Peace Corps Film Screenings and Notes
By Erica Burman on Friday, September 16th, 2011
From the earliest PSAs to Volunteers, film has been an important medium for telling the Peace Corps story. Next week, as part of the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary celebrations, several screenings will take place in Washington, DC.
September 20, 2011 7:30 pm SAVING THE WORLD — CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS OF THE PEACE CORPS
Whoever saves one life saves the entire world. – The Talmud
In 1961, the first Peace Corps volunteers set out to all corners of the world, determined to make a difference village by village, person by person. On the eve of the Corps’ 50th anniversary celebration in the nation’s capital, join us as three returned Volunteers talk about and present video clips related to their Peace Corps experiences and the lasting impact on their lives.
Speakers and films to be excerpted:
- Phil Lilienthal: My Friend with AIDS Is Still My Friend
Founder/CEO, Global Camps Africa. Peace Corps service in Africa.
- Allen Mondell: Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience Writer, producer and director. Peace Corps service in West Africa.
- Jill Vickers, Once in Afghanistan
Documentary filmmaker and teacher. Peace Corps service in Afghanistan.
Presented by the Washington Jewish Film Festival Year-Round Program. In cooperation with the National Peace Corps Association.
Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater
District of Columbia Jewish Community Center
Sixteenth Street NW at Q Street
FREE, reservations strongly recommended at www.washington dcjcc.org/film
September 22, 2011 6:30-10:00 pm ALBERT SCHWEITZER, MY LIFE IS MY ARGUMENT
The Albert Schweitzer Institute won a regional Emmy Award in the informational/instructional category for the documentary “Schweitzer: My Life Is My Argument” from the Boston/New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences May 10. David Ives, executive director of the institute, produced the documentary, which includes an interview with former President Jimmy Carter. Liam O’Brien, professor of media production, directed and wrote it. Rebecca Abbott, professor of communications, was videographer and editor.
Schweitzer was a philosopher and humanitarian who received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize. “This documentary is the first attempt since 1957 to revisit the thoughts and ideas of Albert Schweitzer using the technological tools of today,” Ives said. “It’s also an attempt to make Schweitzer understandable to the youth of today using a medium through which they are used to receiving and processing information.”
Screening at a reception hosted by Gabon Ambassador Carlos Victor Boungou with film producer, Liam O’Brien.
Embassy of The Gabonese Republic
1630 Connecticut Ave NW 7th floor
(just south of “R” Street NW in Dupont Circle)
September 23, 2011 1:30 – 3:30 pm ONE LIFE FOR ANOTHER
One Life For Another tells the story of Donna Drewiske, a 21-year-old woman who joined the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Panama in 1962. Stationed in the small village of Lidice, she provided the native people with health care, helped build new housing, and improved the sanitation of the community. After the Panama Canal Riots of 1964 broke out, a caravan of rioters visited the village with the sole intention of killing her. However, before the rioters could complete their mission, the villagers formed a human wall around Donna’s house, defending her in return for her many months of service to them. 45 years later, she returned to Panama to search for the men and women who saved her life and thank them for their acts of courage. One Life For Another is directed, shot, and edited by Donna’s son, Zach Litwack.
Screening will take place during the Panama Country Update
PCPF Contact: John Allensworth, Veraguas@aol.com, 770-985-2113
- RPCV filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker’s film Bush League is a character driven ethnographic survey of a tiny village in Northern Malawi. Intimate dramas unfold in the lives of four villagers. A central character of the film is a Peace Corps Volunteer. Cy is very interested in distributing the film to the RPCV community at large and would be happy to provide copies to any groups or individuals that would like to screen it in their communities or homes. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Filmmakers Robert Ryan and Tom Keith have spent the better part of the last 2 years producing a documentary film about the Peace Corps experience, titled Walking on the Leaves. This summer they wrapped up most of the principal photography, with shoots in the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Mali. They’ve now moved into the editing phase, wading through mountains of footage to come up with the best narrative. At this stage, the film will be divided between “history/origins/archival” stories (interviews with Moyers, Wofford, Josephson, Kennedy, etc.,) and the personal stories of four individuals whose lives have been greatly impacted in some way by Peace Corps service. (One of the “personal” stories they’re featuring is of the Radley family, and Gordon Radley’s quest to make it back to the Colombian jungle crash site where his brother Larry, along with David Crozier, became the first PCVs to die in service in 1962.)
- Independent filmmakers Brad Allgood (RPCV Nicaragua) and Joshua Wolff have been toiling to bring the story of Nicaragua’s lobster fishermen to international viewers for years. They have just released a hard-hitting movie trailer (which you should watch if you have any interest in Nicaragua — or where that lobster tail on your plate came from) and they have started a Kickstarter to complete the final production. Please consider helping them, so they can spread this story about the fishermen of Puerto Cabezas. You can read more about the project here.
- This summer filmmaker Malachi Leopold successfully raised $25,000 via Kickstarter to move ahead on his film project I Am the Water, You Are the Sea. The film tells the true story of two lovers: Alex, a former American Peace Corps Volunteer (Malachi’s uncle); and Ali, an Iranian Muslim. In 1967, while Alex was working with the Peace Corps in Iran, the two met, fell in love, and kept their relationship secret for 10 years. With political unrest escalating, and the Iranian revolution fast approaching, Alex was forced to leave Iran – and Ali – in 1977. The two have remained in touch – and in love – ever since. In the fall of 2011, for the first time in nearly 34 years, Alex and Ali are going to be reunited. “I Am the Water, You Are the Sea” will document their reunion, in addition to telling the incredible true story of their forbidden love in Iran in the 60’s and 70’s. (Note: NPCA did an interview with Malachi and hopes to publish it here when all the anniversary hoopla dies down!)