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ETSU to screen the film, "Sadie" as part of South Arts Southern Circuit Tour

Staff Report • Sep 4, 2018 at 6:30 AM

“No one is happy in the hazy, dank world of Megan Griffiths’ trailer-park drama, ‘Sadie,’ ” says Indiewire, but 13-year-old Sadie herself is perhaps the unhappiest.

Her military dad has been deployed a long time, her mother is finding new companionship, Sadie is ignored at home and bullied at school, and the communication gap between daughter and mother becomes a dangerous, dark chasm.

The title character typifies many of today’s teens – anxious, depressed and growing up in an increasingly angry, violent culture. Family First Aid says 30 percent of teens in the U.S. have been involved in bullying, while 2.8 million youth between 12 and 17 have had at least one major depressive episode. Nearly 17 percent have carried a weapon to school at least once, says the Center for Disease Control.

“We’ve spent a lot of time as a culture trying to reckon with the effects of the intense exposure to violence faced by soldiers,” writer/director Griffiths says, “but what about the effects of similar exposure on those at home? How does this steady diet of violence – from the real-world carnage of war, mass shootings and police brutality, to the fictional, cartoonish bloodshed filling our screens – impact those coming of age in this era?”

On Monday, Sept. 10, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University will screen the narrative film “Sadie” at 7 pm. in ETSU’s Brown Hall Auditorium – with Griffiths and producer Lacey Leavitt in attendance.

As part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, the free public screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session and reception with the filmmakers.

“With ‘Sadie,’ I have tried to create a cautionary tale with humor and humanity,” Griffiths says, “that I hope will contribute to a larger cultural conversation.”

The film features a score by Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and “an impressive cast,” says the Moveable Fest. Melanie Lynskey as Sadie’s mother, Rae, has been seen in “Two and a Half Men” and Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers;” Danielle Brooks as friend Carla comes from “Orange Is the New Black;” Emmy-winner Tony Hale (“Arrested Development,” “Veep”) portrays Bradley; Tony-winner John Gallagher Jr. (“The Newsroom” and “Spring Awakening” on Broadway) plays Rae’s new friend, Cyrus; and Sophia Mitri Schloss (“Grimm,” “The Librarians” and “Portlandia”) portrays Sadie.

“I’m really thrilled that this particular film is on our schedule this fall,” Anita DeAngelis, director of event-sponsor Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. “We love to have narrative films in the Southern Circuit series, and ‘Sadie,’ certainly includes timely topics that merit more conversation. That’s what the Q&As after each film hope to encourage.”

For more information, call the Martin School of the Arts at 423-439-TKTS (8587) or visit www.etsu.edu/martin. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346. Additional information on the film is available at www.sadiefilm.com.

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