Reality Bites is a must-do for T/F


Brayden Parker

With the True/False Film Festival only just stating to fade in people’s minds, there are a few moments no one should forget (or ignore as they plan for next year).
Similar to many other events this weekend at True/False, the line of people stretched outside the Missouri Theatre waved along the pavement as it wrapped around the corner of 9th and Elm. Although more a conglomeration of eager patrons than a orderly line, the excitement gushed forth uncontrollably from the acting epicenter of the first full day of  the annual film festival. Every imaginable piece of sidewalk was overtaken as people stood in anticipation for the conclusion of the March March, a funky parade that soon enough would add its own sights and sounds of the already busy District.
Suddenly the shoulder-t0-shoulder formation caught momentum as it inched closer and closer to the hours main attraction: Reality Bites. Simply explained as an opportunity “to sample bites from some of Columbia’s finest restaurants” the description provided by the film festival does not serve this party justice. And the word party might just be an understatement.
People rushed forward to the glass doors to make their way inside and begin an investigation of the party that was beginning. Just past the barricade of volunteers validating ‘invitations’ (commonly known as  festival passes) the chaotic scene took shape.
The sound of adults carrying on the evenings first conversations filled the main hall while in the background distant sounds of guitars and drums protruded forth. The noises were inescapable taking precedence as if nothing else were important. While not too loud to hear oneself think, it was noisy enough that a level somewhat above “an indoor voice” was necessary to communicate with the friends standing in close proximity.
But then again what did it matter? Everybody inside was friends with each other already or so it appeared by the amount of laughter and chatter that echoed off every wall. And if they hadn’t been acquainted beforehand then it wouldn’t have been difficult to make a new one with the mere throngs of people packed inside the theaters foyer. An individuals tally of the number of shoulders bumped into and “excuse me”s exchanged would have exceeded the available digits  on one’s hands, providing ample opportunities to meet a new acquaintance.
At the very least pleasantries were shared in the slow-moving lines as people patiently awaited their turn to sample the nearest platter of  hors d’oeuvres and deserts prepared specifically for the imminent party. An intricate combination of cultures protruded from each set of tables, emulating the diverse nature of the celebrated festival. Around every turn and tucked patiently in the smallest of crevices, tastes and flavors sat unprotected on tables waiting to be picked up and later consumed by the latest bystander. Yet should the wait be undesirable young waiters bustled around holding high the silver platters with an even deeper assortment of foods. Meanwhile waitresses addressed the issue of empty glasses, replenishing patrons with water, soft drinks and a plethora of beverages of the adult nature.
Regardless of location within the theater and its surrounding buildings the atmosphere was surprisingly consistent. While a number of people were ending their long day at the movies with this appetizer affair others were just getting started, preparing for an evening of films with the current get-together. Nevertheless the different celebrators all had the excitement of the ensuing events of True/False in mind. Not only was the party a commemoration of the festival itself but of what the festival independently attempts to express.
Each documentary screened during the weekend sets out to tell a different story, using unique ways of communicating that idea. With more than 30 films to showcase the selection of movies is incredibly diverse. So to are the people that convene on Columbia each spring to enjoy the stories that directors are trying to convey. While “Reality Bites” at the surface was yet another party in a string of events observing True/False, once inside it wasn’t difficult to understand the diversity it celebrated as well.
From the cultures represented with the assortment of foreign and domestic flavors, to the dialects and accents audible inside the theatre, even including the initial appearances of the hundreds of individuals mingling the diversity of the weekend was the focus of celebration at the epicenter of the celebrated.
by Brayden Parker