96 Tears in the Closet
The Legion of Decency, 1934
Here’s a tiny SOCCCD “Land o’ Neanderthals” tale:
A few months ago, I caught wind of some kind of 21st Century “Legion of Decency” investigation, requested by a trustee, concerning films (or a film) produced by Saddleback College’s Communication Arts program, which (I have since learned) prides itself on its “hands on” instruction. I waited for something to materialize, but nothing ever seemed to pop up. Dang!
Well, one thing happened, I guess. Several months ago, Trustee Nancy Padberg requested a report on Saddleback’s communication arts/film program. She didn’t explain what she was looking for, as I recall.
Well, I just looked, and the report was in fact provided at the Nov. 17 board meeting. It was listed on the agenda as item 7.1. I checked the super-agenda (a fat pdf file available online) and I went to the page for 7.1. Here’s what I found:
So I asked around, and somebody told me that the Communication Arts program (or a student in the program) produced some sort of film about a lesbian who had “come out.” The film had received an award at a film festival somewhere.
I did some looking, and I came across a 26-minute (10 minute?) documentary called “88 Years in the Closet,” evidently made by Saddleback College student Peter Shafron. Back in ’07 or ’08, it was submitted to numerous film festivals and was accepted as an entry in many of them, including the International Film Festival on Aging in San Francisco, Toronto’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the Big Bear International Film Festival, where it won an award.
Here’s the trailer:
Since then (I gather), Shafron and Jane Lehmann-Shafron co-founded a “boutique documentary” business. (See Your Story Here video biographies.) Jane, too, has taken courses (in voice acting, she says) at Saddleback College.
Evidently, the Shafrons’ company has produced other documentaries, including one concerning a Jewish woman in Nazi Germany:
According to the blurb at YouTube, the film concerns Inge Papich:
Inge Papich just wanted to fit in. Growing up in Berlin in the 1930s, she learned the Hitler salute, sang the Nationalist songs and dreamed of joining the Hitler youth. The only problem was, Inge was a Mischling – a kind of Jewish half breed under the Nuremberg Race Laws.Is it possible that this little documentary about an 88-year-old woman on a freakin' cruise caused the fuss about Saddleback's Communication Arts program? Gosh, I don't see how.
Well, the November board meeting was several weeks ago. As near as I can tell, there’ve been no further developments.
These documentaries do seem interesting, though, don’t they?
What does it all mean?
• Fame follows an O.C. senior who came out of the closet (OC Reg, 3/14/08)
• Film about 88-year-old lesbian honored (OC Reg, 9/15/08)
• 96 Tears (Pumpkin Times, 1966)