by Rover Dijkstra
After not having seen a movie in a theater for almost 4 years, it was really exciting to attend the SFFILM film festival at the Castro theater to watch Zero Gravity with my media class.
Zero Gravity is a film about middle school students in San Jose who enter a coding contest held by NASA. As I listened to the dramatic music while Carol and her teammates struggled and overcame problems in their code, losses in the competition, and personal problems, I thought back to the similar experiences I had in my school’s student government over the 3 years I was part of it, and how much I have learned. In the documentary, Carol and her friends lose against another team but picked themselves up again to help that team throughout the rest of the competition. This reminded me of the many times when I lost student government elections, but kept going, and joined forces with the people that beat me to improve our school.
The documentary reminded me that you should never give up because you will find a way to succeed and continue, even if things don’t go the way you had hoped. If the team in Zero Gravity had given up after they lost the competition, they would never have seen their code make it into space. And if I had given up after my first loss (or second or third), I wouldn’t be in the position I am today either, helping the school, learning new skills, and making new friends. Like Zero Gravity showed, the power of cooperation and teamwork can make even the largest leaps possible. Without everyone bringing in their own perspectives, their code might have lacked major parts and could have failed. In my experience, we usually get better ideas when we have many different voices.
Finally, the documentary also brought back memories of our old supervisor. They led us through the years and made sure that we could continue to thrive, even when our leaders left the school and new people joined. They provided us with a safe space to do what we wanted and try new things, just like Tanner did in the documentary.