My new film in production since The Ghosts of Jeju. Fundraising campaign will begin this weekend. Examining the dual threats to extinction of life on Earth: nuclear Armageddon and Climate Change.
This episode has photos from today’s over-the-top police assault on the Village of Gangjeong to dismantle a Peace Tent and tower. An update on the progress of the base construction and Joyakgol screening The Ghosts of Jeju around S. Korea.
Also a commentary on the state of US aggression around the globe.
The Ghosts of Jeju with Korean subtitles is now available for sale online at www.theghostofjeju.wpengine.com
Thanks to my dear friend, Joyakgol, a Gangjeong peace activist, who traveled with me from The Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival to the West Coast for screening in 13 cities, the Korean version of The Ghosts of Jeju has been completed.
Joyakgol edited and finalized the translation upon his return to Korea where he has been presenting the film. Joyakgol will also present the film this month at the following film festivals: Cheju Fringe Festival, the Environmental Film Festival in Incheon, The Catholic Film Festival, The Gwangju Human Rights Film Festival, and the Jeju Peace Festival.
He will be accompanied by Professor Yang Yoon-Mo, the former Korean film critic for 30 years, who left his career to defend his home. He has been imprisoned four times for protesting the construction of the navel base and went on hunger strikes each time. Here is a short clip from The Ghosts of Jeju:
I am happy to say that the Japanese version is nearing completion with only the subtitles to be added. The film is currently being translated into French with the subtitles due to be completed later this year. All of this work is being done gratis by people who have been moved by the film.
It is simply amazing that this almost no budget film has not only been screened hundreds of times here in America, but found its way to at least 16 countries that I know of, including Russia and Taiwan.
I am humbled and gratified by the appeal of The Ghosts of Jeju. As my good friend, Charles Hanley, the Associated Press Pulitzer Prize winning author of the Bridge at No Gun Ri told me, “you have no idea of the magnitude of the story you fell into.”
On going to Jeju in September of 2012, I thought I was going to make a short film about another anti-war, anti-U.S. militarism protest in a far-off land. And, like me when I discovered the untold and hidden story of the U.S. in Korea since 1945, Americans who see the film express the same disbelief, anger, and shame that I felt. The many Korean people in America who have seen it all thank me for telling this story which had been hidden from them as well.
You can help me continue to spread the film in the U.S. and around the world by purchasing a copy of the film in English or Korean and sharing it widely. There are no royalties, fees, or permissions needed. To date, I have not been compensated. Proceeds from the sale of the film have allowed me to make two cross country trips and countless regional trips to present it to both large and small groups.
Later this month I will be presenting it to the Peace & Justice Studies Association annual conference in San Diego, and the following week it will be screened by the Korean Studies Department at UCLA in a return visit.
The film is being sold in Korea with all of the proceeds going to the activists in Gangjeong Village, and all of the proceeds from copies purchased in Korea on line at www.theghostofjeju.wpengine.com will also go to Gangjeong.
Missed a few weeks because of illness. Here’s the 10th edition of The Spirit of Gangjeong.
As you now, my month-long trip to Jeju and South Korea had to be postponed due to illness. To date, I have raised a little over $4,000 US for my new documentary that will cover the effects of U.S. militarism in the Pacific from Hawaii to The Philippines, and the large popular, non-violent uprisings occurring throughout the Pacific (and really around the world) against U.S. military presence and expansion.
So many of you have already supported this new effort with your financial contributions, and I thank you. But, I need your help now in finding progressive organizations, NGOs, and individuals who are known to support documentary films.
This new film will be much larger in scope than The Ghosts of Jeju and will require more money than I have been able to raise from generous and supportive contributors like you.
The film will also demonstrate very clearly, using interviews with independent journalists, former State Department, and CIA officials, the dark forces that make foreign policy, war, and large increases in the Department of War budget.
My plan is to begin filming early in 2015 beginning in Hawaii and Okinawa, and then on down to Jeju and S. Korea, Taiwan, Guam, and The Philippines.
If The Ghosts of Jeju is any indication, this new film will also receive world-wide attention and acclaim. I have no idea how many screenings there have been, nor how many people have seen The Ghosts of Jeju. The screenings number in the hundreds in the U.S. and in at least 15 countries. Thousands of people have seen it and hundreds have purchased copies.
