Last Thursday night was my first experience at Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre's 'Films to Make You Think'. This free monthly film night will typically screen a documentary about an important social issue and host guest speakers who will give more information or tell stories about the topic.
I'd signed up to watch 'Numbered', a documentary about Auschwitz survivors who talk about their horrifying struggles, memories and the relationships with their serial number tattoos.
On arrival we were offered a drink and found out the sponsor providing the wine has made a donation to supply wine for the entire year (what a legend of a sponsor). We each got a wine and a bag of popcorn.
It's almost needless to say that the documentary was eye-opening and touching. The photography was beautiful and intimate and the content was sprinkled with humour. The idea for this night is that it educates people. It isn't free films for the sake of free films. It's about encouraging people to watch something that might open their minds and move them to educate others too.
The event is also about opinion and discussion. After the film, Dr Ari Lander - a bubbly and articulate speaker from the Sydney Jewish museum - led the discussion. Some asked questions and others shared their own stories about relatives who had suffered in concentration camps.
If you go, try to take someone with you who isn't already educated about the topic. Also feel encouraged to talk to others in the audience. Most seemed open to meeting new people.