Saturday, October 27, 2012

Documentary Examines Impact of United Flight 93 Tragedy on 'Mayberry of Southwestern Pennsylvania'

Laura Beachy had just begun sixth grade in Somerset, PA when United flight 93 came crashing down just 15 miles from her school. A decade later, she is directing a feature-length documentary about the impact this courageous act of terrorism-countering had on the people of her community.

The film, titled We Were Quiet Once, is scheduled to be completed in January. Beachy went on to graduate from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with a degree in TV/radio/film and anthropology.


The synopsis for We Were Quiet Once explains where the title comes from:

Somerset County: the proverbial Mayberry of southwestern Pennsylvania; a picture perfect small town portrayed in wholesome television programs of the 1950s; where life is viewed through a window of family-owned hardware stores, fruit markets and old-fashioned barbershops. Where a deal is made with a strong handshake and those on the street know more about your family than you do yourself. Life embodies a quiet pleasant innocence derived from an unknown town in
Anywhere, America…that is until September 11, 2001 when United Flight 93 crashed in its backyard and launched Somerset County onto a national platform. What lasting effects does a national event have on empathetic individuals living in a small town? How do those who have lived in anonymity for their entire lives deal with media attention? Does the constant presence of a tragedy in daily life perpetuate grief indefinitely? Put simply, what happens when your town is known for a tragedy.
Like just about every grassroots indie project these days, Beachy's documentary recently raised part of its budget through Kickstarter. She is partnered on the doc with two fellow Syracuse alums, Cory Sage and Ryan Balton.

[We Were Quiet Once]

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