qwe Award-winning filmmakers to lecture and screen films on campus - Loyola University New Orleans

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Award-winning filmmakers to lecture and screen films on campus

Loyola press release - March 15, 2010

Award-winning filmmakers Nina Rosenblum and Dennis Watlington will present a lecture and screening of their new documentary films “In the Name of Democracy: America's Conscience, A Soldier's Sacrifice,” on Thursday, March 18, and “Twin Lenses,” Friday, March 19, at Loyola University New Orleans.

“In The Name of Democracy” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall, and “Twin Lenses” will be shown at 2 p.m. in Miller Hall, Room 114. Both events are free and open to the public. The screenings are sponsored by the Biever Guest Lecture Series; Carol Leake, associate professor in Loyola’s Visual Arts department; William Quigley, Loyola College of Law professor; Mary McCay, Ph.D., Loyola English professor; Karen Reichard, Ph.D., director of Loyola's Women’s Resource Center; and Leslie Parr, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Mass Communication.

“In the Name of Democracy: The Story of Lt. Ehren Watada,” narrated by Eli Wallach, is a feature documentary about the first officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. The film presents an inspiring account of Watada's extraordinary courage and his willingness to sacrifice his military career and to go to prison rather than lead the soldiers in his charge into a conflict based on what he felt were lies of the Bush administration.

In a 2006 statement, Watada testified that it was his duty as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army to speak out against grave injustices.

“My moral and legal obligation is to the constitution, not to those who issue unlawful orders.” said Watada. “It is my job to serve and protect American soldiers and innocent Iraqis who have no voice. It is my conclusion that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong, but also a breach of American law.”

In writing the script for the film, Watlington used the anthology, “In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond,” edited by Jeremy Brecher and Jill Cutler, as a primary source. William Quigley, who is also director of the Loyola Law Clinic and director of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, was a contributing writer to the anthology.

“Twin Lenses” is a 25-minute documentary about twin photographers, Kathryn Abbe and Frances McLaughlin-Gill, both pioneering fashion and editorial photographers. The film is produced and directed by Rosenblum and co-produced and written by Watlington.

“I loved their work,” said Rosenblum. “Also, McLaughlin-Gill was the first woman under contract to Vogue, and when Cecil Beaton took the Vogue magazine photograph of the photographers, he left her out because she was a woman, so I thought that it was important to do the film.”

“Twin Lenses” tells the story of the twins, whose images graced the pages of magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, in their own words and in the words of their families. The film pays tribute to the richness and allure of their life’s work, their bond and their commitment to each other and to excellence in photography.

In their long collaboration, Rosenblum and Watlington have produced the Oscar-nominated PBS documentary “Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II,” about African American troops fighting in WW II; the Emmy award-winning “The Untold West: The Black West;” the PBS/POV feature documentary “Through the Wire,” narrated by Susan Sarandon; “Lock-Up: The Prisoners of Rikers Island;” a 1992 feature documentary for HBO’s America Undercover series; “Code Yellow: Hospital at Ground Zero,” a portrait of New York University’s Downtown Hospital and its response following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; “Sly and Jimi: The Skin I’m In,” a New York Times/Showtime production about Sly and the Family Stone and Jimi Hendrix; and “Zahira's Peace,” co-produced in 2005 about a young woman who was seriously injured in the Madrid train bombing.

A retrospective homage to Nina Rosenblum's 25 years of filmmaking was featured at Documenta/Madrid 2005. In 2006, Watlington received a Bronze Wagon Award at the Golden Wagon Film Festival, a CINE Golden Eagle Award in 2005 and an award at the FI International Film Festival as the writer for “Zahira’s Peace.”

For more information, contact Carol Leake, associate professor of visual arts, at carolleake@gmail.com or call 504-782-2517. To schedule an interview, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.