[BHS etree] VOLUNTEERS: Ushers still needed--Soldiers of Conscience

bhs at idiom.com bhs at idiom.com
Sun Mar 15 13:57:22 PDT 2009

Please do not hit reply, contact Dharini Rasiah
[mailto:drasiah at berkeley.k12.ca.us] 

Dear BHS Families,

We still need ushers!  There will be over 1000 students at this event
from all small schools and programs at BHS.  Please show up to the
Berkeley Community Theater at 8:20am to help seat students between
8:30-8:45am and help supervise throughout 
the three-hour event.   

Also, a quick e-mail to me will help me plan usher duties.

Many thanks,
Dharini Rasiah
drasiah at berkeley.k12.ca.us

The SF Film Society and Communication Arts & Sciences present:

Soldiers of Conscience
Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Tuesday, March 17, Periods 1/2/3
Berkeley Community Theater

Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg, Filmmakers Stan Friedman, Executive
Producer Ghazwan Al-Nidawi, Iraqi War Victim Pratap Chatterjee,
Investigative Journalist

Synopsis of film:

Soldiers of Conscience is a dramatic window on the dilemma of
individual U.S. soldiers in the current Iraq War – when their finger
is on the trigger and another human being is in their gun-sight. Made
with cooperation from the U.S. Army and narrated by Peter Coyote, the
film profiles eight American soldiers, including four who decide not
to kill, and become conscientious objectors; and four who believe in
their duty to kill if necessary. The film reveals all of them
wrestling with the morality of killing in war, not as a philosophical
problem, but as soldiers experience it - a split-second decision in
combat that can never be forgotten or undone.

Soldiers of Conscience is not a film that tells an audience what to
think, nor is it about the situation in Iraq today. Instead, it tells
a bigger story about human nature and war. The film begins with a
little-known fact – after World War II, the Army’s own studies
revealed that as many as 75 percent of combat soldiers, given a chance
to fire on the enemy, failed to do so. The studies showed that
soldiers, despite training, propaganda and social sanction, retained a
surprising inhibition when it came to taking human life. The
statistics surprised and alarmed America’s generals, who developed
training techniques to overcome the reluctance to kill. But if the
military found a solution to its problem, the moral contradiction for
the individual soldier remained. The mental and emotional burdens
carried by soldiers who have killed ripple across America’s families
and communities after each of its recent wars. As this film shows,
every soldier is inescapably a “soldier of conscience.”

Best Documentary - Salem Film Festival (2008)    
Best Documentary - Bend Film Festival (2008)
Best Documentary - Rhode Island International Film Festival (2007)    
Best Film - Conflict and Resolution Category  - Hamptons International
Film Festival (2007)
Best Documentary - Foyle Film Festival, Northern Ireland (2007)     
Finalist - Best Documentary - Denver Film Festival (2007)

Curriculum Guide:

Here is the link to the discussion guide, the downloadable lesson plan
and an array of educator resources for the film:
[ http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/soldiersofconscience/for.html

Bios of Panelists:

Catherine Ryan, Producer / Director
Catherine Ryan has been producing, directing and editing
awarding-winning documentaries for over 20 years. Soldiers of
Conscience is her third film to be shown on the prestigious PBS
nonfiction series, P.O.V.  The other two are “Maria’s Story” (1991),
and “The Double Life of Ernesto Gómez Gómez (1999).” Ryan has also
produced and directed documentaries for primetime network TV,
including “The Story of Mothers & Daughters” (1997, ABC), “The Story
of Fathers & Sons” (1999, ABC) and “Teens” (2000, WB).
She and Gary have been producing partners, creating independent films
for too long to mention.

Gary Weimberg, Producer / Director
Gary Weimberg has spent the last two decades making award-winning
documentaries as a producer, director, editor, writer and occasional
cameraman.  He has won two national Emmy Awards ("Earth and the
American Dream" HBO, 1992; "Loyalty and Betrayal: A History of the
American Mob"
Fox, 1994). Two other documentaries that he edited were nominated for
Academy Awards ("Memorial" 1989; and "Superchief: The Life and Legacy
of Earl Warren," 1991). In 1999, he was nominated as Outstanding
Documentary Director by the Director's Guild of America for "The
Double Life of Ernesto Gómez Gómez," PBS 1999: a program that
contributed directly to the Presidential Pardon and release of 12 US
political prisoners. He has edited over 100 documentaries, including
the critically acclaimed "Ballets Russes."  Most recently, he
completed two award winning feature
documentaries: "Three Women and a Chateau" and "Soldiers of
the latter will be presented on October 16th, 2008 on P.O.V., PBS's
award-winning non-fiction showcase.

Ghazwan Al-Nidawi
Ghazwan Al-Nidawi is a PhD professor of media studies and advertising
at Baghdad University.  Soon after the American invasion, he and his
family were displaced from their home in Baghdad after receiving
threats from a sectarian militia. They fled to Baqouba. In June of
2007, a US air strike completely destroyed his son's hearing. No More
Victims brought Ghazwan and his son Mustafa to San Francisco in
December 08, where he received a cochlear implant at UCSF and is
currently undergoing intensive audiological and speech therapy.


Marin IJ:
SF Chronicle:

Pratap Chatterjee
Pratap Chatterjee is an investigative journalist and producer. He is
the author of  "Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil
Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War" (Nation Books,
2009), "Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation" (Seven Stories Press,
2004) and "The Earth Brokers" (Routledge Press, 1994). Chatterjee has
traveled to Central Asia and the Middle East a dozen times where he
has investigated the impact of the U.S. Global War on Terror first
He has been to Iraq four times, both as an embedded and an unembedded
journalist. He has also made multiple trips to Afghanistan, Kuwait and
the United Arab Emirates.

Chatterjee has many years of experience working in radio, print and
digital media, including hosting a weekly radio show on Berkeley
station KPFA, working as global environment editor for InterPress
Service and as a freelance writer for the Financial Times, the
Guardian and the Independent of London. He has won five Project
Censored awards as well as a Silver Reel from the National Federation
of Community Broadcasters for his work in Afghanistan, and the best
business story award from the National Newspaper Association (US),
among others. He has also appeared as a commentator on numerous radio
and television shows ranging from BBC World Service, CNN
International, Democracy Now!, Fox and MSNBC. He has served as a board
and staff member with many Bay Area activist groups such as the Asian
Pacific Environmental Network and Project Underground.

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