Dec 13, 2021
James Parker is a filmmaker and the director of the documentary Other Side of the Hill, which takes us to rural Eastern Oregon to document how climate change is affecting the livelihood and the economy of several rural communities there, as told through the voices of the people on the ground.
Being from a mostly rural state myself, Kansas, the people in James’ film are deeply familiar to me. They’re hardworking, blue-collar, respect and honor-driven individuals and collectives that feel increasingly unheard in today’s political climate.
James’ documentary is a beautiful peek into the lives of the real people that political divisiveness harms or discards altogether. It also shows us how in order to find common ground, we have to meet people where they are and talk about what matters most to them and address the concerns that they face in their daily lives.
In our conversation, James and I discuss why it was so important for him to make this film, and more importantly, what lessons we can learn about how to achieve outcomes that leave everyone feeling seen, heard, and understood.