This documentary is dedicated to all people victimized by war and terrorism, and in particular, an American-born attorney, David Mark Berger.
As a member of the Israeli weight lifting team in the 1972 Munich Olympics, he was murdered with ten other team members on live television by the terrorist organization, Black September.
David Mark Berger (at age 28) 1972
Superpower (119m, U S A) dir. by Barbara-Anne Steegmuller
Superpower, dir. by Barbara-Anne Steegmuller:
The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.' ~Harry S. Truman
The United States emerged from World War II with its industrial base still intact and the only nation with the atomic bomb. It was without question the most powerful country on earth. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it's had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of SUPERPOWER. Superpower goes behind the scenes of America's national security apparatus and military actions to illustrate the US quest for global dominance through economic and military strategy that is exposed through review of historical events, personal interviews, and analysis of US foreign policy. Superpower presents a view of US foreign policy, which lies in stark contrast to that depicted by corporate media, popular pundits, and US heads of state. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has emerged as the preeminent superpower of the world. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it's had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of SUPERPOWER.
Superpower is a well-executed and comprehensive film that asks tough questions and goes behind the scenes of America’s national security apparatus and military actions. Far from a conspiracy film about the dangers of government secrets and regime change, this well-balanced film straddles the philosophical divide and allows viewers to understand the US quest for global dominance through economic and military strategy that is exposed through review of historical events, personal interviews, and analysis of US foreign policy.
The heart of Superpower lies in the analysis produced from a re-examination of history through a series of interviews with historians, documentarians, and academians such as Bill Blum, Chalmers Johnson, Michael Chossudovsky, and Noam Chomsky, and others with expertise in this subject such as the Executive Producer of The Unit, Command Sergeant (Ret.) Eric Haney; former Chief Economist for the US Department of Labor, Morgan Reynolds; three-time Noble Peace Prize nominee, Kathy Kelly; and Lt. Col. (Ret) Karen Kwiatkowski. Examining key moments in America's history elicits a more consistent and plausible set of motives for US foreign policy actions guided by global expansion and military dominance, rather than the hyperbolic calls for democracy and totalitarian regime change that we have become so accustomed to hearing.
Should citizens trust that their government will keep them safe, a government that keeps secrets, and lies, in the name of national security? Does the simple act of withholding information lead to a world of eroding civil liberties and corruption? Superpower presents a view of US foreign policy, which lies in stark contrast to that depicted by corporate media, popular pundits, and US heads of state. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has emerged as the preeminent superpower of the world. Superpower illustrates how the United States has chosen to leverage that position to pursue a grand strategy which will ensure itself unilateral world domination through absolute economic and military superiority. It shows a consistent pattern of government deception.
The United States emerged from World War II with its industrial base still intact and the only nation with the atomic bomb. It was without question the most powerful country on earth. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it's had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of Superpower.
There is a family tradition for writing connected with this film. The executive producer/producer/director/writer, Barbara-Anne Steegmuller, has a background in research and journalism and is the first cousin-once-removed of the famous Flaubert scholar and writer, Francis Steegmuller (1906 - 1994). He lived in New York City with his second wife, writer Shirley Hazzard. Yale University and Columbia University hold his collected papers. His first wife was the painter Beatrice Stein, who had studied under the French cubist artist and printmaker, Jacques Villon.
DOK Market Digital
Superpower has been chosen by the selection committee for the "DOK Market Digital" in Leipzig, Germany. "DOK Market Digital" offers trade and professional visitors as well as international buyers the opportunity to view all films in the current festival program, as well as approximately 150 additionally selected international productions by genre. All DOK Market films are presented with a photograph and relevant sales information in the DOK Market Catalog. During the festival week the DOK Market Catalogue is issued to all trade and professional visitors and, following the festival, the catalogue is sent to a further 150 international commissioning editors and distributors.
Festivals and Awards
SUPERPOWER has won Best Feature Documentary in the Moving Pictures Film Contest in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information about the contest and the magazine see http://www.movingpicturesfilmcontest.com and www.movingpicturesmagazine.com.
SUPERPOWER has been accepted to screen in the Twin Cities Film Festival in North Carolina in the fall of 2008.
SUPERPOWER has been accepted to screen in the British Film Festival Los Angeles between May 3rd and May 8th 2009. For more information about this festival go to: http://www.amritsa.com
SUPERPOWER has been accepted to screen in The International Film Festival Egypt. The festival will take place in Cairo, Egypt and the HQ will be the El Sawy Culture Wheel. The Festival will run between April 5th and April 9th 2009. For more information about this festival go to: http://www.amritsa.com/e2.htm
The August Sun Film & Television's
"World Peace Film Festival"
Promoting works that promote World Peace through Film and Television
Robert J. Locke, President of August Sun Productions and Director of the festival, presenting the Director Award to the director of Superpower, Barbara-Anne Steegmuller.
Held at The Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Boulevard, Aug. 24-Aug. 30, 2008
For more information about this festival go to: http://www.augustsunproductions.com/festival
SUPERPOWER received an Honorable Mention in the program of the 2008 Route 66 International Film Festival, as one of the outstanding films that did not fit into the festival schedule, but deserved special recognition. This is the 7th annual festival for Route 66, and is held each year on the third weekend in September at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield, Illinois. For more information about this festival go to: http://www.route66filmfestival.net
POWERS THAT BE
The accidential documentary filmmaker
By Keith Barber
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. — President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation, Jan. 17, 1961.
