Meeting of Friends
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A MEETING OF FRIENDS
Historians love direct evidence from the past that reveals how people
thought and acted. Multnomah Meeting in Portland, Oregon is pleased to make
such a source available more that four decades after it was produced. The
film "A Meeting of Friends" is a portrait of Multnomah Meeting and some of
its members from 1972 (when the Meeting was part of Pacific Yearly Meeting).
Viewers who are familiar with the Meeting will remark on the contrast
between the Meetinghouse of 1972 and the twice-renovated building of today.
They may consider whether there have been changes in Quaker “plain dress”
over the decades. We can all reflect on how each of us might respond to
the topics and questions that the film addresses.
This film might also be useful for groups of Friends as a basis for
discussion about their own beliefs as well as considering if the foundation
of Quaker belief and practice in North Pacific Yearly Meeting, Pacific
Yearly Meeting, Intermountain Yearly Meeting, and similar groupings of
Friends is the same now as in the early 1970s? Would we highlight the same
aspects of our practice and our community? How would we speak our truth?
About the Filmmaker
Here is an introduction in filmmaker Tom Weidlinger’s own words:
We are pleased to make available the complete digitally restored version
of A Meeting of Friends, the 1972 documentary film about the Multnomah
Monthly Meeting. The film features the wedding vows, before Friends, of Ed
and Barbara Janoe as well as the reflections of Esther Richards, Laura
Martin, and Girard Roscoe on what it meant to them to be a Friend. Several
Meeting members, who are listed in the credits, gave financial support to
make the film possible.
The film was made by Tom Weidlinger, an attender at the Multnomah Meeting
between 1970 and 1973 and a film student at The Center for The Moving Image
at Portland State University. Tom went on to have a prolific career as an
independent documentary filmmaker. Twenty-five of his hour-long films,
ranging in topics from humanitarian aid in the Congo to high school
students with learning differences, have aired nationally on public
television. Many remain in educational distribution.
In response to a query inquiry about a putting A Meeting of Friends on
the Multnomah Meeting website, Tom was inspired to clean up the original
film, using digital tools not available 43 years ago. He cut out jerky
splices, added a few ambient sound effects, streamlined the credits, nd
re-graded the black and white footage for contrast and brightness.
The slow pace of the film, with near silent shots remaining on the screen
for many, many seconds, is in the genre of anthropological filming 50 years
ago. It was also an attempt to convey the contemplative nature of a Friends
Meeting for Worship.
Tom’s current project is THE RESTLESS HUNGARIAN
both a book and a film about his father,
Paul Weidlinger. You are invited to visit the blog
and Facebook Page about this project.