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Happening this weekend, November 1-2 in Seoul, South Korea. The Ghosts of Jeju is being screened twice, presented by Joyakgol, Sister Stella, and Jesuit Brother Park.
Joyakgol says that it is being very well received by young and old alike. For most it is a “crash course” in the 4.3 massacre event, and an “eye-opener” about the US imperial advance on Jeju and the Pacific.
Thanks to Joyakgol, whom many of you will remember when he traveled with me on a 13 city tour with the film beginning with the Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival, who finished the Korean version with subtitles and is screening it all over South Korea.
I am so gratified that Korean people here in America have welcomed the film and thank me for telling their story. I can only hope that people all over South Korea are moved and informed by The Ghosts of Jeju, and that they take responsibility for the deeds of their government.
The reaction seems to be the same around the world where it has been seen in 14 countries that I know about. Even more gratifying is the offer by volunteers to translate it into Japanese, French, Spanish, and Russian.
Without the financial support of so many of you, this would not be happening. I hope you realize that your contributions have helped to tell this important story all over the world.
After seeing the film, people always ask “what can we do to help.” Among the many things people can do, the most effective have been to purchase copies of the film and share it widely and to contribute so that I can continue this important work.
As I say in the film, “with knowledge comes responsibility, the least we can do is amplify the voices of Gangjeong.”
As fate would have it, my return to Jeju was derailed when I came down with “C Diff” two weeks before my August 4th departure. I was hospitalized for five days and was on antibiotics for two weeks. I lost a great deal of strength and the doctors would not permit me to travel. As of this date, I am feeling fine, but still get tired easily and don’t have much stamina.
Joyakgol, who accompanied me during the March tour of The Ghosts of Jeju beginning with the Chicago Peace On Earth Film Festival and screenings in California, did the final edit on the Korean translation and had the subtitles placed on the master. Joyakgol is a genius at marketing and promotion and created a press package that went to all of the media outlets in S. Korea. As I write this, The Ghosts of Jeju is being distributed throughout S. Korea and will soon be available on this website.
Because of this exposure, I was interviewed on August 8th by the English-language radio station in Seoul about my views on Pope Francis’ visit to South Korea next week, The Ghosts of Jeju, and my commitment and ties to the peaceful, non-violent struggle in Gangjeong.
Here is the link to that 14 minute interview that was slightly edited.
I also produced the following 22 minute video that I was to have presented at the Pan Island Peace Camp held in Gangjeong. I made the video because I thought it would be better than a talk with slides, and in the event that I was delayed or refused entry into S. Korea. Turns out, I wasn’t able to go anyway.
The video reveals the origins of U.S. Militarism dating back to the discovery of the Americas. It also makes clear what is behind militarism and why the U.S. has invaded other countries more than 300 times since 1798. The video explains why it is important to understand that it is NOT American presidents and the U.S. Congress that are behind wars, militarism and imperial domination, but the “shadow government” that has taken over our government.
My recent illness has not cancelled my return to Jeju, but only postponed it until early 2015 when I will travel from Hawaii, Okinawa, Jeju, Tiawan, and down to the Philippines to film my new documentary on the effects of U.S. militarism in the Pacific and the popular uprisings against it.
The struggle against the construction of that massive naval base by the peaceful, non-violent villagers of Gangjeong and their supporters has inspired all who have seen The Ghosts of Jeju because of their indomitable spirit, energy, and persistence in the face of insurmountable odds.
I believe the only hope we have of defeating the dark forces that would destroy us and our world is in the massive, peaceful, non-violent uprisings we are seeing all over the globe against Capitalism, greed, and the attempt to control the world through full-spectrum domination by the U.S. Military serving the needs of the big banks, multi and transnational corporations, the Military Industrial Complex, and the Oligarchy that have taken over our government and many governments of the world.
To repeat my closing remarks in The Ghosts of Jeju, “By going to Jeju, I found my own voice and realized that knowledge demands responsibility and action. With citizenship in this country comes a responsibility for its deeds. The least we can do is amplify the voices of Gangjeong.”
On March 4th, Joyakagol, a Gangjeong activist, and I arrived in Chicago for the beginning of a month-long tour with my film The Ghosts of Jeju. The film was screened at the Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival where it won the award for Best Expose´ Documentary.
