Finding Kind (Lauren Parsekian, 2010): USA

Reviewed by Alex Descano. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2011.

Every now and again you see a film that truly moves you. For me, Finding Kind was that film. I hadn’t heard much about the film until our meeting with the director of the film festival, Roger Durling, who insisted everyone go see it. I took his advice and am glad to say it was the right decision.

A young woman named Lauren Parsekian wrote and directed the entire documentary herself. Lauren, along with her friend Molly Stroud started the “Kind Campaign” in 2009, which the documentary is based on. The “Kind Campaign” involves Parsekian and Stroud traveling to various cities across the country spreading awareness about the vicious hostility females have toward each other.

The film documents the girls’ journey across the country and the movement of the “Kind Campaign”. With only their moms and their camera man, Christopher Hamilton, to accompany them, the girls make their dream of outreaching out to others a reality and finally make it to the big screen in Finding Kind.

The thing that sets Finding Kind apart from most other films is its ability to evoke self-reflection, a very powerful attribute for a film to have. Throughout the entirety of the film I found myself reflecting on all the times I was mean toward another girl and hoping to be able to redeem myself for those horrible actions. I believe this was Parsekian’s exact intention when filming the documentary so it was inspiring to be able to experience a film fulfilling its purpose.

Parsekian and film editor, Vegard H. Sorby utilize creative editing techniques in the film by incorporating shots of different girls in the “truth booth” intermittently throughout the movie. The “truth booth” is a video confession booth created by Parsekian to allow the girls of the “Kind Campaign” to reveal personal stories regarding the movement. This clever addition created a very moving effect while watching the film and aided in a deep, meaningful viewing.

Despite the fact that Finding Kind was a rather serious film, it was able to elicit many humorous aspects. After tearing up several times while watching the film, I often found myself reverting back to laughter. Scenes such as one in which a man explains that the difference between men is women is that a man will say something and “14 years later a woman will remember it” had the audience roaring in laughter. Scenes such as this one proved the film’s vast versatility, an excellent quality to possess.

The film’s versatility and ability to extract such a wide array of feelings from its audience are what make it an incredible piece of work. While watching this film I felt sad, happy, sympathetic, and remorseful, among many other feelings. After watching it I felt inspired and encouraged to change and better myself, so I knew I had just witnessed an amazing film.

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