The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Documented

So this weekend I had more free time than usual (I think I'm finally like not actively "moving" anymore!) and it's spring break here at the university so our workweek is a bit lighter, and so of course I spent it on my couch. I did also ride my bike all over town (to work! Like a real Davis resident!) so technically I just spent like...a lot of time on my couch.

Fortunately, the focus on my passion planner this week is "L E A R N" and my to-do list includes "use that brain for excellence, girl" and so the time on my couch was only like 1% March Madness, #OnWisconsin. I dug into the long list of documentaries that have been piling up on my Netflix queue. [PS! Somewhere along the line they changed it to say "My List" instead of "Queue" and I find that to be very uninteresting.]

I started almost embarrassingly with two films that I should have watched a few years ago when they were new but have somehow just never gotten around to because I am terrible. But now I am less terrible because I have viewed and loved them and learned from them!


This was so fascinating. It features impressive women from multiple generations of feminism and leadership in media, politics, and education. It discouraged me--tragic statistics about young girls, in particular--but encouraged me, as I think about what I am capable of and what we are capable of. Watch it.


This made me weep. It is absolutely deserving of its Academy Award nomination. The infamy of sexual assault in the US military has been front and center for a while now; I'm hopeful that we will not continue to let our veterans down. Watch it.

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I had on my queue the famous miniseries documentary Half the Sky, and I watched about a half hour of it before I started to feel...icky. It has a lot of red flag "white savior" things going on. I read Nick Kristof's columns, usually, and I think that he and Cheryl WuDunn (his wife and colleague) do excellent work to raise awareness and bring human trafficking to the global stage. And so I want them to keep working, because I want women to be liberated around the world. But I don't want the Western world to believe that homogenized brown women are liberated by white men. I've been told to read this book (by great white women I love) a number of times, and have just always felt...icky. If you don't know anything about human trafficking, watch this. If you want to learn more, find sources written/produced/headquartered outside the white, Western world. And then share those with me.

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Werner Herzog is weird, and I have a weird fascination with media about prison/crime (my favorite book is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood) and so I saw this on a "best docs on netflix" list sometime ago and grabbed it. It was weird. It's the story of two men who were convicted of murder--one sentenced to death, one to life imprisonment. Herzog talks to their families, mostly, and there are these silences and staring...it's haunting and it feels very real. Maybe don't watch it.

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Makers: Women Who Make America

This was a three-part PBS miniseries documentary situation, and I watched all three back-to-back because it's CRAZMAZING (as the great April Ludgate-Dwyer might say). I learned so much about the history of feminism in the United States, for better and for worse. There's so much more to learn (my favorite thing to learn!) and I am scouring the universe for more rad women's stories. I think this documentary is reasonably self-aware about its limitations as far as inclusion of women of color, gay women, transwomen, etc., as it moves through how the movement itself addressed the wide variety of American women. We can always do better. So many of my heroes are on film here (HRC, Sanda Day O'Connor, RBG, Gloria Steinem) and so many women whose legacy I didn't even know I was made of. Watch 'em all.

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This blog doesn't have a whole lot of "engagement" going on, but I am all about the crowd-source, so,  let me know what great documentaries you've been watching--or books you've been reading, let's be real--about subjects that bring you to life. 

That Crafty Feeling, I guess.