To Pay My Way With Stories

Sunday night, I got to see Brian Lindstrom's documentary To Pay My Way With Stories about local non-profit group Write Around Portland. I exhibit slight bias here as Margaret has been a facilitator for them for several years (and further since she actually appears on-screen) but the film is a perfect encapsulation of everything WRAP stands for: the importance of community, the beauty of personal expression as a release, and above all, the collective nature of human experience no matter how varied the specifics at the individual level. Age, Income, Trauma, Addiction, Incarceration, Cancer. These are merely different prisms through which the same pristine light is refracted. WRAP honors the fact that the we are all the same. To Pay My Way With Stories captures these themes precisely with Lindstrom's hands-off approach. The camera watches. There are no administrative talking-heads, there are no voice-overs, there is no moralizing or guiding the viewer to a pre-fabricated conclusion. The camera merely watches. I can't think of a more perfect approach cinematically to encompass the complex beauty of Write Around Portland since both of them - the film and the group - trust the participant to arrive at their own conclusions.  But for some reason, Write Around Portland has zero mention of the film on their website. (I went there looking to link to the film thru their site for this post)  I do not understand. They should be tweeting and facebooking and emailing and post-carding about this film. They should be shouting about this film from the rooftops with manic, full-throated vigor. With all the abandon that they usually inspire.

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