From a small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, a raw and powerful documentary WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, their families, and their town. At its heart a story about growing up, the film is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars, where they come from, and their struggles when they return and try to fit back into their previous daily routines. On the podcast, HEATHER COURTNEY, producer/director of the documentary, is joined by DOMINIC FREDIANELLI, one of the young veterans she follows in the film.
Heather Courtney has directed and produced several documentary films including award-winners LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE and LOS TRABAJADORES. She was recently named one of Film Independent’s Top 10 Filmmakers to Watch. LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE was the Closing Night film at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2006. LOS TRABAJADORES won the Audience Award at SXSW and the International Documentary Association David Wolper award. She spent eight years writing and photographing for the United Nations and several refugee and immigrant rights organizations, including in the Rwandan refugee camps after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Just a quick reminder that the Indie Spirit Award-nominated film WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM is now available on DVD, and if you order today, you’ll get it by Christmas!
You can go to http://www.wheresoldierscomefrom.com/dvd.php or see info below for more info on ordering, to read some reviews and to watch the trailer.
ELISE WHITAKER, Action Committee, OccupyLA
DAVID DeGRAW, OWSnews.org, AmpedStatus.com
TODD GITLIN, The Sixties; Letters to a Young Activist
SARAH VAN GELDER, YES magazine,
editor, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
I have invited four guests to have a conversation about the movement referred to as the Occcupy movement, the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the 99% movement. From a group of people encamping in New York city September 17th, to affiliated actions or camps in 900 cities in the US and the world, through the removal of most of the physical camps — where do we stand now, where do we go from here?
I will ask for a brief update of status reports from around the country and then I want to explore the impact so far, its meaning, its prospects, its challenges and possibilities. How does OWS/99% interact with other movements and other political entities, including the 2012 elections and the Democratic party? How much of our hopes can we fulfill through this movement? How wide can it be? How far can it go? And what will it demand of us?
SARAH VAN GELDER is co-founder and Executive Editor of YES! Magazine and YesMagazine.org. She was a television and radio producer, a community organizer, founder of a cooperative of food co-ops, and a founding board member and resident of Winslow Cohousing. She is editor with the staff of YES Magazine of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement.
TODD GITLIN, a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University, holds degrees from Harvard University, University of Michigan, and UC Berkeley (sociology). Giltin was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society in 1963-64, and is the author of fourteen books, including, and Letters to a Young Activist; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; aND The Whole World Is Watching. He gave three lectures on media, revolutions, and democracy as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo between March 23 and 29 of this year.
DAVID DeGRAW is an investigative journalist, founder and editor of AmpedStatus.com, as well as OWSnews.org, formerly editorial director of MediaChannel.org, and author of The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States. In DeGraw’s expanded “reports” he piles on (amply footnoted) data with a relentless fury that makes a reader want to cry uncle. Then he connects the dots, building a narrative that makes clear “uncle” is not an option. DeGraw’s challenge: Will we the people come together to take on our common enemies – the economic elites who have stolen our money, our media, and our democracy – before they steal our future?”
Some bad news:
In 2008 more than 50% of all US harvested cropland grew only two crops – corn and soybeans and more than 40% of the food calories consumed worldwide came from just three crops: wheat, corn and rice.
30% of Detroit residents receive food stamps, but 92% of Detroit’s food stamp retailers offer few or no fresh fruit or vegetables.
The average plate of food eaten in our homes or restaurants travels 1,500 miles from where the food is grown. Our food system consumes 10.3 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1.4 calories of food energy.”
And some good news:
There are now 8000 farm to school programs across the US. Eight years ago there were only 4. There are now 6000 farmers’ markets in the US three times as many as in 1995. 330 hospitals in the US and Canada have pledged to purchase food that is grown according to Fair Food principles.
In recent years a number of books and films have documented the dangers of our current food system, and a number of those have been featured on Free forum. Just as you can’t alter the course of climate change by simply switching to efficient light bulbs, today’s guests believe that you can’t fix the broken food system by simply growing a backyard garden. It requires redesigning our food system.
My first guest, ORAN HESTERMAN has a new book FAIR FOOD, a guide to changing not only what we eat, but how our food is grown, packaged, delivered, marketed and sold. Hesterman opens the book talking about Detroit, Michigan, an unlikely beacon of hope in the fight for fair food.
Prior to starting the Fair Food Network, where he is President & CEO, ORAN HESTERMAN was the inaugural president of Fair Food Foundation, leading their sustainable food systems programs. Before that, he researched and taught in the crop and soil sciences department at Michigan State University in East Lansing, and for more than 15 years he co-led the Integrated Farming Systems and Food and Society Programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, during which time the Foundation seeded the local food systems movement with over $200 million. FAIR FOOD is his first book.
My second guest LEILA CONNERS, a founder of Tree Media in Santa Monica, is a producer of URBAN ROOTS, a documentary on the food revolution taking place in Detroit. Directed by Detroit-native Mark McInnis the film tells the powerful story of a group of dedicated Detroiters working tirelessly to fulfill their vision for locally-grown, sustainably farmed food in a city where people — as in much of the county — have found themselves cut off from real food and limited to lifeless offerings of fast food chains, mini-marts, and grocery stores stocked with processed food from thousands of miles away.
LEILA CONNERS is Founder and President of Tree Media Group. Conners is director, producer, and writer on THE 11TH HOUR, as well as the short films “Global Warning” and “Water Planet” (all with Leonardo DiCaprio). She was Associate Editor at New Perspectives Quarterly and Global Viewpoint, focusing on international politics and social issues. She is producer of URBAN ROOTS.
fairfoodbook.org, fairfoodnetwork.org, urbanrootsamerica.com, treemedia.com