Barbara-Anne Steegmuller, a sociology professor at Greensboro College and Strayer University, had long been fascinated with the aforementioned speech delivered President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her interest lied more in the creative realm of screenwriting however than the world of documentary filmmaking. Steegmuller had written a political action thriller that included cameos by Noam Chomsky and William Blum. Steegmuller admitted she thought it was a long shot to get Chomsky, widely known as the father of modern linguistics, and Blum, an author and critic of American foreign policy, to agree to be in her feature film. When both of her idols agreed to take part in her project, one thing led to another and a “lucky accident” called Superpower was born. On Friday, Superpower, a full-length documentary about the global impact of America’s militaryindustrial complex, will be screened at the Gardens, located at 586 Piney Grove Road in Kernersville, at 2:55 p.m. during the Twin Cities Film Festival.
Steegmuller said Superpower presents motives for the US foreign policy decisions since World War II, from military actions for regime change, to current legislation that is eroding American civil liberties. But it was Eisenhower who provided the original inspiration for the film. “He wanted to warn people about a runaway military and the militaryindustrial complex,” Steegmuller said. Video clips of Eisenhower’s farewell address begin and end the film as Steegmuller documents how US military spending has escalated over the years.
Born in Charlotte and a graduate of Guilford College, Steegmuller began shooting the film in December 2006. After two years of filming, Steegmuller said she had 52 hours of footage and not the faintest idea of what to do next. “I knew nothing about editing, but I’ve learned a lot because I sat with [editor Mike Diiorio] and watched every single frame of film,” she said. “Now, I’ll know what not to do next time.” Since its release, Superpower has garnered a number of accolades. During the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah last month, Superpower won best feature documentary in the Moving Pictures Film Contest. In addition, Steegmuller won a directing award for Superpower at the August Sun Film & TV Film Festival in Los Angeles, where the film was also nominated for Best Feature Documentary and The Grand Peace Award.
Superpower also received honorable mention in the Route 66 Film Festival. The film is an official selection of the International Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt and the British Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Steegmuller said she learned many valuable lessons about the nature of documentary filmmaking during her adventure.
“I had knowledge of screenwriting, but this is the exact opposite,” she said. “You write the script after you shoot.” Steegmuller said she also realized that fundraising is perhaps the most difficult task a documentary filmmaker faces, but ultimately, she discovered there is a demand for well-written, thoughtful films.
“I think independent filmmaking is really making headway,” Steegmuller said. “There’s a real place for independent filmmakers.”
Steegmuller said the film definitely has a local flavor. Professors from Wake Forest University, Guilford College, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State were interviewed on camera for the film. Superpower also features Rep. Howard Coble, former NC Supreme Court Justice Henry E. Frye, Jennifer Rudinger, president of the NC American Civil Liberties Union and High Point physician Dr. Dave Wiggins.
“We had a good mix of people,” she said. For further information on Superpower, go to: www.superpowerthemovie.com/home.html.
Steegmuller said her overwhelmingly positive experience producing Superpower has inspired her to start planning her next documentary film. Steegmuller said she’s amazed by the power of the medium to move and inspire audiences. She hopes her film will have an impact on the way Americans view their military history, and guard against the rise of the military-industrial complex.
“It’s a call to action, that you can stay informed and make a difference,” she said.
In 1970 while I was a student at the University of Vienna in Austria for my junior year abroad, I met David when we were both taking a trip to the States. He was a very interesting person who could talk through the night on his politcal ideas. Between us we could solve all the problems of the world in a few hours! He made me promise that I would watch him on the live broadcast of the Munich Olympics in 1972. To my shock and horror I watched him and the others with him suffer and die under a terrorist siege.
Watching the 2008 Olympics I couldn't help but think of David. The Olympics should be a place where the politics are left at the gate and where nations can come together in good spirits and good will. Hopefully the lessons learned there will expand and bridge cultural gaps after the Olympics are over. Unfortunately, in 1972 the Olympics became a political forum. Whether it is for race, religion, politics, or territory, there is no justification for terrorism of any nature regardless of the reasons presented for those actions.
It is my hope that anyone who has suffered from war or terroism can live in a world that is peaceful, full of opportunities, and open to cultural diversity. The sacrifices of people like David Mark Berger should encourage others to remember and make our government leaders more accountable for their foreign poliicy decisions. Superpower is a film that is a call to action for those who realize that the atrocities of the past must not continue and who wish to make a difference.
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Victor Archibong video clip on violations of International Law.
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Victor Archibong video clip about Halliburton's role in the iraq war as a war for oil.
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Victor Archibong video clip discussing America's foreign debt.
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Bill Blum video clip with insight on Latin American overthrows.
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Bill Blum video clip on Iran as a war of agression.
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Bill Blum video clip on possible war with Iran and the reason behind it.
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Max Carter video clip about what a superpower is.
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Noam Chomsky video clip discusses US democracy.
