What the Constitution Means to Me 2020

What the Constitution

What the Constitution

What the Constitution The word “timely” has had quite a bit of a workout in recent years. It’s the result from living in a knife’s blade moment in time. We are in a state of balance, hanging on a thin layer of stability, diamond-sharp and diamond. When we are in a time of crisis the stories of our past can’t resist taking on new significance. In a time where almost anything can suddenly feel almost inexplicably relevant the Heidi Schreck novel “What The Constitution Meanings to Me” is available on Amazon Prime. It’s an incredible accomplishment, a work of devastating clarity. It’s also hilarious, heartfelt and awe-inspiring, and yet, despite everything, in possession of an optimistic glow. It’s painful and vital, like taking a deep breath with a set of broken ribs. It will hurt. The suffering is worth it.

Captured with elegance and thoughtfulness in the final weeks of Broadway’s run in 2019. Marielle Heller “Constitution” appears quite simple on the surface. (While Heller superbly directs the film, the stage production was directed by the director of theater Oliver Butler with equal grace, skill, and insight.) Schreck is the title character, and she recounts the story of how her 15-year-old self-defence across the country , competing in constitutional debates at American Legion halls in order to earn a scholarship for college. She wears a yellow jacket when she plays her younger self, and then calls the shots. She informs her audience that she wanted to play the white men she would speak to at these gatherings that the scene was created out of her memories, but her memories didn’t contain doors. It’s casual and friendly. Heller’s honest, yet friendly, appearance behind the camera underscores her friendly style. We’re just having a conversation. Schreck appears to have a different view on each of these options. We’re all here just talking we’re just here talking, nothing to worry about .

However, it’s a major difference, and Schreck’s decision to eschew more extravagant options infuses “Constitution” with a sense of urgency as well as vulnerability and candor. Schreck focuses mainly on the 14th and 9th amendments. She then explores the beauty, the contradictions, and even the shortcomings of the United States Constitution through multiple lenses. (She is also and, as she says in one of the most memorable jokes, a big fan of men “I’m the daughter of an father,” she deadpans with her hand on her heart.) The play is about her family’s past and the history and United States history. It’s also about her life and what the absence of the preamble signifies for women, LGBTQIA+ and non-binary people particularly trans women and women.

Inevitably, the work that Heller’s film of “Constitution” will get compared to most frequently will likely be Thomas Kail’s film of the original cast of “Hamilton”–proximity of release, subject matter, and of course format all invite the comparison. ( Linmanuel Miranda Angelica Schuyler asks Thomas Jefferson whether it’s required to write a new version of the story or even rewrite it completely. Schreck’s production asks if the original story should be rewritten or canceled. Its approach is reminiscent of documentarian Jennifer Fox 2018 narrative feature ” The Tale” which examined the sexual abuse of her childhood from her point of view. By using fiction to create and remove personal distance, it sheds much more on Fox. The past is gone while the present is current, and both are constantly happening at once

For me to go into detail about Schreck’s flawlessly structured, intelligent text would diminish the pleasure of watching the play unfold, but there are a few aspects that deserve to be mentioned and one of them could play even better on film than it did in the theater. Although Schreck’s play may seem like a one-woman operation from an outside perspective, the actor Mike Iveson is also on the stage playing Schreck and a legionnaire in order to ensure that Heidi as well as her fellow participants adhere to the rules. He’s a quiet unassuming presence, a stern, observant and remote and there to enforce the rules that he or others like him wrote. He’s not there to enforce rules, but he is in the role of a vigilant and attentive spectator. Schreck reveals layer upon layer about abortion consent, domestic violence, and how the law she loved at 15 years old has not served her, as well as many other women for many years. The relationship is dynamic and Heller conveys the constant presence of Iveson and Schreck’s keen awareness of it with the sharpness and sensitivity of a knife. It’s all in the framing–a statement which, come to think of it, also is applicable to specific the interpretations of the law of constitutions. What the Constitution Means to Me HD

Schreck is not alone on the stage along with Iveson. In the film’s closing moments, Schreck is joined onstage by Rosdely Ciprian as an 18-year-old New York high schooler and debater who engages Schreck in an unscripted and staggeringly well-prepared debate on the question of whether or not the Constitution of the United States should be abolished. Schreck’s play is astonishing, her performance unforgettable, but it’s in these final minutes the film “What The Constitution Means To me” is transformed into its final shape: evidence powerful, thrilling, and visceral that our future can be an extraordinary one if we fight to jam the door open just a little bit wider. As it did with virtually every live performance, the pandemic stopped the tour of “Constitution” and no film can recreate the excitement of watching the play live. But Heller’s film comes damn close, particularly when she records Schreck and Iveson’s face, glowing with joy and pride and something like optimism, as Ciprian brings down the house. The future is uncertain and the pain will come. But, when Ciprian speaks of “We we the people”, “Constitution” doesn’t appear “timely.” It feels more like a promise although it’s one we have to keep.

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