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Q&A: Battleground documentary film producer Lisa Hsu
words + visuals:
Q&A with Battleground's producer, Lisa Kawamoto Hsu
to view a trailer, please go to: http://www.thefempire.com/watch?cast_id=84
q: what compelled you to produce Battleground?
a: I was just really excited to make something that might shed a little bit of light on what was really happening in Iraq. I remember exactly where I was the day the war was announced by the US, and I remember feeling so utterly powerless. And, I think I saw this as an opportunity to finally do something, and to show exactly what this war was doing-- to Iraqis and Americans, soldiers and civilians.
q: what was your biggest takeaway and/or what affected you the most during your experience of making this doc?
a: The fragility of life. How fleeting everything is. There are characters in the film that I used to watch and I'd wonder if they'd survive the war to see the film. We've kept in touch with some of them, but several, I'm not sure where they are or if they are even alive. It pained me to think that this film might be one of the last recorded moments of some of these people's lives. And how profound they were. And I felt I wanted to share with the world, that last bit of wisdom from them.
q: although it debuted 2 yrs ago, why do you think Battleground is still relevant today?
a: Well, the conflict still rages on. And more than that, things are spiraling way out of control and the situation is completely degrading, I think the film is even more relevant today than it was when it premiered. The film originally came out about a year after the US declared an end to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and at the time, I think it was seen as a refreshing behind the scenes look at the war, but now the film is really seen with a lot more urgency because so many people are dying every day and there seems to be no end in sight. I think people who weren't awake then are very awake now and wanting to understand how we got here.
q: can you tell us a little about yourself?
a: currently, i'm a producer for revolutiontheory, and freelance producer for GNN (guerilla news network). i'm 27, taiwanese-japanese-american, grew up in cali, live in NYC and LA now, and i'm on the green party LA county council. what else... i believe that media is a powerful form of social change.
q: what's your next project?
a: Our next film holywars is coming out in 2007. HolyWars goes behind the scenes of the War on Terror, traveling into the twin hearts of Christian and Muslim fundamentalism, riding shotgun with five people who have dedicated their lives to ensuring their God will rule the world in the final days of human history. Touching down in some of the most viciously contested regions in the world - Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel, Iran and heartland America - HolyWars shows that when people believe they know the truth, that they can own it, then it forces the world into a violent dynamic that threatens us all.
BattleGround won the Silver Hugo Award for documentaries at the 2004 Chicago International Film Festival.
Battleground will be airing November 11 on Showtime (check below for times):
Rent on Netflix, at Blockbuster or any major video store.
Purchase at http://GNN.TV , Amazon or anywhere online.
Review it on IMDB, Netflix, or Amazon. Let us know what you think.
"Battleground provides a movingly human and many-sided portrait of the war. [Among Iraq docs], it is more the exception than the rule."
-The New York Times Magazine
"Battleground," is more evenhanded than one might expect, but nonetheless strongly suggests the U.S. was wrong to create this "quagmire" and will find it exceedingly difficult to ewin.'"
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