Sister Jean speaks at Good Pitch Chicago
Chicago Tribune, Business:Chicago Confidential
October 24, 2013
GOOD PITCH CHICAGO
Seven directors of unfinished documentary films pitched a who’s who of Chicago philanthropic and business leaders for financial and marketing support Tuesday as part of the city’s first Good Pitch event.
The actor Danny Glover appeared, supporting two films, “The Message” and “Strong Island.” Multiple attendees wanted photos with Glover — but Glover first posed with Sister Jean Hughes, an Adrian Dominican nun, featured in “Sister.”
The film follows three nuns promoting “radical feminist themes,” as a 2012 Vatican report put it, in a patriarchal hierarchy. Hughes works on Chicago’s West Side for St. Leonard’s Ministries, which helps men and women re-enter society after prison. The filmmakers have been trailing her for about eight months, she said.
“It’s funny to see yourself in a movie when you’ve gone 75 years and nobody’s paid any attention to you,” Hughes said, prompting laugher. She stood and talked to the audience of a few hundred people with the support of a cane.
She later added: “It’s not about sisters really. It’s about women. It’s about women who belong to an organization that they believe in, that their parents believed in, that their grandparents believed in. But in fact, they understand all of the sudden that in this system, women’s wisdom is not appreciated. Women’s leadership is not sought. So the system is missing half of the world, and it’s got to catch up.”
The men, she said, “are working fiercely — and these are not bad people; I’m not against the hierarchy — but the men are working so hard to prop up the system because they believe in it, and the women are working so hard to do the mission.”
Although every filmmaker left the event with more support, “Sister,” one Tweeter put it, “won the lottery” when Organizing for Action’s executive director, Jon Carson, said his group would screen the film across the country. OFA is the legacy organization of Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns. And it has access to the campaign’s “extremely valuable” voter databases, including 17 million email subscribers, The New York Times has reported.