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Noam Chomsky video clip about the link between Iraq and al Qaeda
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Noam Chomsky video clip takes a look at George W. Bush's messianic mission.
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Noam Chomsky video clip on immigration and Operation Gatekeeper.
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Noam Chomsky video clip examining the reality of our "liberating Iraq."
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Noam Chomsky video clip defining American Exceptionalism.
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Michel Chossudovsky video clip talking about the IMF and World Bank and their role in the world.
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Congressman Howard Coble video clip featuring an argument that we were right in removing Sadam Hussein.
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Miriam Cooke video clip on justification for establishing military bases around the world.
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Adriana Cortés-Jiménez Video Clip about the wall between the US & Mexico and its effectiveness.
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Henry Frye Video Clip gives advice on fighting tyranny.
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Robert Griffiths Video Clip speaking about our policy of regime change in the United States.
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Robert Griffiths Video Clip on global perception of the United States and their selective application of the regime change policy.
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Robert Griffiths Video Clip opposing the United States operating outside of international as well as in violation of civil liberties.
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Robert Griffiths Video Clip on civil liberties.
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Jeff Jones talks about Operation Ajax, the infamous case where the CIA overthrew a friendly democratically elected government that dared to nationalize the oil.
You make us proud! Thank you for sharing the bones of this incredible undertaking. My thoughts and prayers be with you as you fly to LA and participate in the seminars and festivals.
Thank you for undertaking a work of this importance. My best to all of your production people and your family.
Bob S, Suwanee, GA
I will be thinking about you and wish you and this stroke of genius of a film the very best. What an incredible array of spokespeople. What better time then now for this film to be recognized and seen by all.
Thank you and your team for all your hard work,
Kathe L, Greensboro, NC
You deserved the Director’s Award for bravery for producing this controversial film about the American Military Industrial Complex. Films like "Superpower" are needed today.
Congratulations on your other nominations and awards as well.
Robert L, Hollywood, CA
We are impressed how professional the video was. There were a few things I learned that I didn't know. Christy, did an outstanding job of narrator. The video flowed smoothly. We felt you made your points well.
Bob and Jean T, Winter Park, FL
The movie was a real eye opener. I never learned this in high school. Go figure.
April P, Summerfield, NC
It's obvious a lot of work went into the making of "Superpower". Its time we had a film that tells the truth and challenges the system.
Ellen S, Los Angeles, CA
"Superpower" is a frightening film because it reveals truths the public either doesn't know or doesn't want to hear. I just hope the powers-that-be don't do something to block this from being released.
Merle D, NYC
This film put history into perspective in a different light than I ever learned in school. I was particularly disturbed by the testimony from Mahar Arar. The United States should not be involved with rendition or torture. Maybe "Superpower" will encourage viewers to take action and make a change.
Richard J, Redmond, WA
Superpower Host and Voice-Overs - Christy Johnson
Christy Johnson. Ms. Johnson is a versatile actress who has been in feature movies, short films, music videos, numerous musical theatre and straight theatre productions, and in student films.
Christy earned an MA in Liberal Studies and a BA in Theatre UNCG. She was in the Gold Madrigals which was the featured choir in two European tours; performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City; was an American Idol On-Line winner; Who's Who Listing; Chancellor’s List; Dean’s List; earned the Girl Scout Gold Award; lead singer for Dreamkiller, which toured the east Coast and released a CD of original songs; Miss Teen Greensboro First Runner-Up 2001; Miss Junior Greensboro 2003. Her other activities include: lettered on her high school track team – won the state championship; Track and Field Junior Olympics; State Games Gold Medalist; National Quad Speed Skating Gold Medalist and Set a new National Record for the 1000 Meter; National Karate Junior Olympics Gold Medalist.
Dr. Victor Archibong is from Nigeria, Africa. He teaches Comparative politics, African politics, and genocide at Greensboro College. In Superpower he discusses war, genocide, and US involvement in world affairs, as well as world opinion about the US government and American citizens.
Bill Blum is an American author, and critic of United States Foreign Policy. In Superpower; he relates his first-hand knowledge about the inner workings of government and warns of its dangers. A former State Department employee, he left the organization in 1967 due to his opposition to the Vietnam War. From 1972 to 1973 Blum was stationed in Chile, where he reported on the Allende government's "socialist experiment". In the mid-1970's, he worked in London with ex-CIA agent Philip Agee and his associates. Agee wrote a critique of CIA operations in his book, "Inside the Company: CIA Diary". There was much controversy that arose from disclosing names of agents, but more importantly, there was revelation at underhanded government activities. Blum was also controversial as the founder and editor of the "Washington Free Press", one of the many newspapers in the loosely organized U.S. underground press in the 1960s and 1970s that opposed the Vietnam War. Blum devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots.
Dr. Deena Burris is a Visiting Instructor of Management at Guilford College. She teaches Business Economics, and Global Perspectives. In Superpower Burris discusses global hegemony of the US in world trade and economic stability in various global regions, and problems with NAFTA and CAFTA.
