Beyond My Ability

Dear Friends,

As you now, my month-long trip to Jeju and South Korea had to be postponed due to illness. To date, I have raised a little over $4,000 US for my new documentary that will cover the effects of U.S. militarism in the Pacific from Hawaii to The Philippines, and the large popular, non-violent uprisings occurring throughout the Pacific (and really around the world) against U.S. military presence and expansion.

So many of you have already supported this new effort with your financial contributions, and I thank you. But, I need your help now in finding progressive organizations, NGOs, and individuals who are known to support documentary films.

This new film will be much larger in scope than The Ghosts of Jeju and will require more money than I have been able to raise from generous and supportive contributors like you.

The film will also demonstrate very clearly, using interviews with independent journalists,  former State Department, and CIA officials,  the dark forces that make foreign policy, war, and large increases in the Department of War budget.

My plan is to begin filming early in 2015 beginning in Hawaii and Okinawa, and then on down to Jeju and S. Korea, Taiwan, Guam, and The Philippines.

If The Ghosts of Jeju is any indication, this new film will also receive world-wide attention and acclaim. I have no idea how many screenings there have been, nor how many people have seen The Ghosts of Jeju. The screenings number in the hundreds in the U.S. and in at least 15 countries. Thousands of people have seen it and hundreds have purchased copies.

The Ghosts of Jeju has recently been released in South Korea with subtitles, thanks to the tremendous efforts of my dear friend, Joyakgol. Very soon it will be released in Japan having been translated by Maho Yamazaki and activist friends. It is also being translated into French. All of these efforts by dedicated activists for no compensation at all.

Documentary films do not make money! Films like mine are a labor of love that arise from an inner need to educate and inform the world about the serious issues that are threatening life on Mother Earth. My focus is on ending militarism, wars, and the death and destruction of the environment that results.

So, I am once again turning to you for help in finding sources, be they individuals, organizations, or foundations, that will see the value in what I am doing and want to help. As you know, I am a “crew” of one. The only thing standing in the way of making this film is money.

Thank you again for your past support and anything you can do to help make this new film a reality.

Here’s is my short video plea for help in making this film.

Seoul Radio Interview and Short Video Take my Place in 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.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/august-7-2014-news-chat/id564557750?i=317403662&mt=2

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.”

 

America Not So Beautiful

As many of you know, I will be returning to Jeju on August 5th. On August 6th, I will give a presentation to an international gathering of Pacific Islanders at the Gangjeong Peace Camp, a three day affair beginning on August 3rd. They will also screen the Ghosts of Jeju on the second evening of the camp.

Rather than give a talk, I prepared this 22:43 video about US Militarism and its origins. Thought I’d share it in this blog.

The new documentary will focus on the effects of US militarism in the Pacific and the massive, popular uprisings against it. When looked at through a different perspective than the one all Americans have been ingrained with, America no longer looks so beautiful.

I’ve just finished reading a very shocking book by William Blum entitled Rogue State. It is the most detailed and concise record of US military and CIA interventions around the world since 1945 that I have found.

Blum reveals America’s recklessness, abuse, and blackmail on dozens of sovereign states, and of course, the countless bombings and mass killings in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Central America, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan….literally against any country that would attempt to form a government and society not aligned with America’s interests, and most definitely against any country that might attempt to compete with or impede America’s global hegemony.

This books details America’s abuse and obstruction of the United Nations since its inception. It details dozens and dozens of UN General Assembly votes objected to by the US and Israel, and many others vetoed by only the US. The US has also vetoed and ignored UN calls for human rights in Palestine, on countless occasions, a nuclear test ban treaty, and international criminal courts to name just a few.

Blum says that America equates Democracy with free-market Capitalism, a myth that has only wrecked havoc and poverty throughout the world and right here at home as well.

How does America get away with it? Because America can. Simple as that. As the only superpower in the world, the  corporate power structure that controls our government and many other governments in the world is attempting to imposed a new world order on the planet with a one world economy that is enforced by the most powerful and lethal military the world has ever know.

My film will bring much of this out, but will also focus on the more immediate, destructive effects of US militarism in the Pacific such as the destruction and pollution of the environment, abject poverty, prostitution, the forced evacuation of indigenous people, the obliteration of ancient cultures and civilizations, and the  egregious violation of human rights on every level, from food, clean water, education, health care and civil liberties.

I find the same things happening here at home quite striking.

