Reston is special. I know I say it all the time, and it's true. The way everything in this community works together creates a sense of balance and belonging. It's something you feel when you move into any one of the beautiful clusters or neighborhoods of Reston. Restonian and award-winning director Rebekah Winger-Jabi has captured the feel of Reston in her new movie, "Another Way of Living, the Story of Reston." I am thrilled the movie is premiering this weekend at the Virginia Film Festival. The viewing will take place at 11:00 a.m. (Downtown Mall: The Southern). Tickets are only $10, and you can buy them here.
About the Movie
"I knew I was happy, but I didn't understand that my childhood experience had been carefully crafted by planners and developers." -- Rebekah Winger-Jabi, Director/Producer/Editor
Rebekah's story is similar to the stories I hear from people who grew up in Reston, moved away, and then came back to raiser their own families. When Rebekah was a teenager, her family left Reston to move to a traditional suburb. On the movie website, she recalls how surprised she was when this "American dream" didn't pan out. She felt isolated and disconnected. She had to drive to a park to experience nature and the community wasn't nearly as economically or racially diverse as it was in Reston. That experience inspired her to find out what made Reston special and look at the people behind the design. And that led to the movie.
What Rebekah learned is that Reston's founder Robert Simon (1914-2015) had a vision for American life -- one where people valued community, nature, and social equity. Reston was his vision realized, a suburban town that integrated citizens across racial, economic, and religious divides. The movie explores the challenges of making a vision like this a reality (such as the fact investors fired Simon three years after Reston was launched) and how it became an international sensation. Spoiler alert -- Simon retired to Reston, became a community activist, and lived a fulfilling life in the place he envisioned.
Enjoy the film. Better yet, move to Reston and enjoy this amazing community and everything it has to offer.