Dr. Max Carter is the Director of the Friends Center, Campus Ministry Coordinator, and Director of Quaker Studies at Guilford College. He was raised in a Quaker farming community in Indiana, declared his conscientious objection to war to his draft board and performed alternative service at the Friends Schools in Ramallah, Palestine. Since that exposure to the conflict in the Middle East, he has returned regularly to the region with groups to volunteer at the Friends Schools and learn from the Israeli and Palestinian peace communities. Carter has a B.A. in German from Ball State; a Master of Ministry from the Earlham School of Religion; and a Ph.D. in American Religious History from Temple University. He has traveled in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza, the West Bank, Palestine, and Israel. In Superpower Carter explains that after speaking with heads of state and many locals in the region, he believes US intervention into Iraq was predictably disastrous. It exacerbated the problems there and increased the conflict. He states that US involvement in Iraq has destabilized the moderate government and caused great hardship for the people there. Carter believes that the current US administration has callously used the war in Iraq to further their own political gain.
Dr. Noam Chomsky is an Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at MIT; political analyst of US foreign policies and military interventionism; and an author. Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980 - 1992 time period. He became prominent as a war-tax protester in 1967 after being arrested with Norman Mailer as part of the protest leaders known as the "Boston 5". In Superpower Chomsky states on camera that the people of the US are the freest in the world but the most indoctrinated. Chomsky discusses the control and effect of media as well as some of the suppressed actions and interventions by the US on foreign governments.
Dr. Michel Chossudovsky is a professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He has taught as visiting professor at academic institutions in Western Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. He has also acted as economic adviser to governments of developing countries, and has worked as a consultant for international organizations including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank, the United Nations African Institute for for Economic Development and Planning (AIEDEP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). In 1999, Chossudovsky joined the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research as an adviser. Chossudovsky is past president of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He is a member of research organizations that include the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER), the Geopolitical Drug Watch (OGD)(Paris), and the International People's; Health Council (IPHC). He is an active member of the anti-war movement in Canada. Chossudovsky is editor for the Center for Research on Globalization. He has written several books that address climate change weapons, economic development, globalization, world economy, and international financial institutions. In Superpower Chossudovsky discussed the topics from his research and how power can and has been abused, causing economic instability globally.
Congressman Howard Coble represents the 6th District of North Carolina. He is the senior member on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. The United States Chamber of Commerce presented Representative Howard Coble (R-NC-6) with its annual "Spirit of Enterprise" award for his strong voting record on critical business issues in the second session of the 109th Congress. In Superpower Congressman Coble defends the Patriot Act but holds that the American people need to safeguard their liberties against terrorism. He believes that the American people are the most generous of people and he is proud to be an American citizen.
Dr. Miriam Cooke teaches Literature on Middle East Women, Islamic feminists at Duke University. She received the dubious honor of being on the 100 Most Dangerous Professors List for advocating for Islamic women. In Superpower Cooke discusses women's rights in the Middle East, how western pop culture influences people in the that region, disinformation by the US media about US military interventionism in the Middle East, and how the people in the Middle East are keenly aware of agendas by the US government.
Adriana Cortés-Jiménez is the Directora General de Fundación Comunitaria Del Bajío, in Irapuato, México. In Superpower she talks about immigration, and the problems brought about by NAFTA. The Foundation, formally came into being in October 1997, when the Guanajuato State Government, led by Governor Fox, inspired a group of local business leaders to create a community foundation to raise funds to help Greater Irapuato. The region around Irapuato had benefited from the rapid development of commercial fruit and vegetable production and the growth of industrial and clothing assembly (maquiladora) plants. However, there was concern that more people living at or near the poverty line would detriment the whole community. The Foundation was fortunate to obtain the services of Adriana Cortés-Jiménez, a long-term resident of Irapuato and civil society leader, as the Executive Director. The Synergos Institute has been invited to support the new foundation as part of the efforts to nurture new approaches to community philanthropy throughout Mexico.
Justice Henry E. Frye holds an impressive list of firsts for the state. In 1968 he became the first African-American to serve in the North Carolina House of Representatives in the Twentieth Century. He later gained a seat in the North Carolina Senate. In 1983, Frye became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Then in September 1999, he was appointed by Governor Jim Hunt to serve as the first African-American Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. In Superpower Justice Frye implores citizens to know the Constitution and be active participants in our political and judicial systems.
Dr. Robert J. Griffiths is an Associate Professor in Political Science at UNCG. He teaches comparative and international politics, and civil-military relations. His specialty is in comparative politics of Africa, and in particular, South Africa. In Superpower Griffiths comments on US military interventionism and the struggle for independence in third world countries.
Dr. Tadeusz Grygier is an Emeritus Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. He was an attorney who became a political prisoner and a survivor of the Soviet Archipelago Gulag. He now teaches Criminology, Total Domination, Totalitarian Panopticon and Bio-Power Politics (regulations of life such as forced population control, genocide, euthanasia), and Global Movement Dynamics. In Superpower Grygier discusses the ethics of rendition in comparison to Stalin's tactics.
Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Eric L. Haney served for more than 20 years, in the Army's most demanding combat units as a Combat Infantryman, Ranger and ultimately a founding member of the Army's super-secret counter-terrorist arm, Delta Force. In Superpower Haney discusses many issues regarding military interventionism, ethics, and the effects US foreign policies have had on the rest of the world. Haney is the author of Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counter-terrorist Unit. The CBS series "The Unit" is that story brought to life.
