Jan Krawitz (Stanford University, and documentary filmaker) "Perfect Strangers"

Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Location: 
Lewis Library 120

Trailer: Perfect Strangers Movie

Jan Krawitz has been independently producing documentary films for 35 years.  Her work has been exhibited at film festivals in the United States and abroad, including Sundance, the New York Film Festival, Visions du Réel, Edinburgh, SilverDocs, London, Sydney, Full Frame, South by Southwest and the Flaherty Film Seminar. Her 2004 film, Big Enough, was broadcast on the national PBS series P.O.V. and internationally in eighteen countries. Her documentaries, Mirror MirrorIn Harm’s WayLittle People, and Drive-in Blues, were all broadcast on national PBS. Krawitz’s short film Styx is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Little People was nominated for a national Emmy Award and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Krawitz has had one-woman retrospectives of her films at venues including the Portland Art Museum, Hood Museum of Art, Rice Media Center, the Austin Film Society, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.  In 2011, she was awarded an artist’s residency at Yaddo. Krawitz is a Professor at Stanford University where she teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video.

Perfect Strangers raises questions about what motivates an individual towards an extreme act of compassion. The documentary tells the story of two unique and engaging characters. One is Ellie, who embarks on an unpredictable journey of twists and turns, determined to give away one of her kidneys. Five hundred miles away, Kathy endures nightly dialysis and loses hope of receiving a transplant until Ellie reads her profile on an online website. Both women face unexpected challenges as their parallel stories unfold over the course of four years. Why are we unnerved by the idea of such an extreme gift?

Respondent: Zell Kravinsky
Zell Kravinsky gave away most of his wealth, and donated a kidney to a stranger.