While many political activists are staking out lawns this week with blue and red posters and polishing slogans in anticipation of the upcoming elections, Bellevue teacher Katharine Woods and Hailey artist Laura Higdon have resurrected a series of provocative documentaries.
The movies address transcendent issues facing American voters next week: accuracy in the news media, the election process and the war in Iraq.
These films provide a controversial and thought-provoking analysis of the fast-moving events leading up to the invasion of Iraq, which continue to define U.S foreign policy at the beginning of the 21st Century.
Drawn from Web sites Moveon.org, Brave New Films, and Worldcan'twait.org, the three remaining films in the "Documentaries for Democracy" film series provide compelling conspiracy theories surrounding the controversial 2000 presidential election of George W. Bush, his subsequent invasion of Iraq and the vital support given to this adventure by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch of Fox News.
Previous films in the series focused on the once-powerful House Majority leader Tom Delay, and the immortal and mysterious entity known as the modern corporation.
Following variations on a theme and shot in expose style, the series, which is produced in large part by documentarian Robert Greenwald, takes aim at the current presidential administration. In particular the films address what former president Dwight Eisenhower described after World War II as the greatest threat to lasting peace: the "Military Industrial Complex"—the corporate machinery and military arsenal in America that has been geared for conquest and conflict.
"Documentaries for Democracy" series founder Katharin Woods is also a spokesperson for Wood River Citizens for True Democracy, which she describes as "a grassroots effort to bring critical information to our local community."
"We are working to help counter the questionable access to information Americans are receiving due to the corporate privatization of the press in the United States," Woods said.
Whatever your political preferences may be, these films contribute to the fiery debate over U.S. foreign policy today and remind of the divisive issues and fateful responses to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
"I recently learned that more people voted for "American Idol" on television than they did for the U.S. president in the last election," said Woods. "That is disturbing, considering that the U.S. has the most formidable weapons on the planet."
According to a press release from Wood River Citizens for True Democracy, "All screenings will conclude with an open discussion of the films and presentations of ongoing efforts within the Valley to increase our participation in true democracy."
WRCTD will continue screening documentaries on a bi-monthly basis at the Community Campus Auditorium in Hailey.