Dr. Katy Harriger Chair of the Dept. of Political Science at Wake Forest University. She is also Director of the university's Teaching and Learning Center. Her current research focuses on American constitutional law and the Independent Counsel Statute. She has written widely about American governance and government ethics. Dr. Harriger is presently teaching a seminar that includes presidential wartime powers and the separation of powers. In Superpower Harriger warns about the expansion of presidential powers in the guise if national security or alleged emergencies to justify a broadened exercise of power.
Jack Hoffmann; was one of the "Transport Kinders" from the WWII Holocaust, and is a world history expert who gives lectures on historical and current events. In Superpower Hoffmann talks about first world countries not preventing genocide in the 40's or now, citing the Albanian genocide, the Darfur genocide, oil motives by the US and Great Britain, and the problems with global hegemony and military dominance.
Dr. Ole Holsti is with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and Duke University. In Superpower Holsti talks about public opinion and US foreign policy, Transnational Threats, Military Strategies, Armed Conflict, and Security Implications. Dr. Holsti was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and he was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1981-82. Holsti contends that the September 11 terrorist attacks resulted in almost universal outpourings of sympathy and support for the U.S. But in the five years since then, the public in most countries, including America's closest allies, have become highly critical of the U.S., some of its institutions and, most especially, of its foreign policies. He said the negative opinions can largely be traced to the war in Iraq. "Most publics abroad believe that U.S. pays little or no attention to the vital interests of other countries, and that the war in Iraq is a diversion from, rather than a contribution to, defeating terrorist organizations,". International surveys reveal a few bright spots, including favorable opinions of the American people, economic opportunities in this country, and American science and technology. Holsti's forthcoming book focuses on the way people abroad view the U.S., and why they hold these views.
Dr. Ole Holsti's famous father was, Eino Rudolf Waldemar Holsti, who was first Foreign Minister of Finland after the War, a member of the Finnish Parliament; Diplomatic Representative in London; President of the Finnish Delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference; Minister of Foreign Affairs; represented Finland in the Baltic Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Estonia and Latvia; Permanent Delegate tot he League of Nations and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Switzerland; Finnish delegate at all Assemblies of the League of Nations; served on many commissions and committees of the League for disarmament and security problems; represented Finland at the world Disarmament Conference in Geneva; served as vice-president of the third commission of the Assembly of the League in 1922 and as its President in 1937. He was the representative of his government at the conference of the Pan-European Union; Minister of Foreign Affairs; represented his country in all the conferences of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the North European States; represented the President of Finland at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in London; President of the Finnish Delegation to the Tercentenary Festivals in Delaware and Pennsylvania. He came to the United States and became acting professor of political science at Stanford.
Dr. Holsti's daughter, Malawi, joined the Peace Corps. Her photo with several children she met is featured in the film.
Dr. Chalmers A. Johnson is an author and Professor Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. Johnson was featured in the Eugene Jarecki-directed film "Why We Fight", which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He has written numerous books including, most recently, three examinations of the consequences of "American Empire", "Blowback", "The Sorrows of Empire", and "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic". In Superpower Johnson states the enforcement of American hegemony over the world constitutes a new form of global empire. Whereas traditional empires maintained control over subject peoples via colonies, since World War II the US has developed a vast system of hundreds of military bases around the world where it has strategic interests. A long-time "Cold Warrior", Johnson experienced a political awakening after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, noting that instead of demobilizing its massive armed forces, the U.S. accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political. The result of this militarism (as distinct from actual domestic defense) is more terrorism against the US and its allies, the loss of core democratic values at home, and an eventual disaster for the American economy.
Dr. Jeff W. Jones is a professor at UNCG where he teaches Contemporary World History since 1945: Political, social, and economic forces affecting Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. In Superpower Jones discusses issues including the Cold War, imperialism, nationalism, terrorism, World War II, and US hegemony. Dr. Jones believes that the US government allowed Pearl Harbor to occur and dropped the bombs on Japan not to end the war but to flex our muscle to the world, and in particular, the USSR, that we are the number one superpower. Jones explains the unnecessary manufactured war in Kosovo as a justification for NATO.
Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist, pacifist, three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and one of the founders of Voices for Creative Non-Violence. In 1988 she was sentenced to one year in prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites. Kelly served nine months of the sentence in Lexington KY maximum security prison. She has taught in Chicago area community colleges and high schools since 1974. From 1980 through 1986 Kelly taught at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. She is active with the Catholic Worker Movement, and as a pacifist and war tax refuser, has refused payment of all Federal income tax for 25 years. Kelly helped organize and participated in nonviolent direct action teams in Haiti in the summer of 1994, Bosnia in August, 1993 and December, 1992, and Iraq with the Gulf Peace Team in 1991. In April of 2002, she was among the first internationals to visit the Jenin camp in the Occupied West Bank. In the spring of 2004, she served three months at Pekin federal prison for crossing the line as part of an ongoing effort to close an army military combat training school at Fort Benning, GA. In Superpower Kelly discusses the effects of US sanctions in Iraq, the quest for oil, and activism.