The Ghosts of Jeju has recently been released in South Korea with subtitles, thanks to the tremendous efforts of my dear friend, Joyakgol. Very soon it will be released in Japan having been translated by Maho Yamazaki and activist friends. It is also being translated into French. All of these efforts by dedicated activists for no compensation at all.
Documentary films do not make money! Films like mine are a labor of love that arise from an inner need to educate and inform the world about the serious issues that are threatening life on Mother Earth. My focus is on ending militarism, wars, and the death and destruction of the environment that results.
So, I am once again turning to you for help in finding sources, be they individuals, organizations, or foundations, that will see the value in what I am doing and want to help. As you know, I am a “crew” of one. The only thing standing in the way of making this film is money.
Thank you again for your past support and anything you can do to help make this new film a reality.
Here’s is my short video plea for help in making this film.
As many of you know, I will be returning to Jeju on August 5th. On August 6th, I will give a presentation to an international gathering of Pacific Islanders at the Gangjeong Peace Camp, a three day affair beginning on August 3rd. They will also screen the Ghosts of Jeju on the second evening of the camp.
Rather than give a talk, I prepared this 22:43 video about US Militarism and its origins. Thought I’d share it in this blog.
The new documentary will focus on the effects of US militarism in the Pacific and the massive, popular uprisings against it. When looked at through a different perspective than the one all Americans have been ingrained with, America no longer looks so beautiful.
I’ve just finished reading a very shocking book by William Blum entitled Rogue State. It is the most detailed and concise record of US military and CIA interventions around the world since 1945 that I have found.
Blum reveals America’s recklessness, abuse, and blackmail on dozens of sovereign states, and of course, the countless bombings and mass killings in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Central America, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan….literally against any country that would attempt to form a government and society not aligned with America’s interests, and most definitely against any country that might attempt to compete with or impede America’s global hegemony.
This books details America’s abuse and obstruction of the United Nations since its inception. It details dozens and dozens of UN General Assembly votes objected to by the US and Israel, and many others vetoed by only the US. The US has also vetoed and ignored UN calls for human rights in Palestine, on countless occasions, a nuclear test ban treaty, and international criminal courts to name just a few.
Blum says that America equates Democracy with free-market Capitalism, a myth that has only wrecked havoc and poverty throughout the world and right here at home as well.
How does America get away with it? Because America can. Simple as that. As the only superpower in the world, the corporate power structure that controls our government and many other governments in the world is attempting to imposed a new world order on the planet with a one world economy that is enforced by the most powerful and lethal military the world has ever know.
My film will bring much of this out, but will also focus on the more immediate, destructive effects of US militarism in the Pacific such as the destruction and pollution of the environment, abject poverty, prostitution, the forced evacuation of indigenous people, the obliteration of ancient cultures and civilizations, and the egregious violation of human rights on every level, from food, clean water, education, health care and civil liberties.
I find the same things happening here at home quite striking.
In this edition, massive protests around Korea; almost naked Korean grannies resist hundreds of police protesting the placement of high voltage electrical towers in Miryang; sneak preview of short clip of longer interview I made of Chris Hedges (will appear in my next film).
Peace and Solidarity, and please share
On March 4th, Joyakagol, a Gangjeong activist, and I arrived in Chicago for the beginning of a month-long tour with my film The Ghosts of Jeju. The film was screened at the Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival where it won the award for Best Expose´ Documentary.
From Chicago, we traveled to California, Arizona, and New Mexico screening the film in 13 cities where it received high praise from everyone including the Korean community in Los Angeles and the Korean Studies Department at UCLA.
In this episode of the Spirit of Gangjeong I cover the release from prison after 435 days of Professor Yang Yoon-Mo; Easter Week ceremonies in Gangjeong Village; protests against President Obama’s visit to Japan, Korea, and Malaysia; and the Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival and film tour.
You can help amplify the voices of Gangjeong by sharing The Ghosts of Jeju and this Spirit of Gangjeong series with your local communities.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Today is Monday, March 24, 2014 and I’m in Tucson, Arizona. It has been many years since I’ve been here. Taught high school at Salpointe from 1975-81. Screening tonight at 6:30.
