DR MAGGIE RIZZI HAS A PASSION TO BRING VISIBILITY TO UNSUNG HERO
Updated: Jul 16
Dr Maggie Rizzi, philosopher, educator and filmmaker, is prepared to stop at nothing to make sure the world knows the inspiring work and activism of Ann Maguire, through her documentary, Ann Maguire An American Hero.
We featured Ann Maguire, as one of our inspiring women in June and you can read her story here https://www.thelexperience.com/blogs/ann-maguire-an-american-hero
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Tell us Maggie, what prompted you to make a documentary of Ann's story?
Maggie: “I have known Ann since 1975, and just in the course of life I have had the chance to watch her do so much of this amazing work. She just takes it for granted, that you see a problem and you try to fix it. I can see that over the years, that thinking has led to spectacular and uniquely effective body of social change work.”
Why is it important more people are aware of the work Ann has achieved in her life?
Maggie: “There are two reasons. So many of the people who have a profound effect on history, like the pioneers of the LGBT rights movement, the women’s movement and the breast cancer activists don’t see their stories in the mainstream media. They are underrepresented in the stories told repeatedly in our culture, and they deserve to be visible.
The other reason is that there is a whole new generation interested, passionate about this kind of work, and they need role models, examples, a road map to the kind of effective social change and justice work they want to accomplish.”
As a woman in film, has it been difficult gaining interest in your project?
Maggie: “I do know that Harvey Milk is a household name, and Elaine Noble and her campaign are virtually unknown. Mr. Milk deserves his legendary status, without a doubt. But a successful campaign for a state office, in the climate that was Boston at that time was absolutely amazing. We do know that women don’t get the chance to make movies, direct movies, produce, and write movies in nearly the numbers men do. That is just an undeniable fact. Women’s representation in the power positions of film making is appallingly low. I will persist in any case, just because it’s harder, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. I expect it to be harder, I will just redouble my efforts, over and again.”
What do you want Ann's story to achieve?
Maggie: “I want Ann’s story to help spark the next generation social change movements that are so sorely needed right now. I hope it can have an impact on those gearing up for the midterm elections in 2018. We are turning the initial movie into a series, giving each of the eras of Ann’s work the time and treatment they deserve, so the world will know.”
Do you have any advice for inspiring women filmmakers?
Maggie: “Don’t be daunted by the odds. Don’t be daunted by anything. It may be hard, but your work has a right to its place in the world. Every obstacle in the world has been beaten by someone, sometime. The more of us there are doing it, the better chance we have of breaking through.”
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Maggie: “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country, and all who serve it-and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.” JFK -Inaugural address.
Ann Maguire is being honored by GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) at their 2018 Summer Party on July 28th in Provincetown, Massachusetts ~ “We are thrilled to honor Ann for her longtime dedication and work on behalf of LGBTQ justice. She has also been a passionate advocate for many other overlapping and intersecting social justice issues and is a shining example of an activist who is committed to true equality.”
How can people support your film?
Maggie: “I want to offer a tremendous opportunity: the chance to write history, our history. A chance to illuminate our rich, deep, tumultuous, underground East Coast LGBT history for a mainstream audience, and Ann Maguire’s other amazing work as well.
This history has never been more important than it is now, when all of these hard-earned gains are under attack, and the Supreme Court is about to take a sharp turn to the Right.
Ann Maguire is one of the greatest heroes that no one has ever heard of. But we all know her work. We all benefit from it, in profound ways that have altered the paths of our lives. In the really big ways.
If you make a living in the profession of your choice without hiding your sexuality, you can thank Ann and her circle.
If your life is free from fear, and unrestricted because of Gay Rights laws, you benefit daily from Ann’s work, and that of her circle.
If you have had a mammogram in the last 30 years, you can thank Ann and her circle for the reliability and consistent quality of that service. If you, or anyone you know, has been impacted by breast cancer in the last 30 years, you have been helped by the work of Ann and her circle. Perhaps your life has even been saved by it.
If you, or anyone you know has ever been impacted by homelessness, you have been affected by Ann’s work, and that of her circle.
Do you live in the vibrant city of Boston and share in its quality of life? Ann and her circle had a part in that too.
Profound, yes? Seismically powerful, right? What’s missing? The recognition, the knowledge, the history.
The names of Ann Maguire and her circle deserve to be household names like other great heroes. But they are not. Why? Because one of us needs to write the history. No one will do it for us.
So, I am doing it. In a 4-part documentary series. And you can be a part.
Our history can take its place among the great stories, where it belongs, and you can be an essential part of that.”
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For more information about Ann Maguire please visit Ann Maguire A Circle Of American Heros or to contribute to the film funding https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/2c8a8305