Dr. Sergei Khrushchev is a professor at the Watson Institute of International Studies at Brown University. His father, Nikita Khrushchev, was First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and played a role in the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In Superpower Khrushchev discusses world opinion of US foreign policy, and provides an incite into the struggle for power within the USSR, torture, ethics, and US militarism.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Karen U. Kwiatkowski is a teacher and has become a noted critic of the U.S. government's involvement in Iraq since her retirement. In Superpower Kwiatkowski worked in the Near East South Asia directorate at the Department of Defense and observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans. She offers insider knowledge in denouncing a corrupt political influence on the course of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. She has said that she was the anonymous source used by Warren Strobel and Seymour Hersh in their respective exposés of pre-war intelligence. Kwiatkowski was interviewed in the 2005 documentary, "Why We Fight".
Kathe Latham is a long time activist in peace and social justice issues from the anti-Vietnam war movement and anti-apartheid movement, to women’s and labor struggles in the S.F. Bay Area of California. She joined thousands of women breaking into male job trusts in the late 70’s and 80’s and played an active role in creating cross craft solidarity between railroad workers on the Southern Pacific line. Most recently she has been active in various local peace movements in Greensboro, N.C. and has been instrumental in creating local community projects such as a community-wide War and Peace film series, dialogue series and conversation cafes. She is currently a doctoral candidate at UNCG in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. Her research focuses on addressing the obstacles as well as opportunities in revitalizing the commons, creating stronger communities of solidarity, trust, mutual respect and sustainability. She was organizer for Operation Democracy Council with MoveOn.Org. In Superpower Latham discusses the development of corporations as the leading superpowers in todays' world.
Dr. Sarah K. Lischer is with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and is a professor at Wake Forest University where she teaches courses on International Military Intervention, including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Ethics on Laws of War; The Conflicts in Darfur and Sudan; Humanitarian Aid; Human Rights and the Military; Child Soldiers; Genocide; and Refugees and International Security. In Superpower Lischer discusses the Theory of the Just War, Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, and military ethics. She has written the book, "Sanctuaries: Refugees Camps, Civil War, And The Dilemma Of Humanitarian Aid."
Captain (Ret.) Rich May is with Center for Defense Information. He served in the Army in a variety of leadership positions and locations. He participated in ":Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. He worked on independent archival research at the National Archives, concentrating on the changing relationship between the United States and Iraq with a focus on external events as the driving force behind the evolving perceptions of one another. Superpower May presents insightful information on utilizing contractors. May is a recipient of two Bronze Stars and several other military awards.
Dr. April Najjaj is a professor at Greensboro College where she teaches about Middle East, Islam, Women, and the Israeli Wall. Superpower Najjaj discusses historical perspective, the mainstream media bias, and how the US is perceived by people in the Middle East. Najjaj converted to Islam when she married her husband, from whom she is now divorced. She remained true to her faith and takes students each summer to the Holy Lands to see the area from a Muslim perspective.
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is a former judge and now an analyst for Fox News Channel. Napolitano started on the channel in 1998, and currently serves as the network's senior judicial analyst, commenting on most legal news and trials. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he was a founding member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, and Notre Dame Law School. Napolitano was a Superior Court judge in New Jersey from 1987 to 1995, becoming New Jersey's youngest life-tenured judge. He also served as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law for eleven years. In Superpower Napolitano speaks about the Patriot Act, eroding civil liberties, the first and fourth amendments, and national security. In 2006, Napolitano wrote "The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land". His new book, " Nation of Sheep", was released in October 2007. In 2004, he wrote the book "Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks its Own Laws", a criticism of the American system of justice.
Dr. Morgan Reynolds was a Professor Emeritus in Economics at Texas A&M, now retired. He is the former Chief Economist for the US Department of Labor, and the former Director of the Criminal Justice Center National Center for Policy Analysis in Washington, DC. Reynolds was the first prominent government official to publicly claim that 9/11 was an inside job. He is member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. In Superpower Reynolds discusses economic manipulation of world trade by transnational corporations and US quest for hegemony that hurts third world nations, the false flag phenomenon, and controlled demolition at ground zero. He also has written several controversial books contending that minimum wage laws exacerbate unemployment and that labor unions have had a negative effect on the US economy.
Jennifer Rudinger, J.D. received her law degree from The Ohio State University College of Law. She served as the Executive Director of the Alaska Civil Liberties Union, and after 9/11, she worked with elected officials in finding the appropriate balance between keeping America safe and preserving individual liberties and privacy. In Superpower Rudinger illuminates the events that transpired before the vote for the Patriot Act, and her fear that the US Constitution and civil rights are in jeopardy. Rudinger moved to Raleigh in May 2004 to serve as the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and vows never to leave again.
