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BLINDED BY THE LIGHT film screening

August 20 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

“You can’t start a fire without a spark.” “Born in the USA.” “We learned more from a three-minute record, baby, than we ever learned in school.”

For some people, Bruce Springsteen doesn’t just write lyrics — he sings words to live by. That became the truth for Javed (Viveik Kalra), a lower-middle-class Pakistani British teenager who stars in this film, based on a true story.

The screening will be outdoors, weather permitting.

“A thoroughgoing joy,” writes critic Ty Burr in The Boston Globe.

“Universally appealing,” writes United Press International’s Fred Topel.

“Captures something sincere about the globe-spanning, life-changing influence of great pop music,” writes Jake Coyle of the Associated Press.

Javed, the son of Pakistani immigrants, is 16 and living in a drab London suburb in 1987. He faces the socioeconomic unrest of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, including religious discrimination and racism, along with the realities of working-class Pakistani immigrant life in 1980s England.

In addition to the aggression of local neo-Nazis who chase him, spit on him and menace him, Javed is oppressed by his father’s rigid rules.

Things change when a classmate (Aaron Phagura) gives Javed cassettes of “Born in the USA” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”

When Javed pops “Darkness on the Edge of Town” into his Walkman and hears the Boss’s music for the first time, he discovers remarkable parallels between his own situation in England and Springsteen’s search for meaning in New Jersey.

He becomes more than just a Bruce fan. The music gives him courage to do things he wouldn’t have dared otherwise.

These include standing up to the skinheads by dramatically reciting the lyrics of “Badlands” and asking Eliza (Nell Williams), a girl in his English class, out on a date, helped by Springsteen’s “Thunder Road.”

One day in his school writing class, his teacher tells Javed one of his Springsteen essays won him tickets to a lecture about Springsteen at Monmouth College in New Jersey, near where Springsteen grew up.

Javed is thrilled but scared. His father tells him that if he goes, he will not be allowed to return home.

The 2010 film runs 1 hour 54 minutes and is rated PG–13. Its awards include the Truly Moving Picture Award at the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis.

“The reality of intergenerational conflict is a given for ‘Blinded by the Light,’ but nothing can stand up to the transformative power of the Boss. You can take that to the bank,” writes critic Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times.

“I guarantee it will make you feel better than any other film that comes out this year,” writes Johnny Oleksinski in the New York Post.

The film’s trailer can be found on YouTube at tinyurl.com/BlindedByTheLightMoviesWSpirit.

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $10 a person.

Movies With Spirit screenings comply with all federal, state and local health and safety protocols, including those of the screening venues.

The monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.

The films are screened in diverse places of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month. Movies With Spirit has no religious affiliation.


August 20
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Movies With Spirit
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Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church
30 Pine Grove Ave.
Kingston, NY 12401 United States
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