I found a link to "Hello Herman" on Norman Reedus' Twitter account while spelunking the web. Reedus' video PSA about bullying ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWXI4lvIKI0 ) came to mind, and the movie trailer was riveting, so I immediately rented it.
Whoah. $6.99 was a good investment, and I would have paid more. This film should certainly be more widely distributed and viewed. Reedus' and Backstrom's acting were both superb and believable. The hateful, demonizing senator and talk show host were disgusting to me, which reflects a spot on job by the writer and director in portraying the side OVER the fence from Reedus' character's stance.
I couldn't stop thinking of the segment with Marilyn Manson in Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" while watching this.
After some talk about government and media fear mongering, whether Manson had more influence in the country that the President, and Manson's very astute observation about our culture of fear and consumption, Moore asks Manson: "If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?"
Manson's answer: "I wouldn't say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did."
I apologize for the reference to another film here, but I think that "listening to what they have to say" is a major point of John Buffalo Mailer's screenplay, and Michelle Danner's passionate direction of this film. We need to talk about WHY this sort of mass violence keeps happening. We must have more honest, non-politic partisan dialogue in our country. We need to turn off our smartphones and our televisions and talk to our kids. We need to show the raw, devastating emotional aftermath of mass murders (the hundreds of lives affected from a mass shooting of any size), not for media ratings, but for a standpoint of human perspective. Our churches should promote love, not condemnation, especially if they call themselves "Christian." We need to show love to one another. Be kind to strangers. Give more hugs. Care. Think. Love. And our mass media...oh, yowza...I know not how some of (or is it the majority?) those "journalists" sleep at night. The sensationalism, fear, hate, polarity...leaves me feeling physically ill, and so sad for our country and for the future of mankind.
I don't know the answers, and I don't know who does. I applaud the filmmakers and producers here (it looks like Norman stepped up to the bat money-wise...thanks, brother) for working so hard to finally get this piece of thought provoking media "out there." I wish I personally had some green to help spread the word more. Just to get a few thousand more people to think deeply about the American culture of violence is an important step. A baby step, maybe, but every little bit could help. To me, "Hello Herman" was quite powerful, and I cried deeply at six scenes.
I don't know what else to say right now...I'm husked out and puffy eyed. I'll view this film again and possibly add more later...review writing is not my strong suit: feeling deeply certainly is, though.
Please, please, spend the $6.99, and spread the word, folks.
May peace be with you all,
June 20th, 2013