This is Why I Make My Films

It’s now up to the few of us who did respond to do something for the good people of Jeju.
 
The last shred of respect I’ve clung to for the US government is gone.  It would’ve taken much less than what I’ve seen tonight to free me from my self-deception.

Hi, Holly,

After seeing the film (The Ghosts of Jeju) on Weds., I was too emotional to have comments.   I don’t want you to think I was untouched by what I saw.   I’ll pass on a comment I made to a friend after I arrived home.   Thank you for doing your part, always.   Peace and Love, Kathy

I’ve just come from a heart-rending viewing of a finely made film of the destruction and valiant protest on the Korean island of Jeju.  Once a paradise of unspoiled, vibrant ocean, sacred rocks and waterfalls, an agricultural and fishing community a mere 35 x 45 miles in size, it was first attacked and destroyed during the Korean war.  The residents are South Koreans, but our government ordered them destroyed and they were, by the thousands.
 
The continued systematic destruction of this little paradise is now being perpetrated so the US can add to their legion of bases around the world…way over 1,160 bases, worldwide, all shoving indigenous populations off, destroying their environment and homes.
 
The bravery and refusal to give up shown by the natives and those who come in as peace activists from many countries is beyond astounding.  
 
After thousands were massacred by the Korean and American armies, survivors are iron-tough and willing to put their lives on the line.
 
My good friend Holly Graham wrote and performed a lovely song of peace for the movie and the showing tonight was hosted by her, alone.   Sadly, few people responded to her invitation.
 
It’s now up to the few of us who did respond to do something for the good people of Jeju.
 
The last shred of respect I’ve clung to for the US government is gone.  It would’ve taken much less than what I’ve seen tonight to free me from my self-deception.

 

Taking on Capitalism and Militarism in the Pacific

I have already received $2,500 as a result of the Indiegogo funding campaign which ends on July 10. Thanks to all of you who contributed. But, that is a little less than 30% of what it will take to travel to the islands of the Pacific.

I need to raise $10,000 by May of 2015 when I plan to go to Hawaii, Japan, Okinawa, Guam and the Philippines to film American bases and the contamination and destruction of the environment, the displacement of indigenous people, and the violation of human rights, all directly caused by America’s militarism and imperial advance in the Pacific.  I also want to film the large, popular uprisings against America’s presence on each of those islands, as well as ask people why they are protesting and what they hope to accomplish.

This is a 5 minute video explaining more about the messages that will make up this film. Please take a moment to watch it even if you have already contributed, and please share it with friends on social media.

The Spirit of Gangjeong # 8

In this edition, massive protests around Korea; almost naked Korean grannies resist hundreds of police protesting the placement of high voltage electrical towers in Miryang; sneak preview of short clip of longer interview I made of Chris Hedges (will appear in my next film).

Peace and Solidarity, and please share

Regis

The Latest News From Jeju – Episode # 6 The Spirit 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.

In Peace and Solidarity,

Regis

Ghosts of Jeju Tour Update

Laurels Expose---Jeju

 

 

Korean Community Group

 

 

 

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.

 

Peace on Earth Film Festival & West Coast Tour

Laurels Expose---Jeju

March 5     Screening at University of Chicago

March 6-9 Chicago Peace on Earth Film FestivalChicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater

March 8 – The Ghosts of Jeju screening – Noon –Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater

March 12 – Fresno Center for Nonviolence  Noon and 7 pm

March 13 – Sonoma County Art Museum – 7 pm Univ. of San Francisco at Santa Rosa

March 14-16 – Annual Meeting of The Global Network

March 14   Screening – The Ghosts of Jeju  8:00 -9:30 PM

March 18 – 7 PM East Bay Media Center 1939 Addison Street, Berkeley

March 19 – Won Buddhist Temple  400 Shatto Pl,  LA, 7 PM

March 20 – 7 PM – San Diego Peace Resource Center of San Diego  3850 Westgate Place

March 21 – 1-3 P – UCLA  –  UCLA 11379 Bunche Hall

March 24 – Tucson  –  6:30  PM Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church – 1300 North Greasewood – Theology Uncorked

March 25  –  6 PM Phoenix Public Library Mesquite Branch 4525 E. Paradise Village Parkway N

March 28 –  6 PM –  Taos, New Mexico –  Kit Carson Electric Board Room  118 Cruz Alta Road

March 29 – 6 PM – Albuquerque Center For Peace and Justice 202 Harvard St. NE

March 30 – April 3 – Austin, Texas