"LABYRINTH" EMPHASIZES FOSTERING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND INCREASING COMPASSION TOWARD WOMEN
Last spring, the St. Edward Film Department's IB HL Film students devoted the entire semester to creating "Labyrinth," a collection of interviews in which women throughout Greater Cleveland share their personal experiences with misogyny, sexual harassment and assault and how these experiences impact their daily lives today. This film project challenged students to be thoughtful communicators, to become more knowledgable about sexual violence prevention, and to express their caring, principled nature by formulating appropriate, precise questions for the documentary's participants. "Labyrinth" also provided students with a platform to spread the importance of our Holy Cross commitment to fostering good, healthy relationships and to increase empathy towards others, especially women. "When I first heard of this project, I thought that having us, a group of teenage boys making a movie about women's hardships and assault experiences, was questionable. I quickly learned how important it was to hear different perspectives on these issues and that we all need to hear women's perspectives more often," says Malen Cuturic '19. "Despite how hard it was to hear the ubiquitous struggles that these women deal with, I thought we handled this project with delicacy. We knew it was important to fully understand these women so that we could share their stories with our communities and inform them about what's really going on."
"'Labyrinth' was a filmic exercise but, more importantly, served as a means of confirming our Holy Cross values, particularly relationships, and empowering these young men to develop more authentic listening skills and greater compassion toward women," says Film Department Chair, Director of Innovation and Co-Producer of 'Labyrinth,' Mr. Nick Kuhar. "At St. Ed's, the long-standing educational philosophy has been that we guide young men to have the 'competence to see and the courage to act.' It's so essential that we quiet ourselves and let the weight of these stories sit with us. From my perspective, that's very Edwardian as it's an application of having the 'competence to see' and striking a balance between that need to see competently and be men 'with hope to bring.'"
"This film rings true to our Holy Cross charism, hospitality - meeting strangers and hearing their stories that we can't relate to but encouraging them to share what they have to say, showing empathy and reminding them that we're really listening," says Brendan Ours '19. "'Labyrinth' has allowed us to share these women's stories and ensure that they reach others to form a community of support."
"Our Holy Cross mission is to treat others well and to ensure that all feel welcome," says Colin Donovan '19. "The core of this project is to teach others to understand how people feel and to change our actions to ensure that others feel safe and comfortable. After hearing these women's stories, I felt disappointed in our world. People don't realize that this is reality, that people go through so many struggles we don't know about. It's important to empathize with others and to help them in any way we can." Similar to how St. Ed's nurturing environment provides students with a sense of safety and comfort while encouraging them to form positive relationships, "Labyrinth" conveys how the Holy Cross values are essential to transforming our communities to become ones where anyone, especially women, can feel safe and supported.
Click here to watch the St. Edward Film Department's short documentary, "Labyrinth."