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Amy Goodman.  She's quite an American.  Amy Goodman is "the co-founder, executive producer and host of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on more than 900 public broadcast stations in North America."  This from one of the many bios about her.  If by some chance you, dear reader, have never seen her work on Democracy Now!, here is a link that you should follow and save for future use.  Any Liberal/Progressive worth their salt should be checking this website out regularly and often.

Ms. Goodman is also a Harvard graduate, the winner of numerous awards for journalism including the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, the Armstrong Award, the Radio/Television News Directors Award, as well as awards from the Associated Press, United Press International and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

She also seems to be quite the fire-breathing Liberal, which endears her to me greatly.  But that's just my opinion of her - I could be wrong.

I can't say that I've ever seen Ms. Goodman venture far into the realm of Entertainment News.  She simply doesn't seem to have any interest in selling out her journalistic integrity so that she might do a weekly bit for TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, or any of the myriad other places that follow Hollywood gossip.  So when this woman decides to say something about The Oscars, it is worth noting indeed!

Let's get into the meat of this after we breeze past that curly-q thing which Markos seems to be so very fond of.

The Oscars (the Official name as of Feb. 20, 2013) has also been known as The Academy Awards and was originally the Academy Award of Merit (the name of the statuette) which is overseen by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).  This is THE single largest event in the US motion picture industry.  It will be televised this coming Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.  As they say on the TV machine box, "Check your local listings for times and channels!"

The Oscars gives awards in many, MANY categories - from Best Picture to Sound Mixing and tons of other stuff in between and beyond.  One of the categories that has been garnering more and more attention lately is "Best Documentary Feature" - mostly due to the work of a fellow named Michael Moore.  This year, the category has five contenders.  The ones that Ms. Goodman has written about are titled "5 Broken Cameras" and "The Gatekeepers".  Before I go any farther about this, you can find the entirety of her piece about these two groundbreaking films RIGHT HERE at a website called TruthDig(dot)com.

It seems that the nice man who directed and filmed the entire documentary - a farmer named Emad Burnat - had a little trouble at LA Int'l. Airport.  Immigration folks there detained this man, his wife, and his son for over an hour in a little room trying to get him to prove to their satisfaction the "real" reason for his visit to the US - despite him showing them his official invitation from AMPAS as an Oscar-nominated filmmaker.  It took the intervention of Michael Moore himself along with some (probably very high-powered) AMPAS lawyers to get this guy sprung from detention and NOT deported.

The reason for all of the suspicion?  The man happens to be a Palestinian farmer and Oscar-nominated filmmaker.  It seems that the Israeli filmmaker who created "The Gatekeepers" had no such trouble gaining access to America.  Amy Goodman's piece on this is exceptional.  PLEASE read it here.

The other film mentioned, "The Gatekeepers", was discussed in a diary here on DKos that you can find at this link to the piece on this website.  "The Gatekeepers" is also a very pointed look at the same problem chronicled by "5 Broken Cameras", but from the opposite side of the modern-day equivalent of the Berlin Wall.

I am going to steal quote one paragraph of Ms. Goodman's work here for you:

Regardless of which documentary wins, the 2013 Oscars mark a historic shift in the public dialogue on Israel/Palestine, a long-overdue shift to which 40 million television viewers will be exposed.
And a long-overdue shift (and a long-overdue conversation) it most certainly is.

Now go read what Amy Goodman wrote!  Click this.

Originally posted to Celtic Merlin's Cauldron on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:53 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (34+ / 0-)

    I'm invoking the "Don't be a dick" rule under this diary.  I'm also inviting those who wish to discuss anything outside of the piece that Ms. Goodman wrote to do so elsewhere.

    Have you read Ms. Goodman's article yet?

    Celtic Merlin

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:50:36 PM PST

  •  Thank you for bringing this to our attention (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, poco, Catte Nappe, chicklet

    I'll read the article later tonight.  Have to start preparing dinner now.

    I'm so bored by the Oscars I have no intention of watching the interminable, self-congratulatory tearfest, but thanks to your diary I'll take a bit more interest in the award for "Best Documentary."

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:18:40 PM PST

    •  'Twas my pleasure, Diana. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, Ray Blake, mimi, Diana in NoVa

      I like Amy Goodman and I'm seriously pulling for "5 Broken Cameras".  The title is how many cameras the military and the radical Israeli settlers broke, shot, or otherwise destroyed in the making of the film.

      Celtic Merlin

      Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

      by Celtic Merlin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:27:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw "5 Broken Cameras" (6+ / 0-)

        and it's very compelling. It gives you a sense of what kind of folks the Palestinians really are, as opposed to the negative media stereotypes. Surprise, they're quite a bit like us, except that they live under an occupation and their land is inexorably being stolen from them, their olive orchards bulldozed and set afire, walls being built between them and their neighbors. Oh, and when they peacefully protest, they're shot at by the IDF with tear gas, rubber bullets, and real bullets. Some are killed, others wounded. Men and boys are arrested and detained. Emad himself is a mild-mannered guy with an obsessive need to film everything that goes on. I hope he wins, but I suspect it will be Sugar Man--he's an entertainer and the Academy seems to have a crush on him.  

        I never liked you and I always will.

        by Ray Blake on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:32:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, Ray! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, Ray Blake, renzo capetti

          Where did you get to see "5 Broken Cameras"?  It has never played anywhere near me that I was able to find.

          Celtic Merlin

          Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

          by Celtic Merlin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:52:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Netflix DVD has it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            renzo capetti, Celtic Merlin

            There are also interviews with Emad and his Israeli "co-director" Guy David (whose ego is in stark contrast to Emad's modesty.) Israel has actually tried to claim this is an Israeli film because David procured some Israeli (and French) financing. What nonsense. David is really the producer or executive producer thereby. Clearly, Emad was shooting this film long before David, a pro-Palestinian activist came along.

