By Julie Clancy, Administrative Coordinator On November 27, 2012, the Emma Willard community was treated to a talk and Q&A with local filmmaker Nate Simms. Simms’ documentary, Brunswick, was created using interviews, excerpts from town board meetings, and sweeping shots of the farms and hills of nearby Brunswick, New York. The film is an intimate look at the effects of the rise of development building in this rural area.
Simms calls our attention to the totality of what is happening: who are the players in the conversation?; who sits at the table when decisions are made?; who is left out?; who is affected by the decisions?; is more development good for the town?; and what becomes of these “rolling hills of Brunswick” when they become leveled and restructured to accommodate the influx of homes?
Careful attention is paid to the farmers themselves, most all of whom work land that has been in their families for generations. The students had an opportunity to see Brunswick in science classes so a good portion of the assembly was spent asking Simms questions about the relationships he built with the people while filming and what shining a spotlight on a community issue means for the town.
Simms also ate lunch with the members of Emma Green, our student sustainability group and answered their questions on the impacts of rural development and filmmaking.