The Center for Cultural Preservation has started a timely and relevant film project in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The new film, How They Overcame, will capture the stories of elders from the Western North Carolina region who have overcome crises such as the Great Flood, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and the Great Depression. “One of the scariest things about our present circumstance is the unknown,” says David Weintraub, executive director of The Center. “We have never been through this before and we don’t understand how it might affect us, our friends and family and our community. But our elders have faced similar crises and were able to overcome them. That, to me, is the most important part of history.
It’s not about remembering dates and names, but infusing ourselves with the stories from previous generations, learning about parallel events in history and immersing ourselves in the lessons those things have for us today.”
The Center was working on a film about moonshining before the COVID-19 crisis began. Many of the already scheduled interviews went forward using video technology, and Weintraub adapted his questions for the elders to focus on past experiences that required resilience. Weintraub says many of the elders he spoke with were focused on preparation—harvesting and canning local foraged foods or preserving meat and vegetables in case of a grocery shortage. “Our circumstances may be unique, but they aren’t new,” he says. “As we better understand how previous generations overcame hardship, we realize that we can as well.”
The Center is seeking additional interview subjects as well as funding for this project. Contact the Center by calling 828.692.8062 or visit SaveCulture.org. Tax deductible donations can also be made by mailing a check to PO Box 1066, Flat Rock, NC 28731.