A Force of Nature, dir. Barbara Kopple, 2011, USA, 47 min.
Friday, 6/15, 11:00am @ Castro, PASS15C
|Passionate Politics: the Life and Work|
of Charlotte Bunch (top center)
|Ellen Ratner is A Force of Nature|
As remarkable as Charlotte Bunch’s work has been, it takes quite a person to merit a double feature, but Ellen Ratner is up to the task. At only 4′9″ (145cm) tall, she doesn’t have a promising career in professional basketball, but on her home courts she is rightly described as a force of nature. She is the Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service, but she also has started charities working on everything from helping poor communities in Mississippi rebuild from Hurricane Katrina to helping former slaves in South Sudan create cottage industries. She is also undeniably an eccentric, seemingly obsessed with giving a kiss to every wild animal she meets, from ostriches to goats to fish, but she possesses a rare combination of laser-like focus on what she wants to accomplish and the human touch to get along with an astonishingly broad range of people. Despite being an open lesbian and old-school FDR liberal, she counts former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour as a personal friend. This documentary about her is engaging, well paced, informative, and fun. Strongly recommended, a must-see.