Greenwald In St. Louis

IRAQ FOR SALE: The War Profiteers
In this release, Director Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films delivered the breadth and depth of corruption and abuse by private military contractors-- corporations whose only allegiance is their own bottom line,

Our video was posted at the Iraq For Sale website, and on YouTube.

Thu 9/28 Robert Greenwald wrote in response to seeing the video:

THIS IS GREAT! let us know when we can post on our website, and get around..     would love a blog from you all to go with it, ie, as bnf field producers coming and doing this! it will inspire others.

Here's what we wrote:

Greenwald In St. Louis Notes from Jim & Kriss 9/29/06

Like many Americans, we are dismayed by the downward spiral of our country's …well, what do you call it? We listen, we read, we try to do our part by joining others in actions to lead from the roots.

Last week our friend Catherine at the local Peace Economy Project asked if we were available to videotape Robert Greenwald's appearance at the St. Louis premiere of IRAQ FOR SALE. She had recently seen our documentary on lead poisoning. What she didn't know is we had just finished editing a memorial video for Jim's best friend…whose son, a Marine, was killed in Iraq.

The issue of corporations cashing in on Iraq had been introduced to us in Naomi Klein's great essay, Baghdad Year Zero. We have appreciated Greenwald's previous film exposés and wondered what he would dig up on the new trend toward military outsourcing. This was our chance to pitch in.

Brave New Films relayed a suggested shot list. They intended to pull a couple of minutes representing the event for posting online. Our ears perked up when they asked if we'd be interested in editing a short piece. No rules, just an open-ended chance to be creative. Enticing.

Two locations several blocks apart, buffet reception, speech-making, Q&A, pre and post interviews for audience reaction, crowd shots, signage, what else? Ummm, light levels? Q&A might be in the darkened, historic theatre. No…Q&A is moving to a bar across the street. Now the event is snowballing into a sellout. Change of rooms!

The plan was, shall we say, evolving. Agility would be an asset.

After a site visit to scope the venues, we decided to travel light…that is, one light with diffusion. The Gateway Greens provided a single-chip semi-pro camera to go with our other equipment.

The overflow crowd caused a late start, but we managed to grab the planned shots plus some spontaneous golden moments. Greenwald was witty, passionate, and concise in revealing the dangers of modern day war profiteering. (See "downward spiral" above.)

Later, as we were reviewing the tapes, we realized that a mere chronology of the evening might miss the point. Themes began to emerge…outrage, absurdity, optimism, and a depth of emotion flowing between Greenwald and the crowd. One message was clear: we must "Do something" with our frustration and not be paralyzed by anger.

Ten pounds of emotion in a five pound bag. This called for a role reversal. Melody would lead, words and pictures would follow. Craziness, despair, community resolve…what are these chords? We were led to revisit the silver wafers that line our shelves, those CD releases from our talented musician-friends who capture these intangibles in wonderful, complex performances. Thank you, Connie Dover and Dwight Frizzell, for lending your spirit to this cause.

Greenwald's gift to all of us goes beyond a series of kickass films. He has divined the importance of empowering people, unleashing our best instincts. In an upward spiral, we salute you, Mr. Greenwald, and your dedicated team at Brave New Films.

Kriss Avery & Jim Rothwell
Rainbow Sound

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Last updated 29 Sept 2006. Contact:

Take a look at our six minute video,GREENWALD IN ST. LOUIS, a tribute to Robert Greenwald behind the scenes during his 2006 St. Louis appearance premiering a new film to an eager audience.