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Montezuma League of Women Voters to host screenings of ‘Undivide Us’

Screenings will be held in Cortez, Dolores and Mancos
“Undivide Us,” a documentary film by filmmaker Kristi Kendall, explores the political divide and how Americans can reach one another despite their differences. The League of Women Voters of Montezuma County is hosting three viewings on June 25 in Cortez, Dolores and Mancos. (Courtesy of Undivide Us Movie Screenings)

The League of Women Voters of Montezuma County will host screenings of the documentary “Undivide Us,” which addresses political divides and how to bridge the gap.

The documentary will be shown at the Cortez, Mancos, and Dolores libraries on June 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Moderators will be present at each screening to facilitate discussion after the showing. A screening in Durango will be held at the same time, hosted by the LWV of La Plata County.

The documentary features voters from Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Phoenix and navigates contemporary American politics in a time of divide and difference.

The film “stands as a beacon of hope and a call to action” in times of “toxic partisanship,” according to the synopsis of the documentary. It shows that civil discussion between opposing parties can be healing, and highlights “the value of local community.”

Filmmaker Kristi Kendall, director of "Undivide Us."

Director Kristi Kendall is shocked by the escalation of the culture war, she says in her director’s statement. Her inspiration came from a book titled “I Citizen: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Self-Governance” by Tony Woodlief. Kendall began to see what causes the divide and what can be done about it.

“I wanted to share those insights, tools, and hope for the future with as many people as possible,” Kendall said in her statement.

Karen Sheek, co-chair of the leadership board for LWV Montezuma County, said the goal for showing this documentary is to bring people together to have a conversation.

“Everywhere in this country, we have become a very divided nation, and it’s important for people in democracy to be able to sit down and talk with one another and come together to find solutions,” Sheek told a Journal reporter.

Ben Klutsey, director of Academic Outreach at George Mason University, who is featured in the film, said, “After we wrapped, they were still engaged with one another and wanted to continue the conversations.”

“Undivide Us,” a documentary film by filmmaker Kristi Kendall, explores the political divide and how Americans can reach one another despite their differences. The League of Women Voters of Montezuma County is hosting a screening of the film in Cortez, Mancos and Dolores on June 25. (Courtesy of Undivide Us Movie Screenings)

The goal of the moderated conversations after each screening is to allow people to share what they learned and their thoughts on the issues addressed in the documentary, Sheek said.

“Very often when people watch documentaries, they like to have conversations to ask questions or share opinions,” Sheek said. “This is a nonpartisan discussion. This isn’t politics. This is figuring out how we can come together as communities to have civil discussions, to address issues that are of concern to all of us.”