In our Civic Engagement unit this year we worked on applying a certain value of GCE to create short films. Each film is very different from the others and displays one of the four values; Accountability, Autonomy, Purpose, or Gratitude. In our film we took two plastic figurines and made them come to life in a stop motion film called “Cake.” Through two weeks of hard work, trial and error, and failed attempts we produced a two minute and thirty second film about a plastic groom’s journey to find his true love after accidentally falling off a cake. Purpose is shown, but it’s not the kind of purpose that is clear to a person watching the film at first sight, no, the one watching must look from frame to frame to decide what the purpose of the movie is for themselves. the groom’s willingness to never give up no matter how many obstacles he must face. As well as the adventure our little groom had we also experienced an adventure of our own; as photographers, writers, and editors we stepped out of our comfort zone and tried something we have never done before. It was new and nerve-wracking to us all, but we had our purpose in mind and we did not give up on it.
Throughout the process of making Cake we were asked to write our thoughts and hopes down in a journal. After finishing the film it was interesting to go back into my journal to read the feelings and thoughts I expressed at the beginning of the Civic Engagement unit. An entry from my journal during week one reads: “We watched a film today called Le Tableau: The painting directed by Jean-François Laguionie. As I watched I found it hard to take my eyes off the screen, it was beautiful. The colors and the french voices moved together as if I couldn’t picture the voices on anyone or anything else in the world. I looked around and saw that some of my fellow classmates were asleep and some were watching, but with disinterest. I loved the main characters, but wished that they loved themselves for the message of the film was not very positive. It took social class and turned it into a painting. The characters who were fully painter (finished) were the ones who got invited to the parties, they had the power to look down on the unfinished characters, and the unfinished characters could not stand living with themselves because they were so ashamed of their unpainted body parts. I felt sad for these drawings, but at the same time I though that different isn’t a bad thing. The main character is the only one who prefers to stay unfinished by the end of the film, and for that I felt some peace within myself. Overall this film was not that of a positive or a negative one.”