We spent last week touring the movie, and meeting new audiences. On Monday, we screened “Moundsville” at America Magazine headquarters in mid-town Manhattan. America is a thoughtful Catholic magazine, and it published a cover story on Moundsville last year. The magazine’s motto in “Pursuing the truth in love.” More and more, the movie has felt like an exercise in encountering the other, bridging the gap between city and town, and just plain listening without judgment of other people.
The Q&As after each screening have been wide-ranging, interesting, and mostly peaceful conversations, touching on subjects like health care, unions, and Trump, without people getting angry. Trump supporters and liberals praised the movie equally as being true. “Y’all showed us how we got in this pickle,” a woman from Arkansas told us.
A crowd of around 70 people packed the magazine’s conference room. We got some nice reviews.
On Thursday night, we were at the Carnegie Museum of Art, for the Pittsburgh premiere of Moundsville. As in New York, we took questions from the audience after the show.
People asked about the economics and politics of the region. Some wondered about how we made the movie. People from Moundsville stood up and said we got the story right.
On Saturday, the Strand in Moundsville screened the movie two more times. It was an ice-cold day, and we couldn’t make it, but 52 people showed up. There was some grumbling that the movie is “too depressing.” The sentiment is understandable. There is a lot about decline in the film.
Somebody asked us in New York if the movie is “hopeful”. The more we watch it, the more we think it is. In the last chapter, we show a successful small business, a fledgling family farm, and the town’s booming tourism sector. Moundsville’s people have a chance to build an exciting new future. They are also grieving the loss of something. Both those parts are important to unlocking a happier, healthier future.
As for the future of “Moundsville”, we have other screenings planned. We’re submitting to festivals, talking to journalists and marketing the movie online. Please keep spreading the word, sharing the link to this site and giving us feedback.