Mark Rudd was an influential American revolutionary organizer and an anti-war activist. By 1968 Rudd became a leader of the Columbia University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and led a campus demonstration that was imitated and spread throughout the nation. He was a founding member of The Weathermen, who set out to overthrow the government due to their belief of the criminality of the government's actions in Vietnam and in persecuting the Black Panthers. For seven years he and his wife went underground working menial jobs to avoid being arrested. When he finally turned himself in many charges were dropped and he served community service and probation on minor charges of trespass and disturbing the peace. In Superpower Rudd stated that while he believes the group's motivation, to end the Vietnam War was justified, violence gives the government an excuse to undermine the group and what it is trying to accomplish. He feels that while the SDS and Weather Underground were correct in their understanding of the history of United States imperialism, they were wrong in believing it was truly a revolutionary time and the violent actions performed in pursuit of the goal of its overthrow were wrong. Rudd became a professor of mathematics at a community college in New Mexico. He is now retired. He was interviewed in the 2002 documentary, "The Weather Underground".
Dr. Harvey Sapolsky is a Professor of Public Policy and Organization, and recently retired from teaching political science and directing the MIT Security Studies Program. In the defense field he has served as a consultant and panel member for: the Commission on Government Procurement; the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Office of Naval Research; the Naval War College; the U. S. Army; Draper Laboratory; the RAND Corporation; John Hopkins; Applied Physics Laboratory; the National Research Council; and the Department of Energy. His current research focuses on three main areas: U. S. defense politics including especially inter-service and civil/military relations; the impact of casualties on the use of force; weapon acquisition policies, military innovation, and the structure and performance of defense industries. In Superpower Sapolsky discusses US sanctions in Iraq, why we were there, and the extent of US military power.
Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, Casey Sheehan, was killed during his service in the Iraq War. In Superpower Sheehan questions government intrusion into the lives of citizens with unwarranted searches, invasions of privacy, and problems arising from the invasion of Iraq. She was one of the nine founding members of Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization created in January 2005 that seeks to end the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Dave Wiggins, MD was a former Distinguished Graduate of West Point, who tried to resign his commission as Captain in protest of the invasion of Panama and Grenada, but his resignation request was refused. He was then sent to the Middle East prior to the Gulf War. As a doctor he was not in any immediate danger, but further participation in the military was against his conscience, and he refused to serve. He took off his uniform down to his underwear and blocked military traffic in King Khalisd Military City on the front lines, for which he was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged. He was the initiator of the "Veterans Call to Conscience Project". In Superpower Wiggins raises issues of eroding civil liberties and questions governmental leadership.
MORE AWESOME FILMS:
Tammuz, dir. by Nir Toib: On the morning of June 7th, 1981, eight Israeli pilots set out on a suicide mission targeting at the Iraqi nuclear reactor: 'Tammuz'. A dramatic, spellbinding, political â.. social and historical film which almost mirrors what is happening today with Iran. Tammuz reveals the political and human machinations that preceded the decision to attack the reactor; the moral dilemmas and the considerations for and against.
Color Of Truth, dir. by Frederick & Lucy Smith: Based on a true story during World War II, a Jewish widow begs her former lover, now a soldier in Hitler's army, to save her family from a Nazi concentration camp. His fear of the SS forces her to reveal a momentous secret which sets them each on a journey which changes their lives irrevocably. She volunteers to work as a nurse in the Birkenau hospital blocks, trying to search for her family without being discovered, only to be faced with a frightening moment of truth during a desperate escape attempt.
Superpower, dir. by Barbara-Anne Steegmuller:The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.' ~Harry S. Truman The United States emerged from World War II with its industrial base still intact and the only nation with the atomic bomb. It was without question the most powerful country on earth. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it's had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of SUPERPOWER. Superpower goes behind the scenes of America's national security apparatus and military actions to illustrate the US quest for global dominance through economic and military strategy that is exposed through review of historical events, personal interviews, and analysis of US foreign policy. Superpower presents a view of US foreign policy, which lies in stark contrast to that depicted by corporate media, popular pundits, and US heads of state. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has emerged as the preeminent superpower of the world. What was done with this unprecedented power, the effects it's had on our Republic and the rest of the world is the story of SUPERPOWER.
Sebastian's Vodoo, dir. by Joaquin Baldwin: This 4 minute short is so awesome, that I'm not even going to try and describe it. The filmmaker synposis: A voodoo doll must find the courage to save his friends from being pinned to death. This is about 1/100 of how awesome this short is.
The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato's Allegory in Clay, dir. by Michael Ramsey: An excerpt from Plato's Republic, the 'Allegory of the Cave' is a classic commentary on the human condition. We have adapted and brought it to life by shooting over 4,000 still photographs of John Grigsby's wonderful claymation. A 3 minute short that 2 judges spent 30 minutes discussing after the film finished.
Orion Slave Girls Must Die, dir. by Eric Kallevig: Fanboy or Fratboy? There can be only one. This is the voyage of Jules and Matt, best friends whose lives are devoted to Star Trekâ.¦and devoid of girls. When Matt falls for Stacey, an alluring sorority girl, he ashamedly hides his love of Trek to join a fraternity. Outraged, Jules must take drastic measures to bring Matt back to the Trekkie fold.
Bushwacker, dir. by Kal Goudey: A wacky clay animated comedy adventure in which a cowboy president searches the caves in Afghanistan for the worlds most wanted fugitive. A surprise awaits him when he picks the wrong cave ending in near disaster. Live coverage, by an annoying reporter of the event, is being watched by an unlikely viewer who in turn is terrorized in his apartment by a pizza and beer stealing mouse. The two main characters face their own frustrations and setbacks as new obstacles arise. Full of symbolism, political humor and comic events, make this animated short a must see.
