Movies that matter

One of my favorite treats is seeing a movie on my own. I love bouncing into the chair, casting my limbs across both armrests, and digging into my box of candy. Usually, I bypass the four or five theaters nearest our neighborhood for a smaller theater that’s a bit farther. It lacks stadium seats and booming speakers, and I don’t think the armrests even have cupholders.

Movies fall on a spectrum between art and entertainment, and I prefer the films (insert snooty voice) that rest closer to the art side. I like to watch movies that will spark a conversation afterward and prompt some introspection. Ninety-five percent of the theaters play the same movies, so I continue driving to that little theater to watch documentaries and independent dramas. And I hope that my few dollars help keep it in business.

Here are a few movies coming out this summer: Iron Man 3, The Hangover: Part III, Fast and Furious 6, and Man of Steel — another Superman remake. I know that I will be able to walk into nearly any theater in town this summer and see these films. Their soundtracks will rattle ears, and their action scenes will jar pupils. A few weeks after we have seen them, we will forget them.

Here is a movie we might never see: Return to Zero. It’s about a couple who have a stillborn baby and how that event shatters their lives. The film has already been shot with the help of volunteers and some well-known actors who accepted small paychecks. The creators need to raise $50,000 to finish editing the film so that it has a chance of making it to the theaters. There’s a Kickstarter campaign to do just that.

I am saddened that we will support six versions of the same action movie while this little film fights for a chance. I know that the movies are an escape. I, too, want to watch Ryan Gosling strut across the screen. How about some balance, though? Really, these little, independent dramas are more gutsy than the biggest action movie. Somebody had to sweat, hustle, and beg to get them into a theater.

I want to support creative thinkers and risk takers. And I hope that in doing so, I might leave the theater as a more thoughtful person rather than someone numbed by the din.

4 thoughts on “Movies that matter

  1. I read your article on the NYT website today – thank you for writing about stillbirth and for supporting RTZ and other smaller, important films. I couldn’t agree with you more. My daughter, Violet, was born 4 months ago today. She died during labor at 41 weeks after a perfect, low-risk pregnancy. I am so glad to see people talking about this and especially making movies to break the silence. I am utterly heartbroken and felt blindsided by this tragedy.

  2. I too have made it to your site via The New York Times.
    I honestly had never heard ‘stillborn’ until my daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks. After I began talking about it I was shocked how many people I actually knew that had experienced this heartbreak. It is never talked about and now I realize why, no one wants to talk to me about mine either. So I thank you for writing about your daughter, Genevieve.
    It took a year for me to get pregnant after my first daughter died. Her one year anniversary was in June, 2008. I got pregnant in July 2008. I now have a beautiful 3 year old as well.
    I will keep my eyes open for Return to Zero. I live in a small town in Arkansas and not sure how far I would have to travel but I will if I can.
    Thanks for the information.

  3. Thank you for your beautiful piece on Motherload. Been reading some of your older posts and enjoy your writing, your honesty, and even sharing your grief.

    So sorry about Genevieve. We lost our little Cale over two years ago.

  4. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for BOTH the amazing, perfectly timed (if only you knew…can I talk with you about it) NY Times article that was absolutely RIGHT ON and for the reference to the amazing movie that we are pinning hopes on for building a more understanding community. Return to Zero will be awesome. It is long over due. Some of us have dreamed about this (and worked hard in the early years trying to get things like this and your article going). Those were the really dark ages when our babies died and hardly anyone noticed or seemed to care. Staff clearly hurt, but did not even know to take pictures and help us create memories. Things have come a long way. Yet, there is SO MUCH FURTHER to go. You helped us move further down that road. Thank you. And so will this movie. I hope that people will visit their website and consider making a donation to help with the final production pieces and marketing. Maybe they will consider calling the area theater to see what it takes to bring in the movie when it is done for a community preview.
    If we can all work together to raise our voices in unison and say These little ones MATTER. They were here and still live within us as our beloved children. Say their names out loud! (this quote comes from the new Documentary movie STILL that is in the works and will bring us another mile or two down the road. Let’s grow a movement together. Visit and join this FREE Coalition that is on a mission. We need you and all your followers.
    What a mark Genevieve is making on the world thanks to you!!!!
    Hugs and gratitude.
    You can email me directly at

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