Leaving for Moscow in two days, October 1, 2016. So excited. Thanks to many of you for your continued support and contributions. Without you I couldn’t make my films.
Call it luck or whatever, but somehow I found my way to three wonderful Russian English speakers who are bending over backwards to help me. They are organizing and scheduling meetings and interviews in Moscow, Crimea, and St. Petersburg. My “handler” in Crimea is working with a university so I can meet with and interview Russian students. Can’t wait to bring back home what they have to say and what they are like. I just know that everyone I meet will be just like most of us. I have never believed the constant demonizing of Russia and President Putin in the West. In Moscow, I’ll be meeting with union workers, politicians, students, journalists, and families. I’ve been invited to tour Russian Insider and RT.
The first order of business when I get back on October 22, will be to start making a short documentary just on what I learn from the Russian people. I will make that available on Youtube and Vimeo. This effort will also serve the purpose of finding a few short segments that will be useful for my film, Thirty Seconds to Midnight – The Final Wakeup Call. There four musical pieces composed just for the film by gifted, activist musicians.
There is also a cast of well-known and respected figures such as: Dr. Helen Caldicott, Chris Hedges, Ray McGovern, Peter Kuznick, David Vine, Kathy Kelly, David Hartsough, Bruce Gagnon, and Giff Johnson from the Marshall Islands. There are also interviews with locals in Okinawa, Jeju, the Marshall Islands, Hawaii, and Russia.
My purpose and the reason for all of my films is to counter the American narrative from the 15th Century to the present when the US has the world on the brink of extinction, holding us all hostage with the threat of a nuclear Armageddon. I often wonder how I got to this point in my life starting with the preparation for the priesthood, ordination, and 13 years of service in Phoenix and Tucson. Later married and raised three wonderful kids and joined the rat race just trying to make a living and raise a family. Returned to Maine after 34 years in Arizona. Took a job with the State of Maine as the Director of Public Information and Education with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife where I got heavily involved in making videos in support of the Department and the environment. After being fired by Maine’s infamous governor, Paul LePage, at 65 years of age, I wasn’t sure what I would do.
Out of nowhere appeared Occupy Portland and I pounced. Started documenting the movement and quickly created an Occupy Maine TV show on Portland’s community access TV station that ran for ten months. Shortly thereafter, Bruce Gagnon facilitated a trip to Jeju Island which opened up and whole new life-changing experience. The Ghosts of Jeju has experienced unbelievable exposure across the US and around the world. It has been translated into seven languages, all by volunteers. In the process of screening it across the country on three trips, I met hundreds of incredible people committed to Justice and Peace.
All of this led directly to this current film. Looking back, it has been an incredible journey with many ups and downs and changes of hats. Don’t know where it is going. Never knew. Two more projects to do before I’m done: a return to Juarez, Mexico, and then Cuba, and then who knows.