Donut Heaven dir. by Annetta Marion,: Phoebe, a chain-smoking daughter who is thoroughly fed up with her obese mother's penchant for Jesus and overeating, comes up with an ingenious way to help her mother and herself. Her idea is a simple bet; for every ten pounds that mom drops, Phoebe will give up one day of the week smoking. Even though the rules of the bet are cut and dry, the changes Phoebe and her mother Dolores go through are quite unexpected and reveal the deep, universal bond that parents and children have - whether they like it or not. Using prosthetics to create a significant weight loss with Dolores, 'Donut Heaven' is a familiar and funny story that people will connect to, especially mothers and daughters.
Absolute Zero, dir. by Alan Woodruff : A train makes its way through the countryside toward the city. Part of its load is a refrigerated wagon used for transporting meat to the markets. Inside the otherwise empty wagon, a man keeps a grim log on the wall. a first-hand account of death by freezing. Only later it is discovered that the refrigeration unit wasn't operating. The temperature in the wagon never fell below 68F yet the man dutifully manifests, and records, the symptoms of hypothermia as he dies a needless, painful death. The story is told using a combination of archival and imagined material to speculate on the man's final hours.
The Big Question: by Vince DiPersio, 62 minutes A troubled man bursts into your child's schoolhouse. Without warning, he chases out all the boys and lines the girls up. Then he begins to shoot them one by one. For decades your people's backs have been broken by the oppressive yoke of Apartheid. Suddenly, the tables are turned and you and your friends are in power. Your own mother is brutally raped and slain by a random burglar. What would you do? Could you forgive? Should you forgive?
August Sun Film & TV Festival announces their award winners for 2008.
Festival goers and filmmakers enjoyed screenings at The Crest Theatre in Westwood, voted #1 interior by the LA Times, and wonderful seminars down the street at Bel Air Camera.
Seminar speakers included Legendary Publicist/Talent Manager Joe Sutton, 3 time Oscar Nominated Director Vince DiPersio, Emmy Award Winning Writer Russ Woody, Eric Haney Executive Producer of NBC.s .The Unit., Director John Stecenko .Legend of Bloody Mary., Talent Manager Caron Feldman, and Screenplay Gurus Nancy Sexton and Alon Bar.
The award ceremony was held last at Sinigual Restaurant in Beverly
Hills hosted by Festival Director Robert J. Locke, and awards presented
to the filmmakers by the beautiful actress Brooke Lewis. The People.s
Party Band provided the music, and after the ceremony the band played
on until the wee hours of the night. Public Relations by Dawne Marrie for
For the Grand Peace Award, it was a very difficult decision. Which film
best promotes World Peace?
Does a short film about self sacrifice, or a feature documentary about
Forgiveness, or a documentary about Israeli Top Gun Pilots that destroy a
nuclear weapon from a Hostile Nation, or a documentary about the US
military industrial complex, or a feature about a Jewish woman and a
Nazi Soldier who had a son that gets sent to a concentration camp and his
mother poses as a nurse to help set him free.
The Grand Peace Award
Sebastian.s Vodoo Directed by Joaquin Baldwin
The August Sun Productions Production deal
I Quit by Hope Pagano
The Grand Jury Award and Best Documentary Short Form
The Big Question Directed by Vince DiPersio
Director.s Awards for Debut filmmaker
Color of Truth Directors Lucy and Fred Smith
Director.s award for Bravery for producing the controversial film
about the American Military Industrial Complex
SuperPower Directed by Barbara-Anne Steegmuller.
Best Feature Documentary
Tammuz Directed by Nir Toib.
Best Animation Film
Sebastian.s Vodoo Directed by Joaquin Baldwin,
Best Short Film Comedy
Orion Slave Girls Must Die Directed by Eric Kallevig
Best Short Film Drama
The Cave Directed by Tim Schultz.
Best Screenplay Knuckleballer by Michael Murphy
Best TV Pilot Comedy I Quit by Hope Pagano.
Best TV Pilot Comedy Tickle Me Silly dir. by Miguel Martinez-Joffre
Best TV Pilot Dramedy Donut Heaven dir. by Annetta Marion
Best TV Pilot Script Drama Law Review by Stephanie Guyon
Best TV Pilot Script Comedy In-Laws & Outlaws by Louis Farley
Best TV Pilot Script Drama Runner-up
Charlotte's Webs by Britt Kazmac
Best Short Film Drama Runner-up Absolute Zero by Alan Woodruff
Best Short Film Comedy Runner-up Bushwacker dir. by Kal Goudey
Honorable Mention Screenplay Child of the Sea by Andrew Coffin
Honorable Mention Screenplay Sanguis Christi (Blood of Christ) by John Schneider
Honorable Mention Screenplay The Ace of Aces by Geoffrey Breuder
Honorable Mention Screenplay Journal of a Dinka Boy by Jomo Merritt
Best Actor John Amedro Color Of Truth
Best Actress Hilary Holmes Orion Slave Girls Must Die