Any teacher worth her expertly managed pension fund will tell you that the greatest classroom rush is when your kids get it. Well, as I sat there surveying the faces of the teens whom I've witnessed in just about every state of miscomprehension, I noticed something new. Rarified. Exhilarating. Collective understanding of something really, really big.
When not plotting civilly disobedient flash mobs with her 8th graders, Toronto teacher and filmmaker, Laurie Townshend is writing, directing, and producing documentaries and narrative films for a growing audience. Her take on human connectedness is explored in an online collection of 2-minute vignettes featuring strangers titled, Human Frequency Streetdocs. With a thematic lens aimed squarely at the resilience of the human spirit, her cinematic offerings extend to include acts of courage made visible through crisis. Townshend’s short film, The Railpath Hero (2013), is a gripping portrait of the threads of hope that hold a young athlete's life together in the wake of childhood sexual abuse. In 2015, Townshend wrote and directed "Charley", a visually powerful documentary about civil rights activist and human rights lawyer, Charles Roach.
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