Thursday, September 25, 2008

Antiwar Film Festival at ArtWalk

(click to add comments, esp. if you attended!)
Meeting Resistance 11 am
Taxi to the Dark Side 12:45 pm
War, Inc. 3 pm
Body of War 5:10 pm

Sunday, October 19th
11 am until 7 pm
Topping Room
Foster Library
651 E. Main St., Ventura
$10 suggested donation

Grace Loh
Co-producer of War, Inc.
  • Grace Loh will answer questions about the film War, Inc. after the film's viewing at 3 pm.
For more information, contact Ventura County Committee to Stop the War:


Ventura County Committee to Stop the War was formed in March of 2007 to organize education and activism with various groups and individuals throughout the county. Members of the group support GI resistance and engage in counter-recruitment in opposition to aggressive military recruitment of youth.

Body of War is an intimate and transformational feature documentary about the true face of war today. Meet Tomas Young, 25 years old, paralyzed from a bullet to his spine - wounded after serving in Iraq for less than a week. The film is his coming home story as he evolves into a new person, coming to terms with his disability and finding his own unique and passionate voice against the war.
Produced and directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro.

Meeting Resistance asks, "What would you do if America was invaded?" and raises the veil of anonymity surrounding the Iraqi insurgency by meeting face to face with individuals who are passionately engaged in the struggle, and documenting for the very first time, the sentiments experienced and actions taken by a nation's citizens when their homeland is occupied. Voices that have previously not been heard, male and female, speak candidly about their motivations, hopes and goals, revealing a kaleidoscope of human perspectives. Featuring reflective, yet fervent conversations with active insurgents, Meeting Resistance is the missing puzzle piece in understanding the Iraq war.
Directed by Steve Connors and Molly Bingham.

Winner of the Oscar for documentary feature, Taxi to the Dark Side is a gripping investigation into the reckless abuse of power by the Bush Administration. A documentary murder mystery that examines the death of an Afghan taxi driver at Bagram Air Base, the film exposes a worldwide policy of detention and interrogation that condones torture and the abrogation of human rights. This disturbing and often brutal film is the most incisive examination to date of the Bush Administration's willingness, in its prosecution of the "war on terror," to undermine the essence of the rule of law. The film asks and answers a key question: what happens when a few men use the wartime powers of the executive to undermine the very principles on which the United States was founded?
Directed by Alex Gibney.

In War, Inc., John Cusack recreates his role as a hitman, delivering a hilarious performance in this political satire set in Turaqistan, a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former U.S. Vice President (Dan Ackroyd). In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn nation offers, the corporation's CEO hires Hauser (Cusack) to assassinate a Middle Eastern oil minister. Also stars Hillary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack and Ben Kingsley.
Directed by Joshua Seftel. Written by Mark Leyner, Jeremy Pikser and producer John Cusack.


Ventura County Stop the War said...

The Antiwar Film Festival had a lower turnout this year than last, but so did the Ventura ArtWalk which the festival piggy-backed on. VC Stop the War grossed $334 but many people did not pitch in. I don't know if anyone counted bodies, but we had 66 programs left over out of 100, although not everyone took a program. Sixteen people signed in, some of whom were already in contact, but two people in particular seemed interested in participating in upcoming activism.

The biggest attendence was for War, Inc. which was also the most controversial as a comedic farce. The film is less M*A*S*H and more Monty Python, and some weren't happy with making fun of a serious situation. However, the discussion was mostly concerned with political issues raised in the film. Co-producer Grace Loh spoke at length about motivation for making the film, including John Cusack's connections with Naomi Klein. One question that came up concerned whether the film's focus on war profiteering may obscure more fundamental political reasons for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

VC Stop the War also gained helpful exposure at a time when the antiwar movement is at a lull. In particular, we had a pre-event report in the VC Reporter The process of putting together such an event--setting goals, considering important political points to draw out for each film--is also a helpful experience for organizers. One of the materials we wanted everyone to have was a calendar of upcoming events. We also set a goal of getting 5 people to our next meeting, although this was also contingent on meeting a goal of 100 attendees, which we were well short of. Everyone felt the festival was a success overall, nonetheless. We'll see who we've motivatedto come to the next organizing meeting.

Anonymous said...

As a community member and as the wife of a war veteran, I am so grateful to VC Stop the War for the visibility you bring to these issues with events such as the film festival. Whether you met the goals you set for yourself, the event was a definite success. The large posters at the door garnered a lot of attention and provoked many conversations whether people chose to participate or not. I can not thank you enough. Nam Wife

Ventura County Stop the War said...

Someone called us up after the festival. He didn't see the publicity until too late, but was interested in Body of War. He came to Sunday's organizing meeting and brought a veteran friend with him. We're growing thanks to the festival!

ANSWER VC said...

A note of thanks from ANSWER Ventura County to VC Stop the War for its hosting of the successful 2nd Annual Ventura ArtWalk AntiWar Film Festival. ANSWER VC was one of about seven groups (IVAW and Haymarket Books being a couple other) that tabled its informational materials at the festival. Attendance was very good (relatively speaking) and the intensity of those who participated even better. Plus, one would be amiss not to say that a finer, more generous host one could not have expected. Again, much appreciation and congratulations on a successful event, VCSTW! In solidarity, ANSWER VC

NC said...

The 2nd Annual Ventura ArtWalk AntiWar Film Festival was terrific; it was especially wonderful to hear Co-producer Grace Loh speak about the film, War Inc. All the films featured left a powerful impact and a greater desire to create change. I had a great time meeting high caliber; motivated individuals who wish to make a change in our community and world; keep up the great work!
Thank you everyone!

Kendra Gonzales said...

I'm very glad to have participated in our film festival and know that even if this event only changed the mind of one person it was well worth the effort, because that one person could change the mind of another, and so on. We must also keep in mind that with every press release, email, and flyer passed out we are reaching people even if they didn't attend the festival.