Mentor December 09 2014 / 80 Mins/ HD, SD
Synopsis
Genre: Documentary

Mentor, Ohio, is largely white, largely upper middle class, and listed as one of the “Top 100 Places to Live in the United States.” Its attraction for immigrants and others proves to be a deadly illusion. The Vidovics swap the perils of war in Bosnia for trying to fit in to this culture of conformity. Their daughter Sladjana endures constant bullying from 8th grade on. Kids make fun of her name, her Croatian accent, her clothes, and her perceived queerness. She suffers nightly death threats and daily physical abuse. The Vidovics seek help from the school—principals, counselors, nurses, security guards, and the police all systematically fail to stop the bullying or create a safer environment. No abuser is held accountable. Sladjana hangs herself at 16. Another victim of this bullying, Eric Mohat does not tell his parents of his daily physical abuse, being called “fag” and “queer” at school. Eric is finally taunted into killing himself at 17.

The Vidovics and Mohats both sue the school district, which pursues a policy of denial, destroys evidence, and willfully refuses to address bullying at all. At its heart, the documentary poses a harrowing question: What tragedies will some endure to maintain the status quo, and what risks must we take to reclaim the future of a community in conflict?"

Cast And Crew
Director: Alix Lambert
Alix Lambert’s feature length documentary “The Mark of Cain” was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and aired on Nightline. She went on to produce additional segments of Nightline as well as produce 7 segments for the PBS series LIFE 360. Lambert has written for a number of magazines including Stop Smiling, ArtForum, and The LA Weekly, among others, and is an editor at large for the literary journal OPEN CITY. She wrote Episode 6, season 3 of Deadwood: “A Rich Find” (for which she won a WGA award) and was a staff writer and associate producer on John From Cinicinnati. As an artist Lambert has exhibited her work to international critical acclaim, showing in The Venice Biennale, The Museum of Modern Art, The Georges Pompidou Center, and the Kwangju Biennnale, to name a few. Her monograph: MASTERING THE MELON is available through D.A.P. Her book THE SILENCING is available through Perceval Press. Her book RUSSIAN PRISON TATTOOS is available through Schiffer Publishing, and her book CRIME is available through Fuel Publishing. CRIME, USA which she conceived and directed was recently staged at Joe’s Pub. Lambert is an associate artist with the Obie award winning theater group The Civilians. She is currently in production on two feature length documentaries: He/She/He (about gender identity in Albania and Samoa) and Mentor (about teen suicide and bullying at Mentor High in Mentor Ohio). She just completed, in collaboration with David McMahon, a feature length documentary: Bayou Blue (about serial killer Ronald Dominique in Louisiana). She recently received an NEA consortium grant in order to produce 2 new works that will be presented at RealArtWays in Hartford Connecticut.
Festivals
• Newport Beach Film Festival 2014: Official Selection
• Frameline38 2014: Official Selection
• Woodstock Film Festival 2014: Official Selection

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