Friday, April 19, 2013

Malaria Isn't Funny but Rick Mercer Is! - A Night Out For Nets

As always, Twitter continues to be a constant source of events and activities for me. On this particular occasion, my news feed alerted me to a free event in support of The event consisted of an advance screening of Mary and Martha with an introduction by none other than Rick Mercer himself. I've had a soft spot for Rick since I watched his "Talking to Americans" as a new immigrant, so this was a hard one for me to turn down. My (overdue) homework got parked for the night and I headed down to see what this was all about.

Upon checking in, my friend and I were handed some information on the organization itself, free tickets to the movie screening, and coupons for free popcorn+drinks. Movie night, VIP style! We noticed a curtained off reception area for the event off to the side and walked over to see what that was about but were told that this was a private event even when we mentioned we have tickets to the screening. So I never learned what was behind the curtain. It wasn't a big deal (since we didn't even know it existed until we saw it!), but I would have loved to know what it was and who it was for, since I didn't see any mention of it anywhere else. Unsatisfied curiousity is the worst! But oh well, we settled into our seats and got ready.

Rick doing his thing
There were actually some high profile people doing the introductions both from HBO and from Spread the Net. Rick Mercer managed to make his involvement with malaria relief funny (despite his claim that it was impossible) and impressive at the same time - how could you not love the guy?! I was quite surprised to learn that he is actually one of the founders of the organization, which is pretty cool. The other surprise came when I noticed there were a few empty seats in the theatre. It was hard to believe the room was not packed! If Rick Mercer can't bring on the swarm, I don't know who can.

As for the movie itself,  Mary and Martha is written by Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and stars Oscar® winner Hilary Swank and Oscar® nominee Brenda Blethyn. It tells the story of two mothers who find a way to make a difference by dedicating themselves to the cause of malaria prevention. When human life is lost on such a massive scale and so far away from our daily lives (malaria kills more children each year than all the American soldiers who have died in all the wars combined), it's very easy to become desensitized and very difficult to convince people care. Despite the fact that most see this as an unfortunate fact of life, there was not a dry eye in the theatre. The film almost had the feel of a home-shot family movie, which I think was intentional and helped bridge that gap between make-belief and reality. If you're going to catch the movie on HBO this Saturday (8pm ET/MT on HBO Canada), definitely stock up on tissues! Hillary Swank and Brenda Blethyn are impressive.

WHAT: A Night Out for Nets - Advance Screening of Mary and Martha

WHERE: Varsity Cinema

WHEN: April 18 - 7:00 pm

COST: Free

INSIDER DETAILS: This one's a tearjerker, so be sure to stock up on tissues if you're going to check it out. I also have one of the tunes from the movie stuck in my head without actually knowing what it is - watch out, it could happen to you too! And be sure to visit to learn more about the organization and the work they're doing. $10 can save a life.

This was a bonus we stumbled on on our way home - award nominations for crime fiction at the Indigo next door.

No comments:

Post a Comment