Empire has a funny way of making its citizens believe it's the right and natural thing - even as it destroys families and people. As long as we're a "good" nation with "good" intentions, we don't want to question it too much. We don't question rape culture in our own country. We rarely question how we treat immigrants or the homeless or criminals. And we don't question the concept of racism, war, safety, or collateral damage - as long as those concepts don't affect us directly. We rarely question how comfort and dominance is shaped by the suffering of others. Unless we are the others who are suffering.
So writer, filmmaker, critic and my friend Ian Ebright - who has featured our guest blogs occasionally at his site The Broken Telegraph - is putting together a fictional film about a father and son living under the reach of the American Empire as potential collateral damage. From the Kickstarter page for the movie (which is hoping to raise $18,500 in one month):
'From the Sky' takes viewers beneath the headlines by telling a fictional story of a noble father Hakeem and his troubled teenage son Abbas as they journey across a volatile region of the Middle East.
The story opens to reveal Abbas suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to a tragic past and the frequent presence of drones flying overhead. Soon, a turn of events forces Abbas to make a choice about which way he will go in life: the way modeled by his father, or a different path articulated by the charismatic character Dhiya.
The film will be among the first (if not the first) narrative works of cinema from the U.S. to show the impact of drone strikes on civilians in the Arab world. The film also explores the roots of extremism and ultimately asks a universal question: When we are harmed, will we take the wide road of retaliation or a more narrow path by responding in life-giving ways? (please read more at the site)
If, like myself, you believe that true education leads to freedom and that that education involves the arts because true education is not just cognitive but involves the senses. Learning about others - as we learn about ourselves - is sensual. This is a great learning opportunity. Let us invest in this opportunity and not allow it to go to waste.