Sunday, October 17, 2010

Film on US Empire, Foreign Military Bases

From Dud Hendrick, 10-17-10 (Dud visited the Marshallese and spoke at OMNI in early 2010 or late 2009)
Knowing that you each have some interest in our work I'm writing to update you on the status of our project, a documentary, the working title of which is, In Search of Monsters.
In the spring and early summer we received a grant of $10K each from the Rubin Foundation and the Tides Foundation. We're extremely grateful for their support. Now that the summer has passed we can turn from other commitments (For me, the Veterans for Peace national convention was essentially a full-time endeavor.) "We" now are my brother and I. Dick Hendrick is an established film-maker who, as writer, director and/or producer has several documentaries to his credit. Also on our team, as advisers, are two incredible Marshall Island advocates, Holly Barker (Ph.D) and Grace Donoho (Ed.D). Holly is an anthropologist and author of two definitive works, Bravo for the Marshallese and, The Consequential Damages of Nuclear War. Grace has been a long-time friend and crusader for the Marshall Island immigrant community of Springdale, Arkansas.
Our project (Note: The title is a reference to a John Quincy Adams speech warning against America going abroad, "in search of monsters to destroy".) will take a hard look at America's vast network of military bases abroad and ask whether their costs, social, environmental and financial, are justified. A basic question we will address is, "Does this 'imperial' array make us safer?" The funding, at this point, will not enable us to investigate and relate the stories of Diego Garcia, of Thule, Greenland, and the Marshall Islands in much depth. But, In Search of Monsters will introduce viewers to these sad and disturbing histories and will be used as a tool through which to raise the necessary funds to give those stories a full airing.

Several prominent scholars have agreed to be interviewed for In Search of Monsters--Andrew Bacevich, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Gerson, and Catherine Lutz. We expect to be meeting with each in the coming weeks and are, as you might expect, excited about these conversations. Our intent is to have a finished product by the middle of 2011.
The consequences of the displacements of the Chagossians of Diego Garcia, the Inughuit, and of the Marshallese continue today. I will continue my near-obsessive pursuit of each story. As some of you know I have personal relationships with representatives of each of these victimized populations, friendships that make me all the more committed to "staying the course". With perseverance and a little good fortune in the quest for grant assistance, In Search of Monsters will enable us to tell the rest of the story.
Thanks for your help and for your interest. Dud
P.S. In the interim one of us, Dick or I, would be happy to speak of the issue, our project, and our progress. If you would be interested please let me know.

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