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Virtual Reality Film to Show Women’s Plight in a New Light
Saturday, February 25, 2017


Peggy Goldwyn has commandeered every swivel chair in Ketchum’s Community Library and Hailey’s Community Campus for three days next week.

Goldwyn and the Family of Woman Film Festival are about to introduce viewers to a film shot in virtual reality. And, she promises, viewers will want to keep spinning around to see what’s happening as they watch the short film, “Born into Exile,” which traces the story of two pregnant women at a Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.

“We were looking for special things to do for our tenth anniversary, and showing this virtual reality film by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is pretty special,” said Goldwyn. “I’d had never seen virtual reality before I saw this so I had no idea what to expect. If I hadn’t been sitting down, I would have fallen over, but I didn’t get dizzy or throw up as I had feared. It makes you feel like you’re in that camp and walking down the street. You’re right there.”

She paused, “And it’s so timely right now with the disgraceful smear of desperate refugees, most of whom are women and children.”

The film is part of the Family of Woman Film Festival, which runs Feb. 27 through March 5 in Sun Valley.

It shows two women at risk of being a statistic—that of 500 women who die each day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

Victoria, 17, was a child bride at 16. Many of her peers are also child brides, thanks to financial difficulties five years into the Syrian crisis that has led more families to marry off their daughters before they reach 18.

The second woman—Tahany—is 29 and pregnant with her fifth child. She fled to Jordan, becoming one of 80,000 refugees at the camp, after two of her children were injured in the Syrian conflict. She’s nervous about the pending birth of her child as she’s anemic and there’s no blood bank in the camp.

The virtual reality lab will be set up for three days Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 27 through March 1. Viewers will be able to watch the 10-minute film from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 27, at The Community Library, as well as 2:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 28, and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 1.

They’ll be able to watch the film from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 27, at the Community Campus in Hailey, as well as 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 28, and 2:30 to 5 p.m. March 1.

There is no cost. Viewing will be on a drop-in basis. With 10 virtual reality sets available, as many as 40 to 50 people should be able to view the film in an hour.

The festival itself will kick off at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb., 27 with a free showing of “Motherland Afghanistan,” which was shown at the first film festival in 2008. This year’s featured films run Thursday, March 2, through Sunday, March 5, at the Sun Valley Opera House.

Friday’s showing of “The Eagle Huntress” is sold out. However, some tickets may become available. If so, they will be released at 6:45 p.m. before the screening, said Goldwyn.

For more information, visit

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