This is a work in progress. Download the rough trailer at the bottom of this page..
While filming in South Africa, I met a Congolese man who asked me to make a documentary about what is going on in his homeland. He described atrocities of an astounding nature on such a staggering scale that it was hard to fathom. When he asked me to make this film, I could tell that he believed that all we had to do was inform people in democratic countries and they would respond by demanding that our governments do something about it. I knew that it wasn’t so simple but felt that in essence, this would be the method. I’ve learned a lot since then.
Initially, I knew that my research would lead back to the western world and to corporations that source materials from the Congo. There have been many good films made about the Congo and I decided that I must approach this film project from a different angle. I decided this film must show that the very same forces who are violating human rights in foreign countries are eroding away our rights here at home, which is why we have a personal stake in the fight for human rights around the globe.
Corporate interests dominate our politics today to such a degree that we don’t have what we can truly call a democracy. Lobbyists negotiate with our government on behalf of corporations to change and shape legislation according to their wishes, pertaining to everything from the contents of the food we eat to issues of foreign policy. This is a contradiction of the very essence of democracy. This situation profoundly affects the daily lives and health of citizens in so-called democratic countries and is responsible for obliterating many lives in third world countries every day.
I have been researching this now for over 4 years and have discovered things about the U.S. government (and closely allied governments) that I never imagined were possible in a democratic society. I have no doubt that if the American people knew what was really going on, they would never support a government capable of such depravity committed under the guise of freedom and human rights – the values this government continually works to undermine. Throughout this exploration of foreign and domestic political activities, a pattern emerges of similar strategies used to subjugate the American people and to control, exploit or destroy the leaders and the people of various countries all over the world.
After serious reflection I felt that this work had to count for something more than just another disturbing documentary that would underline these grave issues and provide no specific remedies. I decided that if I make this film, I must also build into it a component that will present an opportunity for the audience to participate in responding to these issues and being a part of the solution. We now have more reason than ever to unite and become a truly global community for the people.
At the heart of the matter is the balance of power. In a democracy, if it works the way it should, the balance of power resides with the people. With highly sophisticated computer systems and with the use of genuine social networks (unencumbered by political and corporate intervention) and internet access to the masses, we have an opportunity to begin the dialogue that we must have in order to start again and to build the kind of inclusive democratic system that we believe in, with the people starting the dialogue and those who wish to participate in its governance, responding. If this is to work, the people must become more actively involved in their own governance.
I have discussed issues of human rights, corporate and political corruption and civil society with academics, lawyers and others involved in matters relating to governance around the world. It has been and continues to be a fascinating, infuriating and truly challenging experience. My hope is that this film will be the catalyst to expand this discussion and ultimately gear it toward goals and solutions to these pressing issues of governance and human rights that have become so urgent in today’s political environment.
Click Here to see the rough trailer for this film.
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