvement sent chills through the listeners as it made the film a reality. While the documentary is a great story, it is also fact, catching real life as it flies by.
After the ‘meet n’ greet’ Eren takes some time to reflect and prepare while I have to move my car; parking can be so tricky on a college campus! Before I know it we are all situated in the grand auditorium waiting for the lights to dim. I have been anticipating this experience but it certainly does not disappoint! From the first chords of music to the last fading image I am hooked. Every few minutes I choke back tears at the injustices and powerful dedication that these young students display. Everyone in the room was touched, and many were frankly in complete disbelief.
Knowledge is power. Knowledge is precious. Aurora area screenings soon to follow.