PURPLE tells the story of everyday Americans with opposing viewpoints addressing their differences head-on and discovering the concerns and humanity that lie behind each other’s positions. Designed to build greater empathy and recognition in the face of deepening U.S. divides, PURPLE models a rare conversation that uplifts and inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences.
The film takes place in rural Wisconsin and Iowa, two swing states where “red” and “blue” still live in the same neighborhoods and where many people feel unrepresented by the two-party system. This politically pivotal region was home to the greatest concentration of counties that flipped Obama-to-Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Following six people with opposing political views discussing privilege, equity, work ethics, and the social safety net, PURPLE provides viewers of all stripes – liberal, conservative, and independent; rural and urban; religious and secular – with a vision for what a healthy public debate on fault-line issues might look like.
The accompanying Discussion Guide provides tools and exercises to host a screening of PURPLE and lead a meaningful conversation about it afterwards, supporting viewers to slow down enough to understand the characters and themes represented in the film on their own terms while discussing the value of doing so in our lives, communities, and country.