Leave it to the Belcourt to host back-to-back screenings of three controversial movies that amount to political dynamite, all within a single week—and from the right as well as the left.
First up, the theater has been rented Tuesday, Oct. 3, by a group called 911 Truth for a single screening of the incendiary 9/11 conspiracy documentary Loose Change
. A true underground phenomenon, the 80-minute film, made for $5,000 by three young New York filmmakers, has become a lightning rod for a growing number of Americans who suspect the U.S. government of involvement in the events of Sept. 11. According to a recent profile in Vanity Fair
, the film has been watched online more than 10 million times, and additional sites have sprung up to rebut or rally around its charges. Producer Korey Rowe and researcher Jason Mermas are flying in from New York for the screening (and what should be one hell of a post-film Q&A).
Then, on Friday, Oct. 6, the Belcourt opens another documentary that has triggered a grass-roots outcry, Aaron Russo's America: Freedom to Fascism
. Russo's doc wonders what gives the IRS its legal justification to tax our wages; the film concludes that taxing is yet another way the federal government impinges upon the basic freedoms of Americans, with worse on the horizon. The message has hit a nerve: Belcourt programmer Toby Leonard says the theater has been getting calls about the film from as far away as North Carolina and Alabama. Shhh, don't tell Phil Valentine.
Finally, on Monday, Oct. 9, Democracy for Tennessee sponsors a screening of Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers
, the latest cinematic grenade from activist-doc superstar Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed
). Greenwald's new target is the business of war, focusing on the corporations that have reaped big bucks from their connections to Washington decision-makers. Something for everyone.