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March 11 - 13, 2005

New Documentaries on the War on Terror


March 11th (Friday) 9 pm

Texas-Kabul

Directed by Helga Reidemeister
Germany, 2004, color, 93 min.

When filmmaker Helga Reidemeister visited Afghanistan in 2002, the destruction she witnessed reminded her of the devastated cities she experienced during her childhood in Germany immediately after World War II. Disturbed by the wars that have broken out since September 11, 2001, Reidemeister began interviewing women who oppose war, globalization, and the abuse of human-rights. In the course of this film, she travels to meet women activists in India, Serbia, Afghanistan, and Texas. The last interview, with Sissy Farenthold in Houston, a former professor of law and a veteran of Texas politics, is particularly revealing, as Farenthold reflects on the militarization of American culture and the meaning of war after September 11.

March 12th (Saturday) 7 pm
Directors in Person

The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror

Directed by Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy
US, 2004, color, 90 min.

Narrated by Ed Asner, this new documentary examines the link between the oil industry and current U.S. foreign policy. It includes original footage shot over a four-month period in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as interviews with an array of personalities including Bush administration officials. The Oil Factor takes a candid look at the economic rationale behind Operation Desert Storm.

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March 12 (Saturday) 9 pm

War Takes

Directed by Patricia Castano and Adelaida Trujillo
Colombia/England, 2002, color, 78 min.
Spanish with English subtitles

For four years, three Colombian filmmakers turned their cameras on themselves, using their personal stories to expose the daily realities of their violent, war-ravaged country. Caught in the midst of a civil war between the FARC and the Colombian military, these middle class Colombians try to negotiate a way to raise their families, and at the same time operate the independent TV station that s their passion. Amidst the daily threat of kidnapping, their black humor borders on the surreal as the film moves between conversations in the jungle with guerrillas to elegant dinner parties in Bogota. The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States changed the nature of Colombia’s relationship to the world, especially America. Colombia’s decades-old civil war is now described differently, using the rhetoric of the global war on terrorism.

This screening is co-presented with the Boston Latino International Film Festival.

March 13 (Sunday) 7pm
Director in Person

Being Osama

Directed by Mahmoud Kaabour and Timothy Schwab
Canada, 2003, color, 45 min.

First time filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour and his co-director Tim Schwab followed six Montrealers who have one thing in common: they all share the first name Osama. The fact that they share a name that has become so notorious has made each keenly aware of ethnic profiling and the backlash against the Arab-Canadian community in the post-September 11 world. From the launching of the American invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, to the anti-WTO demonstrations in late July of that year, Being Osama offers a look at the evolving lives of Canadians united by their first name and by their experience as Arabs living in Canada.

Persons of Interest

Directed by Alison Maclean and Tobias Perse
US, 2002, color, 63 min.

After the September 11th terrorist attacks, more than 5,000 Arab immigrants were taken into custody by the U.S. Justice Department and held indefinitely on the grounds of national security. Detainees were subject to arbitrary arrest, secret detention, solitary confinement, and deportation. The Justice Department has ensured the invisibility of these cases, by refusing to disclose the names and total number of people detained. Persons of Interest details the lives of twelve detainees and their families. They share their stories, read letters written in jail, re-enact their prison experience, and even sing.

Director in Person
March 13 (Sunday) 9:30 pm

Soundtrack to War

Directed by George Gittoes
Australia, 2004, color, 95 min.

Soundtrack To War is a raw and intimate look at the use of music during the Iraq War. American tanks and helicopters were equipped with speakers in order to broadcast a soundtrack to the invasion. The battle-weary American soldiers who fought with these units will forever link these music tracks with the events they witnessed at the time. Australian filmmaker George Gittoes bypassed US military minders, gaining a unique level of trust on the frontlines of Baghdad as American tanks and troops pushed their way into the city.

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