To the Editor:

I am writing to congratulate the many citizens, near and far, who reached deeply into their pockets to keep the Village Picture Show alive and well within the Manchester community.

I believe we acted collectively to preserve a space in our community which fosters human presence to each other and draws us out of the increasingly privatized worlds we live in by the magic of the Internet and the media technology it has generated.

Like other of our community treasures; the Northshire Bookstore, the Southern Vermont Arts Center and the many shops and restaurants that call us to meet each other in the public space, the Village Picture Show too enhances our sense of community by encouraging us to come together in the sacred space of the moving image and its capacity to entertain us.

But in my view, it does more for us. The World Cinema, while often creating films the civilizing value of which is questionable, happens to be one of the remarkably creative enterprises where the deepest questions of what it means to be human are explored with great depth and artistic sensitivity. Many such films asking profound existential questions have been shown in our little cinema.

I would submit then that in saving the Village Picture Show, we have indeed saved a community creating space, but we have also saved a space where we go to be challenged to see the human condition explored with power and intensity.

Thus, we have saved a moral space for ourselves as well; a space where we can fulfill the need to be engaged in our human struggles, large and small, to find meaning, to confront human suffering and to hear and tell stories that illuminate and empower the human venture on our little planet.

Dr. Donald R. Ferrell Dorset