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Q&A: Rebekah Wingert-Jabi

Local Filmmaker Found Reston Has Something in Common With the West Bank

Rebekah Wingert-Jabi’s new documentary will show at the Environmental Film Festival Thursday.

Washingtonian, March 21, 2016

Rebekah Wingert-Jabi’s last documentary was about a small neighborhood in East Jerusalem where Jewish settlers began forcibly evicting Palestinian residents several years ago, sparking protests that were joined—surprisingly—by Israeli activists. For her next one, Wingert-Jabi decided to focus on a very different place: Reston, Virginia, the town where she had grown up, and where she returned to live in 2008.

Wingert-Jabi’s new film, Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA, looks at the first planned community built in the United States after World War II—with money that its founder made from the sale of a family asset, New York’s Carnegie Hall. Reston was designed to be a three-dimensional town rather than a cookie-cutter suburb, with a full range of housing types and prices, a robust public life stemming from its village and town centers, and swaths of woodlands and stream valleys. (It also deliberately sought racial integration, an anomaly in 1960s Virginia.)

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Photograph by Jim Kirby