Tomorrow I go up to Phoenix until Friday. One screening at a library tomorrow evening. Will have a couple of days to rest and visit some old friends.
I’ve been on the road since March 4 when I flew to Chicago for the Peace on Earth Film Festival. Great experience, and Ghosts won a major award. Best Expose Documentary.
Joyakgol from Gangjeong Village joined me in Chicago. When the village heard about the film festival they wanted someone to come to Chicago. Money was raised to send Joyakgol and he has been traveling with me on the entire tour. His English is excellent and he is a charismatic and gifted guitarists, so he has added a great deal of energy to the tour. He’s become a great friend and traveling companion.
The film has been received enthusiastically everywhere: Fresno, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, LA (twice) and San Diego. One screening in LA was in Korea Town for over 100 Koreans and the other was at UCLA for the faculty and some grad students in the Korean Studies Department.
Had another great screening in San Diego hosted by the VFP…awesome group and very active.
Everywhere, people thanking me for making the film, especially Koreans. There have been several articles and radio interviews that have helped to spread the word in ways that have not happened before.
Ran out of copies of the film! Having Paul Michaud of Patracompany make another 50 and ship them over night for the remainder of the trip: Phoenix, Albuquerque, Taos, and then Austin, Texas. I’ll have four days in Austin to visit with my daughter Ashley and my grandson, Hayden, and younger son, Tanner. Haven’t seen Ashley and Hayden in two years. I think there will be a screening in Austin on April 3rd. I return home to Maine on April 4.
The only bad news to report is that my left knee (the bad one, surgically repaired twice) “popped” yesterday. Excruciating pain. Got some assistance from a sports trainer and am taking Aleve twice a day and Tylenol just to get me through until I can get home. Afraid the day has arrived that my last orthopedic surgeon said would mean a knee replacement.
The pain has subsided and inflammation going down….ok to walk, but can’t twist or making lifting motions. Joyakgol has been helping with my heavy equipment case and large suitcase. I have trouble even pulling them even though they are both roller types. Damn! Getting old isn’t much fun!
We’ve been having every group pose for pictures with the No Naval Base flags and the Pope Francis banner. Big hit everywhere. The above photo was with part of the large Korean community in LA.
The reaction to the film has been identical everywhere: shame, anger, tears….then thanks and they always ask, “what can we do?” Joyakgol brought a stack of pre-printed and pre-addressed postcards with Pope Francis. We ran out of those several stops ago.
Seems like nearly everyone has wanted a copy of the film and all promise to share it widely. I’ve given copies away to folks who can’t afford them and to students who all promise to share them. Along the way, I keep hearing from people that the film has been screened in cities all over the U.S. Amazing how it has taken on a life of its own with grassroots groups and activists.
March 5 Screening at University of Chicago
March 6-9 Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival – Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater
March 8 – The Ghosts of Jeju screening – Noon –Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater
March 12 – Fresno Center for Nonviolence Noon and 7 pm
March 13 – Sonoma County Art Museum – 7 pm Univ. of San Francisco at Santa Rosa
March 14-16 – Annual Meeting of The Global Network
March 14 Screening – The Ghosts of Jeju 8:00 -9:30 PM
March 18 – 7 PM East Bay Media Center 1939 Addison Street, Berkeley
March 19 – Won Buddhist Temple 400 Shatto Pl, LA, 7 PM
March 20 – 7 PM – San Diego Peace Resource Center of San Diego 3850 Westgate Place
March 21 – 1-3 P – UCLA – UCLA 11379 Bunche Hall
March 24 – Tucson – 6:30 PM Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church – 1300 North Greasewood – Theology Uncorked
March 25 – 6 PM Phoenix Public Library Mesquite Branch 4525 E. Paradise Village Parkway N
March 28 – 6 PM – Taos, New Mexico – Kit Carson Electric Board Room 118 Cruz Alta Road
March 29 – 6 PM – Albuquerque Center For Peace and Justice 202 Harvard St. NE
March 30 – April 3 – Austin, Texas