Dances With Films Selection: ‘Live Out Loud’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Within the past five years, times have been tough for everyone. We’ve seen so much loss and it’s hard to find a silver lining. Many people turn to any art medium for a sense of comfort or to express their emotions. Whether you’re painting, writing, or designing something that form of expression is cathartic and will always help you heal. The documentary Live Out Loud shows three people experiencing homelessness in Portland, Oregon who are empowered and begin to heal from childhood trauma by learning to make films in a grant-funded program. Director Melissa Gregory Rue was able to capture the lives of these people and share their journey in such an authentic way.

What was so interesting about this documentary was seeing how everyone’s mind works differently, especially within a creative mindset. There are different perspectives for everything and art can be moulded to complement the artist’s mind. People may suffer from traumatic events that affect their perspective on life and those stories are always important to explore. Everyone deserves to have the space to process their trauma and grow as a person in any space. Even though these people suffered through poverty, their outlook on life was always positive and they showed determination to do more. It is a heartwarming piece that will show you how everyone lives their lives differently and how they can start their dream at any point in their life.

Even though the camerawork and editing were a bit generic, the people and the importance of their stories are what make this a good watch. The way they take the time to sit with each person and explore their background is great. On top of that, we see their growing love for filmmaking and how this is a safe space for their ideas and their stories. Through filmmaking and storytelling, there is a powerful way to express oneself. We see a range of emotions in this documentary while they are trying to fix the relationships in their lives and work on themselves. What Gregory Rue wanted to show is that everyone can find their way if someone is willing to extend a hand. There needs to be more kindness in this world so everyone can have an opportunity to grow into the person they want to be.

Live Out Loud is a lovely documentary about second chances and how the arts will always be a safe space to grow as a person. It’s something that can be so personal to many people because of the freedom of expression through any medium. Movies, music, words, and paintings are all important things in this world because it all involves human connection. That’s the reason why the arts are always comforting to so many people. Even in the darkest of times, art becomes an outlet for a wide range of emotions and it will always be a grey area. There is no right or wrong, it’s all based on feelings and how you express them. Seeing a documentary such as this one give others the room to do whatever they want to do is refreshing and grounded in humanity. 

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