Focusing on the spiritual journey of David Bazan, aka Pedro The Lion, Strange Negotiations comes to the Grace Street Theater tomorrow night. The writers behind Critiques For The Culture are intrigued.
Strange Negotiations is a new music documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Brandon Vedder, and it is coming to Richmond this week. This documentary traverses several themes surrounding music, discovery, and faith in the life of David Bazan, aka Pedro the Lion. It will be shown at our very own Grace Street Theatre on Tuesday evening, June 25, at 7pm. A Q&A with David Bazan and Brandon Vedder will follow the film.
What Caught Our Attention?
I’m looking forward to seeing an indie film that has been brought to Richmond. We all can get very comfortable here in our RVA bubble, and I think it’s great when folks from outside of our quarters can come through to shake things up. Being a fan of documentaries, especially those that follow a person’s personal journey, I’m interested in learning more about Bazan’s connection to his faith through the people he’s seen and the interactions he’s had on tour.
At face value, I wonder how much minority representation will be present, as the director and subject are both straight-passing, white-passing men of Christian faith. However, Vedder said that the making of this film has made space for his “… own [Christian] identity to be questioned and poked at,” and that is the part that I’m excited about. Part of Critiques for The Culture’s mission is to get underneath what is initially seen, challenge some of these norms, and dig into what folks are often afraid to say. I’m hoping that this film does the work of challenging some of the stifling ideals that follow the louder voices we see so often in spaces.
I’m interested in this film because it promises to highlight crucial themes that we often don’t dive deeply into: Who are we, really, when we rip away the veil of religion and are forced to look into the mirror for ourselves? Will we like who we see? Will we break away from our familiar beliefs? How will we continue to live in a world that tells us that tradition is king, once we begin to question those cherished traditions?
A big unknown is the amount of diversity that will be seen in this film. While it is very important to produce coming-of-age stories, I wonder if we will learn about the marginalized people in David Bazan’s life, and how they impacted his journey. Will this film be a Eurocentric, narrow-scope documentary that fails to incorporate the rest of the world, or will intersectionality take a central role?
More information about the film screening can be found on their Facebook event, and tickets, which are priced at $22.50, can be purchased on Eventbrite. Grace Street Theater is located at 934 W. Grace St, on VCU Campus.