From Chicago, we traveled to California, Arizona, and New Mexico screening the film in 13 cities where it received high praise from everyone including the Korean community in Los Angeles and the Korean Studies Department at UCLA.
In this episode of the Spirit of Gangjeong I cover the release from prison after 435 days of Professor Yang Yoon-Mo; Easter Week ceremonies in Gangjeong Village; protests against President Obama’s visit to Japan, Korea, and Malaysia; and the Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival and film tour.
You can help amplify the voices of Gangjeong by sharing The Ghosts of Jeju and this Spirit of Gangjeong series with your local communities.
Today is Monday, March 24, 2014 and I’m in Tucson, Arizona. It has been many years since I’ve been here. Taught high school at Salpointe from 1975-81. Screening tonight at 6:30.
Tomorrow I go up to Phoenix until Friday. One screening at a library tomorrow evening. Will have a couple of days to rest and visit some old friends.
I’ve been on the road since March 4 when I flew to Chicago for the Peace on Earth Film Festival. Great experience, and Ghosts won a major award. Best Expose Documentary.
Joyakgol from Gangjeong Village joined me in Chicago. When the village heard about the film festival they wanted someone to come to Chicago. Money was raised to send Joyakgol and he has been traveling with me on the entire tour. His English is excellent and he is a charismatic and gifted guitarists, so he has added a great deal of energy to the tour. He’s become a great friend and traveling companion.
The film has been received enthusiastically everywhere: Fresno, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, LA (twice) and San Diego. One screening in LA was in Korea Town for over 100 Koreans and the other was at UCLA for the faculty and some grad students in the Korean Studies Department.
Had another great screening in San Diego hosted by the VFP…awesome group and very active.
Everywhere, people thanking me for making the film, especially Koreans. There have been several articles and radio interviews that have helped to spread the word in ways that have not happened before.
Ran out of copies of the film! Having Paul Michaud of Patracompany make another 50 and ship them over night for the remainder of the trip: Phoenix, Albuquerque, Taos, and then Austin, Texas. I’ll have four days in Austin to visit with my daughter Ashley and my grandson, Hayden, and younger son, Tanner. Haven’t seen Ashley and Hayden in two years. I think there will be a screening in Austin on April 3rd. I return home to Maine on April 4.
The only bad news to report is that my left knee (the bad one, surgically repaired twice) “popped” yesterday. Excruciating pain. Got some assistance from a sports trainer and am taking Aleve twice a day and Tylenol just to get me through until I can get home. Afraid the day has arrived that my last orthopedic surgeon said would mean a knee replacement.
The pain has subsided and inflammation going down….ok to walk, but can’t twist or making lifting motions. Joyakgol has been helping with my heavy equipment case and large suitcase. I have trouble even pulling them even though they are both roller types. Damn! Getting old isn’t much fun!
We’ve been having every group pose for pictures with the No Naval Base flags and the Pope Francis banner. Big hit everywhere. The above photo was with part of the large Korean community in LA.
The reaction to the film has been identical everywhere: shame, anger, tears….then thanks and they always ask, “what can we do?” Joyakgol brought a stack of pre-printed and pre-addressed postcards with Pope Francis. We ran out of those several stops ago.
Seems like nearly everyone has wanted a copy of the film and all promise to share it widely. I’ve given copies away to folks who can’t afford them and to students who all promise to share them. Along the way, I keep hearing from people that the film has been screened in cities all over the U.S. Amazing how it has taken on a life of its own with grassroots groups and activists.
But there’s more good news. The founder and director of the festival emailed me when he learned that a young activist from Jeju might be joining me at the festival AND that Pope Francis would be visiting S. Korea in August. Here is what he said,
“WOW Regis!! We certainly are excited that you and possibly one of the Young Koreans for The Ghosts of Jeju will be in attendance. However, I am most excited that you have a screening to coincide with the Pope’s coming to South Korea. Let’s muster some powerful influence and support for the effort.”
So, if you are in or near Chicago, please, please do everything you can to attend the screening on March 8 at noon, and please encourage everyone you know to attend as well. This will do more than anything yet to bring attention to our dear friends in Gangjeong Village, and to the untold history of the U.S. in Korea.
And thanks to all of you who have contributed financially in recent days. You must know that wherever The Ghosts of Jeju goes, you go as well. Thank you for making it all possible.