Review of Julie Winokur's film "Bring it to the Table"
Julie Winokur’s Bring it to the Table began as an effort to overcome her son’s perception that she was politically intolerant. The film documents Ms. Winokur’s journey to challenge preconceived notions and examine the plight of hyperpartisanship. Her prescription is pursuing mutual understanding through greater dialogue that prioritizes listening.
Ms. Winokur visited with dozens of Americans about their beliefs across a small table with a blue tablecloth and a flowerpot used to designate “left” or “right” leanings. The film exposes stark ideological differences and more importantly, the disparate modes of inquiry, subcultural norms, and personal experiences that inform these differences. The result is a compelling effort to improve political discourse one person at a time.
The related problem of self-segregation, whereby Americans increasingly surround themselves with like minded people, is more difficult to overcome. Few, if any, choose to live in a community surrounded by people who draw very different political, economic, and social conclusions. Expecting this is not realistic. Simple steps toward recognizing greater humanity are. This begins with understanding that political ideology is only one part of who people are and not the most important part. Such recognition might just enable Ms. Winokur to finally win over her son.
More information about Bring it to the Table can be found at http://bringit2thetable.org/#home