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The Reunited States


Inspired by Mark Gerzon’s book of the same name, director Ben Rekhi’s of-the-moment documentary shares stories of everyday Americans on the courageous journey of bridging our political and racial divides.

Subjects of The Reunited States include among others Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer who was killed when a car drove through a crowd in Charlottesville, and David and Erin Leaverton, a Republican couple who travelled to all fifty states with their three kids in an RV in an effort to understand where our divisions come from, and how to heal from them. Faith plays a major role in the Leavertons’ story, as they learn what it means to love thy neighbor.

“Many of us live in a bubble alongside people who look, think, and act like we do,” said David Leaverton. “Along our journey across America we got the chance to discover what lies at the root of our country’s division, and how that has its origins in our own hearts.”

“The film beautifully captures our realization that every single person, regardless of race, religion, or political belief, has an important story to tell, and value that can’t be measured,” adds Erin Leaverton, “Our faith and the journey God led us on gave us an invitation to have faith not only in him, but in the power that comes from loving one another.”

As an official partner of America Talks, The Reunited States serves not only as an on-ramp for the public into the “bridging movement,” but as an actual tool for event participants to use to further their own discussions and introspection.

“Fear of our fellow Americans has led many to despair,” said Pearce Godwin, Founder & CEO of Listen First Project and Co-Director of America Talks and the National Week of Conversation. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with The Reunited States, which gives us hope that there is a path forward together. By portraying people working across differences, the film is a perfect inspiration for audiences to partake in their own conversations during America Talks and the National Week of Conversation in June.”

Rekhi adds, “When we started this film over two years ago, we could never have imagined the world it would come into. Division is the crisis of our time, and this film spotlights the growing movement of Americans who are working tirelessly to hold our country together. If we’re going to overcome division, it’s going to take each and every one of us to do our part. Watching The Reunited States and signing up for America Talks are tangible steps that audiences can take to be a part of that all-important mission to reunite the country.”

At a time when America is ripping apart at the seams, The Reunited States is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows four everyday heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides.

Susan Bro’s daughter Heather Heyer was killed when a car drove through a crowd of counter protestors at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Now Susan dedicates her life to the issues of inequality and injustice that her daughter died for. Independent politician Greg Orman believes the way to break our gridlock is to create a third force in our politics, but faces an uphill battle earning constituents’ votes in his race to be governor of Kansas. Steven Olikara, the son of immigrants, founded the Millennial Action Project works tirelessly to build a coalition of bi-partisan lawmakers across to transform government. David Leaverton used to work in Republican politics as an operative fomenting division to win campaigns. Now, he and his wife Erin set off on an journey across all fifty states in an RV to find out what is causing our divisions… and how to heal from them.

Inspired by the book of the same name by Mark Gerzon, The Reunited States is a deeply moving portrait of the unsung heroes who have dedicated their lives to depolarization, and are providing solutions for the rest of us to do the same. It urges us to consider that when it comes to polarization, we are all either part of the problem or part of the solution.

About Ben Rekhi, Director
Ben Rekhi is an award-winning narrative and documentary filmmaker. After working with the Coen Brothers on O Brother, Where Art Thou? Rekhi was hired by George Clooney to shoot the behind-the-scenes for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Rekhi’s debut feature film was SXSW Audience Award Winner Waterborne, about a fictional biological attack on LA’s water supply, which was released by the Sundance Channel. His follow-up, The Ashram, starred Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo and Kal Penn. Rekhi then shifted gears and co-directed a documentary series for PBS called The Hidden Vote which profiled minorities who support Trump. His third film Watch List, set against the drug wars in the Philippines, was co-financed by Bron Studios (Joker), executive produced by XYZ Films (The Raid). The Reunited States, his documentary debut, is executive produced by Van Jones and Meghan McCain.

About Mark Gerzon – Author of The Reunited States / Consulting Producer
Mark Gerzon, President of Mediators Foundation, has been working to bridge the partisan divide in the U.S. for more than a quarter of a century. In 1997 and 1999, he co-designed and facilitated two U.S. House of Representatives Bipartisan Congressional Retreats designed to help House members deal with conflict in order to work together more effectively. These efforts were followed by numerous other bi-partisan and trans-partisan activities, including most recently co-founding The Bridge Alliance, a diverse coalition of more than 80 respected organizations committed to revitalizing democratic practice in America. He is the author of the 2016 book The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide, which was a major catalyst for this film.
Click here to go to The Reunited States Website for more information, the Trailer and how to view the movie.

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