            I never liked you and I always will.

            by Ray Blake on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:51:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I saw that, too! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Blake
              Israel has actually tried to claim this is an Israeli film because David procured some Israeli (and French) financing. What nonsense.
              The reply I typed to some douchebag who was claiming this as an Israeli film kinda burnt the edges of his ears.

              A friend of mine has a Netflix subscription.  I'll check with him to see if we can watch it via his account.  Thank you, sincerely, for the info.  I can't wait to see this!

              Celtic Merlin

              Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

              by Celtic Merlin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:20:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This false claim has nothing to do (0+ / 0-)

                with Israel approving of the film, it's just because it was nominated for an Oscar. We can't have a Palestinian farmer getting recognition for his hard work and determination. That might open the door to more Palestinian films getting international exposure. The Gatekeepers IS an Israeli film. I'm going to watch that this weekend in a theater. It will be interesting to see if either film wins the Oscar. The Academy has zero Palestinian members but a high percentage of Jewish seniors. That's not necessarily predictive, of course, but it's a factor.

                I never liked you and I always will.

                by Ray Blake on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:49:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  The documentary Sugar Man (0+ / 0-)

          was excellent. It was broadcast on PBS by Independent Lens. It is Oscar worthy.

          I hope the film you refer to is as good and not as one sided as you are.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:22:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't see either, need to add them to the list. (4+ / 0-)

    I did see Searching for Sugar Man, which I liked a lot. Not only was the character a humble guy who has remained so even as fame as swept him up, but the fellow who made the movie shot a lot of it with his iPhone and then edited it on his computer. He basically was a one-person operation against the odds, just like the singer profiled in the film. Nice story.

    Amy Goodman is a gem!

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:38:59 PM PST

  •  It's not just the motion picture industry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin

    that watches the Oscars. There are all sorts of movie fans who watch it. I know people who watch it just to see what the attendees are wearing. I think this is a much more popular show than you realize.

  •  I've seen "5 Broken Cameras" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, renzo capetti

    It is an excellent documentary, and I feel it does a good job of showing just what the Palestinians have to put up with in regards to the Israelis.  The fact that the Palestinians are being forced off their land, the Israelis are pushing more and more into where the Palestinians have lived for centuries.  Israel may deserve to have a homeland, but I don't believe the way it is happening is right.  The Israeli's are doing to the Palestinians what happened to them in Eastern Europe, and in other countries--they are forcing the Palestinians into ghettos!!!!

    I know some Palestinian Christians, and have heard their stories; a friend visited there in January and had the opportunity to see what it's like first hand.  Do the Israeli's really have the right to all of the land?  I don't think so!

    •  There are many who would disagree with you. (0+ / 0-)

      I've met some of them.  They're radicals.

      Thank you for the informed and (imho) delicious comment!

      Celtic Merlin

      Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

      by Celtic Merlin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:54:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  t/r/c 4 a righteous heads/up! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, poco, sofia

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:34:37 PM PST

  •  Amy Goodman was at (0+ / 0-)

    the Dili Massacre:

    During a brief confrontation between Indonesian troops and protesters, Major Gerhan Lantara was stabbed.[9] Stahl claimed Lantara had attacked a girl carrying the flag of East Timor, and FRETILIN activist Constâncio Pinto reported eyewitness accounts of beatings from Indonesian soldiers and police.[10][11] When the procession reached the cemetery, the leading section of the procession entered the cemetery while many continued their protests before the cemetery wall, waving flags and chanting pro-independence slogans. Indonesian troops had been standing by during this time, then a new group of 200 Indonesian soldiers appeared and began shooting.[12] Fleeing people ran through the main entrance and deeper into the cemetery and were pursued by the soldiers.

    The massacre was witnessed by two American journalists—Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn (who were also attacked)—and caught on videotape by Max Stahl, who was filming undercover for Yorkshire Television. As Stahl filmed the massacre, Goodman and Nairn tried to "serve as a shield for the Timorese" by standing between them and the Indonesian soldiers. The soldiers began beating Goodman, and when Nairn moved to protect her, they beat him with their weapons, fracturing his skull.[13] The camera crew managed to smuggle the video footage to Australia. They gave it to Saskia Kouwenberg, a Dutch journalist, to prevent it being seized and confiscated by Australian authorities, who subjected the camera crew to a strip-search when they arrived in Darwin, having been tipped off by Indonesia. The video footage was used in the First Tuesday documentary In Cold Blood: The Massacre of East Timor,[14] shown on ITV in the UK in January 1992, as well as numerous other, more recent documentaries. Stahl's footage, combined with the testimony of Nairn and Goodman and others, caused outrage around the world.[15] The program In Cold Blood: The Massacre of East Timor was the overall winner at the inaugural Amnesty International UK Media Awards in 1992.[16][17]

    At least 250 East Timorese were killed in the massacre.[18] One of the dead was a New Zealander, Kamal Bamadhaj, a political science student and human rights activist based in Australia. Indonesian authorities described the incident as a spontaneous reaction to violence from the protesters or a "misunderstanding".[19] Objectors cited two factors: the documented history of mass violence committed by Indonesian troops in places such as Quelicai, Lacluta, and Kraras,[20] and a series of statements from politicians and officers in Indonesia, justifying the military's violence. Try Sutrisno, Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian forces, said two days after the massacre: "The army cannot be underestimated. Finally we had to shoot them. Delinquents like these agitators must be shot, and they will be."[21]

    This made her reputation.

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