Film Screening and Discussion: “Witness” Mon., Aug. 11, at 7 PM with Judy Stavisky

Best Video Performance Space will present a screening of Peter Weir’s 1985 film “Witness,” which starred Harrison Ford and was set in the Amish country of Pennsylvania, on Mon., Aug. 11. Judy Stavisky, who lives in Pennsylvania and was recently invited to contribute to a non-fiction book on Amish society, will discuss the movie’s depiction of that milieu after the film. The program starts at 7 PM and admission is $5.

“Witness,” a thriller, was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two (for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing). Ford plays Detective John Book, a Philadelphia cop, who is assigned to protect a young Amish boy who witnessed a murder at 30th Street Station.

Judy Stavisky lives about 45 minutes from the closest Amish community to Philadelphia. Over the past three decades, she and her husband have used their bicycles to explore the back roads and carefully tended farms that dot the Amish countryside.  Why the Amish choose a lifestyle that is separate from the modern world and how they have maintained that separation continues to be a puzzle.

Most recently, Judy was asked to contribute to a factual book about the Amish. She has spent the past 18 months interviewing  20 Old Order Amish women in Lancaster County, discussing their daily lives, their families, their choices. In a society generally closed to outsiders, Judy has been invited into Amish homes to share meals, has canned mountains of tomatoes, sauerkraut and corn and has spent long days in Amish one room school houses. Judy is a graduate of Yale Public Health School and formerly worked at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Judy will help guide our discussion around the myths and the reality of Amish life.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS with JUDITH STAVISKY

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND, SETH TIVEN

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT) with FILMMAKER BRENDAN TOLLER

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE, JAMES VELVET

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Aug. 29. IMPROV COMEDY TROUPE: TINY DICTATOR

• Wednesday, Sept. 3. CARIBBEAN/POP: LUKE RODNEY

• Thursday, Sept. 4. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Friday, Sept. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART (Just announced!)

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 12. CHORAL ROCK, INDIE ROCK: THE DRESS-UPS (CD RELEASE!), THE SAWTELLES (Just announced!)

• Thursday, Sept. 18. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED (Just announced!)

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND (Just announced!)

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Friday, Oct. 10. INDIE ROCK: OLIVE TIGER (Just announced!)