These fronts include everything from the fight for LGBT rights and feminism (that's artist Xaviera Simmons, below, left), to prison reform and most interestingly, for the full rights of people of color here in the USA. Aggie had a conversation years back in which she asked how and why the German people could claim not to have known about the Nazi atrocities during World War II. "Were you alive back in the 1950s?" her companion asks. When her answer is Yes, of course, he asks her how she and all the other Americans did not seem to know or care about the lynchings, murders and general abuse of Negros in here in the USA.
Yes, The elder Gund is one of those "white innocents" -- just like me and so many others I know -- who managed to not really see and understand what was going on in our own country at that time. Gund does not excuse herself. But her life seems to have been dedicated to helping right many of the wrongs she did not or could not fully grasp as a younger person brought up in a society and culture that implicitly consented to all of this as, if not "right," still somehow acceptable.
We meet glancingly so many of the artists she has helped and championed over the years -- from the famous to simply some school-kids she's encouraged via the in-school art programs she has funded. Even John Waters is here. (Gund went to bat for MoMA's acquisition of his bad-taste masterpiece, Pink Flamingos.) By the time we see her work during the AIDS crisis right up and through our current times of Black Lives Matter and the need for prison reform, I suspect you will agree with me that this movie is one of the few recent documentaries you can call genuinely inspiring. (That's Gund's grandson, Rio Hope Gund, above, left.)
From Strand Releasing and running just 91 minutes, Aggie opens at New York City's Film Forum virtual cinema tomorrow, Wednesday, October 7. Click here for more information on how to view. Will the documentary screen elsewhere? Click here and then scroll down to click on SCREENINGS in the task bar for the latest update.