Friday, June 22, 2007

Penn-narrated "War Made Easy" film's Berkshire premier Tues., 5 p.m. at Images

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Just days after its national premier in Washington, residents of the Berkshires and southwestern Vermont will be able to see the film "War Made Easy," based on the best-selling book by Norman Solomon.

The film, narrated by Sean Penn, is based on Solomon's acclaimed book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

By special arrangement with the Media Education Foundation (MEF) of Northampton, Mass., "War Made Easy," will be shown once at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, at Images Cinema, the community-owned, non-profit theater in Williamstown. The screening is open to the public with a suggested donation of $4.00 with all proceeds to benefit Images.

The 73-minute film is hailed by the editor of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" as a stunning example of why copyright laws allowing "fair use" of archival material are critical to the First Amendment and democracy.

Williamstown resident Bill Densmore said he arranged for the screening with the MEF "because this is an important work which puts the policy runup to the Iraq war in an historical context. Solomon's point of view is not often heard and deserves to be aired and critically discussed."

Through painstaking research and fast-paced editing of archival footage, the movie exposes what Solomon sees as a 50-year pattern of deception that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq.

The film exhumes remarkable footage of alleged distortion and exaggeration peddled by presidents from LBJ to George W. Bush ... and often by news media as well.

"'War Made Easy' is a total tour de force," said Jay Cassidy, the editor of "An Inconvenient Truth." "The film's stunning archival footage shows what a tremendously important tool fair use is for dialogue in a democracy."

Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. When his book "War Made Easy" appeared, the Los Angeles Times called it "brutally persuasive" and "a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come."

Loretta Alper, who produced the documentary with the independent filmmaking team at the Media Education Foundation, said the movie has the potential to become a powerful organizing tool for the growing mainstream antiwar movement.

"Through mass distribution, the Internet and grassroots organizations," Alper said, "we hope to seize on the rising antiwar sentiment in our country to widely promote the lessons of this movie and Norman Solomon's research. First, that deception leading to war did not begin with Bush or Iraq. And second, that an informed, awakened citizenry can prevent wars of choice in the future."

For more information on the film, go to or contact: Kendra Olson Hodgson, (413) 584-8500 ext. 2203,


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