Host Your Own Screening
Over the past two years, we’ve all come face to face with loss.
More has changed than we ever imagined—from ways of life, to end of life, beliefs and relationships, to how we work. In the wake of this change, how do we:
- Face endings?
- Grieve with grace?
- Learn to embrace change with creativity and equanimity?
- Support and stay connected despite distance and struggle?
- Gather in community to heal through art?
The Death of My Two Fathers (TDOMTF) is a courageous exploration of identity, fatherhood, life, and death. The film unpacks many of these questions. It investigates the meaning of family, explores race, and dives deep into what it means to face where we come from—not only for ourselves, but also for those who come after us.
We want to offer this film as a resource to actively engage with communities. Our hope is to inspire people to:
- Live intentionally
- Face hard things
- Use creativity and conversation for understanding, healing with, and honoring loved ones
Through screenings and conversations with audiences and experts, we’ve recognized the unique potential of this film for creating conversations that hold space for healing and radical candor about grief, loss, and family. Art is healing!
Below is a guide with tips for hosting your own watch party and leading a discussion with family, friends, and guests.
Knowing your Audience
Who are you inviting to your watch party:
For an interesting discussion, prepare a few questions that touch on themes your guests will want to talk about. Some ideas: grief, storytelling, race, culture. We’ll share specific examples later on in the guide.
As you get ready to facilitate an experience of healing and art, remember that The Death of My Two Fathers can raise feelings of hurt and loss. Be intentional about creating a healthy and safe space for people to share freely. (Snacks and tissues are always a plus!).
Before your Screening
What do you want to get out of the event? In this guide, we’ve dropped goals, themes, and prompts to spark your thinking.
Make sure your guests know the watch party will include a discussion. Friends who have seen the film before can even bring their own questions. Healing through art is a group effort.
As the watch party organizer, your job is to keep the discussion on track and create the best opportunity for guests to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the film.
Discussion Goal Ideas to Get You Started
- To spark conversations around identity and family.
- To break down cultural taboos around death and dying by modeling how to cope with a loved one dying and making the experience of loss accessible.
- To be a communal space for grieving.
- To inspire others to heal through art and use creativity as part of the process.
- To create space specifically for men and people of color to talk about life and loss.
- To support grief and caregiving groups in conversations about showing up for people.
- To inspire people to share their own stories and create legacy projects for their loved ones.
- To support people interrogating where they come from. To help them see where they are going.
- How to live fully.
- Death, mourning and grief through a cultural lens.
- Healing through art and creative practice.
- How to show up for the people who matter most both in challenging times and at the end of life.
- How systemic racism affects families.
- How a shared understanding of the past helps us navigate identity and grow.
Tips for a Successful Discussion
- Be prepared, the conversation may evoke strong emotions. Make sure your guests feel seen and heard as they share their personal experiences.
- One way to make everyone feel seen is to reflect on what they share before moving to the next topic. (Example: “It sounds like you…” and “Has anyone else had a similar experience?”)
- Not everyone will participate equally. Try to create opportunities for quieter guests to step forward if they desire. If someone is chiming in a lot, gently redirect back to the group.
- If the conversation gets heated, acknowledge the active discussion. Agree to disagree and move to the next topic.
- Allow the conversation to evolve and flow naturally.
1. Grounding: When the film ends, invite your guests to join in a minute of meditative silence. You can ask people to close their eyes, take some deep breaths, and become present for the discussion.
2. Introductions: If you’ve brought together people who aren’t all well-acquainted, give everyone space to introduce themselves.
3. Group agreements: Share some discussion norms and ask guests to suggest their own as well.
4. Prompts: Get the discussion rolling with the general and/or thematic prompts that you pick from this guide. Healing with art can look different for every group.
It’s a good idea to share ground rules for the discussion before diving in. You can customize these based on the setting. For example, hand raising might not be necessary for a small gathering in your living room, but is helpful in a lecture hall.
- Compassion: This discussion might bring up difficult emotions. Let’s be compassionate to ourselves and each other as we explore healing through art.
