by CARMEN SIERING
It’s a phenomenon many people, especially those who are politically liberal, can relate to. In The Brainwashing of My Dad, filmmaker Jen Senko explores how her once reasonable, non-political, Kennedy Democrat father became the embodiment of racial and social intolerance. The answer was easy to find. It began when he started a long commute and filled his time with right-wing talk radio. It peaked when he started watching Fox News.
On Saturday, October 19, Senko’s film will be screened at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater (BCT). It’s part of a presentation cosponsored by 14 local nonprofit organizations.
The event, “Truth Matters,” begins at 6 p.m. with the showing of MediaOcracy. Clocking in at less than six minutes, this short film offers advice from media experts on how to stop living in a media bubble of self-curated news and get fully informed. This is followed by the 90-minute documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad.
The evening will conclude with a question-and-answer session led by a panel of media and communications experts from Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington and The Media School at Indiana University. The plan is that Senko will join the panel via Skype.
The Ryder Film Series helped with arrangements to show the films. Peter LoPilato, The Ryder’s founder and publisher, says he was happy to be part of the project.
“We have another election coming up,” LoPilato says. “We’ll have many of the same issues—about the media, about facts, about the manipulation of them—as we did in 2016. From that perspective, the timing [for showing the film] is pretty good.”
LoPilato says that it’s important to remember that the media is made up of many organizations. “I don’t mean to suggest that all media misrepresent the truth,” he says. “But other organizations, not necessarily associated with the media, do misrepresent the truth. Then we’re talking about fake news, we’re talking about the right-wing media. Maybe we’re talking about the Russians. Maybe we’re talking about Rush Limbaugh.”
Tickets for “Truth Matters,” are $5 in advance and $7 at the door, and are available at the BCT Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood. For tickets online and more information, visit bctboxoffice.org