Like Cannes and even, increasingly, the Academy Awards, The Sundance Film Festival isn’t so much a showcase of new movies as an annual mile marker denoting how far elite tastes and preoccupations have wandered from those of the movie-going public.
The 2016 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from today through January 31 in Park City, Utah, is no different. Five of the 16 entries in the “U.S. Drama” category feature gay characters and themes while six of them prominently feature drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Meanwhile, the “U.S. Documentary” category offers films touching on a list of lefty hobby horses, from more LGBT themes to Gun control to climate change to abortion on demand. Over on the “World” side, there’s a drama about a woman sexually attracted to a wolf and documentaries about Mexican prostitutes and the dark underbelly of “competitive endurance tickling.”
Unquestionably, these are the movies that wouldn’t “play in Peoria” in years gone by. That they play in Park reflects the agenda of those who run – and those who fund – the Sundance Festival.
Funding from Soros et al
The Sundance Foundation, which puts on the annual Festival, receives millions of dollars each year to push its liberal agenda on film enthusiasts.
In addition to support from individual, businesses, and the government, Sundance is currently funded by 13 foundations. Four of those are top liberal foundations: The Ford Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Knight Foundation, and – most notably – The Open Society Foundations, run by anti-capitalist billionaire George Soros.
Together, they have given Sundance at least $75.8 million since 2003.
Between 2003 and 2014, Soros gave at least $12,804,690 to Sundance through his Open Society Institute and his Foundation to Promote Open Society. According to Sundance, Soros was also a “founding supporter of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program” and established the Sundance Documentary Fund in 2002.
LGBTQ (and Sometimes Y)
According to Gallup, Americans “greatly overestimate” the percentage of their fellow citizens who are homosexual. Although just 3.8% admit to being gay, 33% of Americans believe that more than a quarter of the population is gay. Why is perception so divorced from reality? Look no further than Sundance.
Five of the 16 U.S. Dramas this year feature gay characters and themes, as do several of the U.S. Documentaries. As You Are turns on the gay relationship of two teenage boys. The Intervention features a lesbian couple and other People’s main character is gay. Spa Night tells the story of a boy who explores an underground gay sex culture. Foreign film Viva is takes place in Havana’s drag scene.
Kiki is a documentary about “LBGTQ youth of color” in New York City. Suited, another documentary, explores the business of designing clothing for LGBTQ people. Mapplethorpe: Look At the Pictures is a documentary on the notoriously pornographic work of gay photographer Robert Maplethorpe.
On Down the List
Sundance is, of course, also solicitous of other liberal hobby horses. Trapped is a documentary promoting abortion-on-demand, describing the plights of women who cannot get the abortions they want due to restrictive abortion access laws.
How To Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change tells a science-fiction story about a man who travels back in time to other periods when the climate was changing on a quest to discover how we can save the planet.
Sundance won’t neglect gun control, of course. Two documentaries, Newtown and Under the Gun, deal with the Sandy Hook massacre, and Tim Sutton’s Dark Night is about the Colorado movie theater shooting.
Sundance’s obligatory films about race include The Fits, about an 11-year-old black girl trying to fit into her community at school, and The Birth of a Nation, about the bloody 1831 slave uprising in Virginia led by Nat Turner. United Shades of America, a new docu-series, will appeal to those who like to indulge in American mea culpas as it examines “America’s racial stereotypes and lifestyles.”
There’s even an animal rights documentary called Unlocking the Cage, about activist Steven Wise, who wanted personhood rights for chimpanzees. Speaking of animals, perhaps the most striking of the movies is Wild about a girl who seeks out her object of sexual affection, a wolf.
And what roundup of contemporary liberal fixations would be complete without a little slobbering personality worship for Barack and Michelle Obama. True, given the bizarreness of Wild, Southside With You, which recounts Barry and Michelle’s first date, is almost a Golden Age of Hollywood romance, but why anyone but the most obsessed Obama cultists should care to watch them eat ice cream is anyone’s guess.
These films as well as many made in recent years do not reflect real American society as much as the one liberal Hollywood, politicians and big money funders would like to see come to pass as soon as possible.