Friday, October 22, 2004

?Get Aware? film series is extended

Four more documentaries shown at Magic Lantern

Express Staff Writer

John Kerry speaks to a crowd in New York in a still from the film ?Going Upriver.?

The ?Get Aware? Documentary Film Series is continuing through next week due to its popularity and to more films becoming available. The series, showing at Magic Lantern in Ketchum, is not sponsored by the movie theater. The films begin at 12:30 p.m. and are of varying lengths.

Beginning on Monday, the feature length, ?Iron Jawed Angels,? will be shown. The true story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who were influential in the suffrage movement in 1913, stars Hilary Swank, Anjelica Houston, and Frances O?Conner.

The landmark documentary ?Hearts & Minds,? made in 1974, screens Tuesday. This film won Academy Award for Best Documentary. Highly controversial at the time, it features interviews, newsreels and documentary footage of the Vietnam War. Director Peter Davis created a frightening account of what can happen when military might is unilaterally unleashed abroad while extremist patriotism is practiced at home.

On Wednesday, ?The Jesus Factor? is an hour-long show originally aired on PBS? ?Frontline.? It explores President George W. Bush?s born-again Evangelical Christianity and how it affects his public policy and political leanings.

On Thursday, catch the newly released documentary ?Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry.? Directed by George Butler, who also made ? The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition,? it?s a highly revealing look at one man?s experience in Vietnam and the way that experience has shaped his life ever since.

Among the many people who are interviewed, and or shown in news footage in the movie are Gunner?s Mate on PCF-94 in 1968, David Alston, who is now a minister in South Carolina, as well as Kerry?s Yale roommates Danny Barbiero and Harvey Bundy.

Barbiero has known Kerry since junior year in high school. He served as a U.S. Marines Corps Captain in Infantry in Vietnam in 1968. Bundy?s uncles, William and McGeorge Bundy, both served as foreign policy advisors to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and were the co-authors of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, In fact, William Bundy influenced John Kerry to enlist in the Navy.

Also featured is Sen. Max Cleland, D-Georgia from 1997-2003. Cleland, who lost both legs and his right arm in Vietnam, was not re-elected after a particularly vicious campaign that besmirched his record in Vietnam. His opponent ran ads accusing Cleland of being anti-American for voting against Bush?s Homeland Security Bill despite having authored an alternate bill himself. Cleland was awarded the Silver Star "for gallantry in action" at the battle of Khe Sanh. He also was administrator of the Veterans Administration.

?Going Upriver? deals with Kerry?s tour of duty in Vietnam but that?s only the early focus of the film.

Like many others vets, when Kerry came home from the war he was disillusioned by the U.S. and its leadership as it involved the actions in Vietnam. Kerry joined the Vets against the War movement, spoke out about the war, in a dignified and supportable way. This action, so understandable and admirable at the time has become a political stance he?s had to constantly defend ever since.

Joe Williams, of the St. Louis Post Dispatch said in a review of the documentary, ?It?s hard not to conclude that Kerry was twice a hero: first in risking his life for his country, then in trying to keep others from dying needlessly. Those without an ax to grind will be hard pressed to watch this film and not be impressed by the young man?s courage and intellect.?

All the movies shown as a part of the ?Get Aware? series are free. Because the past week of films was so popular it?s recommended that people come early to the screenings.

Voter info films

What: ?Get Aware? Documentary Film Series
Where: Magic Lantern in Ketchum
When: 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday

· Monday: ?Iron Jawed Angels?
· Tuesday: ?Hearts & Minds?
· Wednesday: ?The Jesus Factor?
· Thursday: ?Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry?

All the movies shown as a part of the ?Get Aware? series are free.

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