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Independent Film on Winter Soldier Investigation

by RonChusid

From IndieWIRE:

Milestone Film
co-founders Dennis Doros and Amy Heller have formed Milliarium Zero, a new film distribution company that will handle films with strong social and political content. First up for the new outfit is “Winter Soldier,” a look at the 1971 Winter Solider Investigation conducted by activist group, Vietnam Veterans Against The War. The film was made by a collective of filmmakers who worked together to create the rarely seen documentary.

The name for Doros and Heller’s new outlet translates as “zero milepost,” named for the official landmark opposite the White House in Washington D.C. “Winter Soldier” will open for a week run at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater on August 12th, followed that night by a panel featuring 10 filmmakers and at least five of the soldiers.

In creating “Winter Soldier,” a group of filmmakers, calling themselves ‘Winterfilm,’ worked to document the testimonies of many veterans. Included in the collective are Fred Aronow, Nancy Baker, Rhetta Barron, Robert Fiore, David Gillis, David Grubin, Barbara Jarvis, Barbara Kopple, Michael Lesser, Lee Osborne, Lucy Massie Phenix, Roger Phenix, Benay Rubenstein and Michael Weil. The filmmakers worked over four days and nights, with donated equipment and film stock, to shoot footage of more than 125 veterans, among them a young John Kerry. The footage was edited over eight months to create the 95-minute movie. Screened in Cannes and Berlin, including a brief run at Cinema 2 in Manhattan, the film failed to get a TV broadcast and has been rarely seen since.

“We thought that ‘Winter Soldier’ gave us the perfect opportunity to start a brand-new venture that had its own identity — a company that could take risks on powerful and possibly controversial films,” explained Milliarium co-founder Dennis Doros in an email conversation with indieWIRE. “We are disturbed by the lack of discourse in the United States — caused, perhaps, by a general lack of commitment and passion, anxiety about being in a minority, fear of our own government, and feelings of apathy and paranoia.” Continuing he added, “There are brave filmmakers and distributors out there who are trying to make a difference and we want Milliarium to be part of this effort.”

After the run in New York, Doros and Heller have booked the movie at a number of other venues, including Minnesota Film Arts in Minneapolis and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago for a week in mid-September, a night each at the Avalon in Stamford, CT and the Detroit Film Theater at the Detroit Film Institute (in August and November respectively), and a week at Reel Artways in Hartford, CT in late September.

15 Responses to “Independent Film on Winter Soldier Investigation”

  1. Ron

    Thanks for posting this. I read about it earlier in the week. This will surely raise the ire of SBL’s.

    Cheers to our new “Lifestyle and Entertainment” category!

  2. I know George Butler planned a larger audience for Going Upriver. Now post Swifties and election, and some larger awareness of Iraq, I wonder if the Kerry film will find an audience. If not still part of the larger pain of a lost election, which I don’t feel we lost.

    It more than anything gave some healing and clarity to the anti-war protests, for those willing to see the similarity with veterans now coming home.

  3. Marjorie

    I would love to see Going Upriver re-released. Perhaps a run now on PBS or one of the cable stations like HBo would be viable.

    Somehow this little gem has managed to stay on the Kerry server – http://www.johnkerry.com/audio/whatitsworth.mp3

    I listen to it when I need a fix!

  4. Oh wow, THANK YOU Pamela for posting that link. It will become the last thing I listen to before heading toward nodland every night, just like “Kerry On” used to be during the campaign. Kerry, Bobby, Martin, JKF, Dean….

    Here’s hoping the Winter Soldier receives much press, attention and conversation. We need to keep the dialog going.

  5. Another reason for W to be out of town?

    “Going Upriver” is out on DVD, Mine is enroute from Amazon. I will check our local “arts” theaters to see if they will be showing “Winter Soldier”.

    If “Winter Soldier” is released on DVD, it might be a good presentation for discussion, etc at churches, meetups, etc.

    Would be really worthwhile if we could get viewers to donate a few dollars to PTSD research and treatment. These are the guys (the ones who are still
    alive) who have tried to live with it. And the Iraq vets, last check, were getting to VN levels of PTSD.

    One VN vet came to our hospital this spring instead of the VA. Said he had to stop going there because he couldn’t stand seeing the disabled Iraq vets
    with their wives and kids.

    And given the problems some Vets still have with Kerry, we have a lot of healing to do yet.

  6. We all must have Vet stories from encounters during the campaign and now. Swiftie O’Neill still has a jealous grudge, plus a need for money, I think. Same for the other Swifties.

    But some Vets have honest anger, still, which gets personified by Kerry. Our Head of Security found fault with airing what should be left on the battlefield as secret. I think there is a name or saying. This becomes a general difference of opinion of how to deal with conflict and guilt, resulting, I think, in more PTSD by keeping inside all the ugliness made to do in supposed defense of our country.

  7. KJ

    I posted the link and then listened again. It’s always a bitterweet listen but it gives me hope.

  8. Ginny

    It’s tough for the VN vets to see these young guys going through what they went through. I have a friend who is a VN vet and he has been down at the VA here in LA getting cancer treatment. He wasn’t happy with the Bush admin and is now even less happy seeing the young Vets down there and knowing about all the cuts to services. Thankfully the VA hospital here works with UCLA Med Center so my friend is getting good care.

  9. Marjorie

    Amongst the greatest memories for me of NH was meeting the guys who had served with JK. In some ways it made reading Tour of Duty and watching Going Upriver tougher after meeting those guys.

    There’s been a few stories in recent months about more women coming home with PTSD. I wrote something a while back about it on LUTD. War sucks!

  10. Pamela, I must have said before, but while the Tour of Duty guys were in Nashua: Max, ever so smooth Wade and now forgot the name of the one from Arkansas, the latina colation and I, as a Teresa home girl, bought the guys drinks. A first, for one of them, gals buying the drinks.

    They were quite wonderful and sincere of their allegiance to JK. And I agree how much more personal the book and discomforting about putting people in harms way when personal. Now for oil.

    I work with people who still think the neo-con idea a good thing. Someone has to rule the world, they say.

  11. Marjorie

    I don’t think I knew that one… lucky you gals!

    LOL! The “ever so smooth Wade”… indeed he was! Every one of them were so sweet and so genuine. Not one of those SBL can hold a candle to any of those guys.

    No one has to rule the world, someone needs to unite the world towards peace and prosperity. Those are principles the neocons will never get.

  12. After blogging for dummies, let’s have preview and spell check. (sp)Coalition.

  13. Marjorie

    I guess I need reading for dummies cause I got it!

  14. The old VVAW guys were always a step in front of Kerry, always. Many almost imploded when Kerry couldn’t stay antiwar in Iraqduring the campaign no come out slugging IMMEDIATELY after the Purpled Hearted Bandaid Rove trick at the RNC.
    The Democratic Party’s opposition to Bushwarefare it has been said is as significant as two wet farts. Amen!

    Doghunter PaC

  15. Go here then there.


    and (http://sirnosir.com) STAT

    This is not about Going Up River, it’s about true Winter Soldiers whi spoke truthtelling and were repressed. It was going downstream into the very bowels of the pentagun.