Parrhesia: A Stand Against Oppression

View the full version on Alexander Street

Directed by Shawn Patrick and John Beckenbach, Parrhesia introduces us to eight individuals from different walks of life who share their stories about how they came to know oppression and the costs and triumphs that come with speaking out.

The word, “parrhesia,” means “bold or fearless speech.”  We speak fearlessly when we seek to share our truth, especially when dominant, oppressive systems seek to silence those truths. Our voices are not just a collection of words — it is proof that we exist, and that through sharing our stories we actively seek to dismantle oppression.  PARRHESIA shows us we can take a stand against oppression every day through the choices we make and the necessity of making the conversation thrive.

This film was developed to generate conversation and exploration of concepts and experiences associated with privilege, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and social justice. It was inspired by the work of students who took on the challenge of answering very hard, personal questions about how oppression has tried to direct their lives. We will see how this deceptively simple task of engaging in difficult, even divisive, conversations is the work of deconstructing oppression. We invite the audience to go on this journey with us with the hope of building bridges toward empathy, understanding, and community.

Our film is a low-budget, no-frills labor-of-love production; many involved in this project volunteered their time and talents. PARRHESIA represents the collective vision of the directors, crew, and cast. This documentary is unscripted, and each cast member had a say in how they are portrayed. We humbly present the best and worst of ourselves. This film was a collaborative effort, the work of a community who chose to make media the way we wanted to make it, to tell our stories the way we want them told. PARRHESIA is our expression of our lived truths. We risk ourselves in order to be ourselves.

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