By Lara Michaels
Lara is a home-schooled high school sophomore. She enjoys playing violin and is a member of the Boise High orchestra program and the Treasure Valley Youth Symphony. This is her first year as a writer for the Women Making History project.
"I realized that I could spend the rest of my life trying to bring about peace in the world. But if we don't have peace in our homes, it's not going to happen," says Lori Joyce about her film "Shattered Lives." Like most of us, Lori has experienced hardships and challenges in her life, but it is her "amazing ability to not just survive life's difficulties, but to thrive because of them," that earns the respect of many including her nominator. She is a youthful-looking grandmother,, her long blond hair is perfectly coifed her voice holds the intensity that is revealed in her work.
Lori Joyce has been creating educational documentaries since 1982 when she first started her own nonprofit company, Idanha Films. Her career has been a passionate [crusader] for peace and justice. Lori's mission has been to produce documentaries for those who traditionally have no audience including women,children, indigenous populations, and defenders of social justice and of the natural environment.
One of her most influential works is "Shattered Lives," a documentary that examines domestic violence - the cycle of violence and methods of intervention to prevent it. Her culminating film about social justice, it tells the story of women who are victims of physical and verbal violence in the home and in relationships. The film exposes how violence affects these women's outlook on life. With this film, Lori joins the fight to break the cycle of domestic violence. "Shattered Lives" was broadcast on PBS and is shown to [men] who are court-ordered to attend classes, as well as victims of domestic violence to raise their awareness about the cycle of oppression. It was in one of those classes that a woman felt such a connection to the material that she called Lori to thank her and discuss its impact on her. According to her nominator Lori has had "countless responses to her work."
Raised to accept the traditional role of women as housewives and mothers, Lori's views changed during the start of the women's liberation movement during the 1960s. She wanted to share the untold story, offer recognition for the cause without a voice.
Her work, in a predominantly male field, is a challenge in itself. She must stand up for her vision and ideas when others try to sway her decisions. One of her greatest qualities is the ability to thrive on life's difficulties, using her experiences to empower herself and others towards change. Her challenges have fueled her strengths, focus, reliance on intuition, and perseverance. As the founder of a nonprofit organization she spends at least eighty-percent of her time fundraising. This is difficult when all she wants to do is create. But as she says, "I can do it! I can do anything if I try hard enough."
Another of her documentaries, "In Remembrance of Martin," aired nationally on PBS. It was show to public school students around the country to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It tells the story of the continuous civil rights struggle and King's fight for freedom and justice.
"The Arms Race Within" tells the story of a large group of citizens engaging in a nonviolent protest of a train traveling through their community that contains the nuclear potential of 1,500 Hiroshima bombs. The train traveling from Amarillo, Texas to Bangor, Washington was actually stopped due to the seer number of protesters blocking the tracks. Although the shipment was moved into trucks, these committed citizens made a powerful statement to the government about their value for human safety as well as for the environment.
Lori's [most recent] work is a little closer to home. Fascinated with Sacagawea since 4th grade, "The Journey of Sacagawea" will be aired on PBS (channel 4) on March 10. "This Native American girl, 18 years old had an 8 week old babe when she left on this horrendous journey with 31 men! I have always wondered how she survived that." Lori's goal has been to discover what character traits Sacagawea possessed and what ordeals she encountered during the journey.
She has traversed much of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon to shoot this film. Her favorite part of her work is seeing the finished product: "...realizing that I'm getting the reaction I was going after, that it's moving people, that it has some sort of an impact on society...that it's saying something."
Lori Joyce has made and amazing contribution to the world. She has brought people from the background to the spotlight while creating an avenue for peace. But her films do more than tell stories: they influence those that see them, moving them to make changes in their lives, changes that reflect those stories. Lori has given us a physical reminder that we need to challenge injustice uphold our values, and embrace our differences.