It started out awesome. The introduction by the referee was promising and the audience responded to the movie enthusiastically at various comedic moments. I was looking forward to the debate after the movie about the ethics of watching, enjoying, and/or promoting a movie with a problematic (allegedly sexually abusive) star actor (James Franco). The debate quickly turned into a passionate, opinionated, and impolite pandemonium as students screamed their opinions until they were inevitably interrupted as soon as they said something remotely controversial or incoherent. I could hardly hear over the uproar and upheaval yet enjoyed the chaos and confusion from a socio-psychological perspective. I encourage students to attend at least one of these as nothing quite compares to the experience of this appropriately named Cinema Slapdown.
I wish it hadn't been so hectic--there were many people who didn't have the opportunity to speak, myself among them. Though this may not have been intentional, I was somewhat frustrated by the fact that the majority of people being called on in the discussion afterwards were cis white boys... I was much more interested in hearing the perspective of other people, but I suppose that's how it goes sometimes. I was very disappointed, though, by the audience's reactions, but that generally can't be helped.
This was a privilege to attend and I thank the organizers and all involved for this event.
That being said, the quality of questions for our first candidate should have been considered much more than they seem to have been. Midway through the night, questions were collected from attendees that were more relevant to our city but it was a case of too little too late. Our incumbent Mayor had left the building by then.
I like to think that there was a learning curve involved that I hope is applied if we're fortunate to have a "next time."