Guest post by Doug Bauder, Director of Indiana University’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center.
This April 9th at the IU Cinema, come view the film States of Grace and, following the screening, meet the amazing Grace Dammann and her friend, Helen Cohen, who directed this film. Grace is a pioneering AIDS physician and a longtime resident of a renowned Zen Center. Her story has drawn praise from medical schools, disability advocates, LGBTQ communities and spiritual leaders across the country.
Here’s what director Helen Cohen says about the film:
“A revered HIV/AIDS physician who signed more than a thousand death certificates during the height of the epidemic, Dr. Grace Dammann’s life changed forever when another driver crashed head-on into her car during a routine commute across the Golden Gate Bridge. After seven weeks in a coma and twelve surgeries, she miraculously regained consciousness with her cognitive abilities intact. Her body, however, was left shattered. After spending more than a year in rehabilitation hospitals, Grace returns home to continue her slow recovery process.
The film follows her for four years as she struggles to come to terms with her injuries and find meaning in her radically transformed life. Family roles are turned upside down as Grace’s longtime partner becomes her primary caregiver and the only able-bodied person in their household, taking care of both Grace and their disabled teenage daughter. Grace’s initial euphoria at having survived that accident gradually gives way to profound boredom and bouts of suicidal despair at the reality of lifelong dependency sinks in. But her Buddhist practice and deep commitment to serving others manage to sustain her. To everyone’s amazement, Grace eventually returns to work as the first wheelchair-bound physician at her former hospital, using her experience as a patient to design and direct an innovative pain clinic treating San Francisco’s poorest residents.”
Plan now to join us for an evening that will give you a new understanding of the word “hope” and a deep appreciation for the amazing resources which each of us has within us to overcome adversity.
States of Grace will be screened at the IU Cinema on April 9. Director Helen Cohen and Grace Dammann are scheduled to be present.
This screening is sponsored by the LGBTQ+ Culture Center; Disability Services for Students; Indiana University LGBTQ+ Alumni Association; Bloomington PRIDE; Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs; Indiana University–Bloomington School of Public Health Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention; and IU Cinema. This partnership is supported through the Cinema’s Creative Collaborations program.
Doug Bauder has served as Director of IU’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center since 1994. He is currently the co-chair of Bloomington United and formerly served on Bloomington Human Rights Commission, IU’s Commission on Multicultural Understanding, and MLK Day Commission. He is also the proud father of two and “Gramps” to six grandkids.