A debate alternative?
It looks like the big showdown between Barack Obama and John
McCain won’t be taking place since McCain refuses to participate until all the
economic problems go away.
In the meantime you might want to drop by the Brattle Theatre which will be
hosting a panel discussion that I’ll be moderating (okay, I admit it -- all
that snarky self-righteousness is just a smokescreen for my own shameless
self-promotion) for the United Nations Association Film Festival.
Among those participating
are filmmakers Iris Adler, Sam Kauffmann, Jamil Simon and Ian Slattery.
Slattery’s powerful documentary “Soldiers of Conscience,” an even-handed and
provocative look at troops serving in Iraq who have opted for conscientious
objector status, screens as the Festival’s opening film tonight at the Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard. Adler’s poignant “Hidden Wounds,” about
veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, screens Sunday also at
the Kennedy School. Simon and Kauffmann will
probably be screening shorts at the panel discussion.
The subject? “A Call to Action: Making Powerful
International Documentaries.” It would have been a useful tie-in to the debate,
which was supposed to focus on international issues and answer the question as
to which candidate would be better equipped to handle foreign policy. Another
question comes to mind: would anyone watching the debate know the difference? It’s not
exactly like there’s a glut of information in the media on the subject. Newspapers
have cut back or eliminated their foreign bureaus. Cable and network news
programs feature celebrity gossip, sensationalism and fulminating blowhards. So
maybe that leaves documentary filmmakers as the best alternative source of news about the rest of the world. That
is, of course, if anyone really cares.
If you do, you might want
to drop by.