- One Voice: We agree not to interrupt each other, and will follow any hand raising norms.
- I Statements: We will speak from our own perspectives and refrain from giving unsolicited advice.
- Share the Air: We will make space for all to participate by noticing when it's time to step up or step back.
- Privacy: We will respect the privacy of the group. We won’t share information from the discussion outside of it.
- Active Listening: We agree to listen to and hear each other.
Start the Discussion with General Prompts and Reactions
Get discussion flowing with some general questions. In some discussions, these will create threads where multiple guests weigh in. Stay mindful of time. While it’s great to hit several of the key themes from this guide, it’s not required.
- What did you see or hear in the film that connected for you?
- Was there a character you resonated with? Why?
- What kinds of growth or learning did you notice in the film?
- Do any specific moments stand out for you? Why?
Lead the Discussion Using Thematic Prompts
Below are questions related to key themes in the film. You can use these prompts to steer or kick start the discussion.
Theme: How to live life well.
- Life is precious. We only have so much time with one another. What does living life fully mean to you?
- By confronting your past and mistakes, what patterns in your life would you like to change or revisit? How will this help you show up as a better version of yourself?
- William Guy and Bobbie made a big decision to hitchhike to Canada to start a new life. Have you made courageous turns in order to carve out a better life for you and your loved ones?
- What’s an example of an experience that you want to have with your loved ones, while you have the opportunity to do so?
Theme: Death, mourning and grief through a cultural lens.
- What cultural practices around death does your family observe?
- Do you feel like you are allowed to grieve? How do you carve space to mourn loss?
- What are some ways that you practice healing? Are these practices rooted in customs or traditions?
- Do you have cultural practices or customs for how to honor someone who has passed away? What about remembering a loved one who has passed?
Theme: Art for Healing.
- Both Sol and his father use film and storytelling to share about their journeys with family, relationships, triumphs, and struggles. How can you use storytelling, art, and creativity for healing?
- Throughout the film, Sol is vulnerable and open about personal stories. How does vulnerability encourage healing? Have you seen this in your own life?
- The film uses intergenerational filmmaking as a tool to share stories, understanding, love and healing. Do you have a creative outlet that was passed down to you, which you use as a method for healing, storytelling, and sharing love?
Theme: How to show up for the people who matter most in difficult moments and at the end of life.
- Have you shown up for someone in a difficult time or at their end of life? What did it take for you to show up and be present?
- While caretaking, you often must put aside your own needs to help others. How can you create balance for yourself while caring for the needs of others?
- How can running towards—rather than away from—supporting your loved ones help shape the way you show up in the world?
- What lessons around caring for loved ones would you like to pass on to your children or the next generation?
- Do you hold back from showing up for your loved ones? Why?
Theme: How systemic racism affects families.
- What are some push and pull factors of systemic racism that can cause families to migrate? What were some of the benefits of moving and building a new life?
- How does systemic racism shape community safety and opportunities to thrive? What can we learn from understanding and addressing this?
- Can you share a few examples of how systemic racism has been used to divide people by race and class?
Theme: Identity: How a shared understanding of the past helps us grow.
- If you have connected to lost or disconnected family members, has it helped you grow? Who are the people you need to meet in your family to better understand where you came from?
- The film is an intergenerational story Sol wants to share with his children. Do you have a family story that has been shared with you that you would like to pass on to the next generation?
- There is an exponentially growing industry around building family histories and using DNA to connect to and learn about relatives. How does gaining a more robust and accurate story affect how you see yourself?
- Is there an important family story that you would like to document? List a few questions that you would like to ask your family member(s)?
As the discussion winds down, share final thoughts and any actions you might want your guests to take.
Consider asking group members:
- If they would feel comfortable recording a video response to the question: what are ways that you practice healing? Responses will live here.
- If they have a moment to shout out The Death of My Two Fathers on social media. Please tag us—we love hearing what viewers have to say!
You have our utmost gratitude for taking the time to facilitate healing through art in your community. We need people like you! Thank you.
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