It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 14, 2006.
Almost a month later, it was broadcast in the United Kingdom to 1.6 million viewers. The next day, it was released on DVD and the Internet, and it immediately created a whirlwind of controversy. The original promotional poster--featuring a shackled man with a burlap sack over his head--was censored by the Motion Picture Association of America; the film later was a catalyst for a $10 million lawsuit against the U.S. government.
The Road to Guantanamo, directed by Michael Winterbottom, tells the story of the three British citizens of Pakistani descent who were held for two years by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A free screening of the movie will be held on Monday at the UA Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Auditorium.
"It's kind of a buildup of horror, how they were imprisoned and tortured, and even though they spoke English, they could not convince the Americans that they were not Taliban," said Mary Jo Ghory, a member of Voices of Opposition, the group which organizes the Monday Night Film Series.
The "Tipton Three," named after their hometown in Great Britain, were captured by the Northern Alliance while crossing the border of Afghanistan on their way to a wedding in Pakistan in 2001.
The film is part-documentary (using archival footage and interviews) and part-dramatization of the three ex-prisoners' accounts of accusations and torture during their stay at Guantanamo Bay. They were eventually released, with no formal charges ever filed.
Because chances to see this film on a big screen are rare, Ghory hopes people will take the opportunity to see what she calls "a great movie." --D.P.
Imagine standing up to the most technologically lethal organization ever created by humans--the United States Armed Forces--in an attempt to change its ethics.
This is exactly what Air Force Academy graduate Mikey Weinstein is doing: He's made it his goal to restore the obliterated wall that separates church and state.
As the president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Weinstein continues to march forward with his cause--and he has 128 years of military family history to reflect upon.
Coming from a family whose members have served in every major combat engagement our country has been involved in since World War I, Weinstein has the experience to talk about the military.
"The U.S has one biblical worldview, which has taken over the Pentagon. Christian fundamentalists completely brutalized the oath they took to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution," said Weinstein.
He has written books on, made movies about and conducted lectures on the bloody wars started over holy issues throughout the world. Weinstein's latest book, With God on Our Side, exposes the systemic problem of religious intolerance throughout the United States Armed Forces.
"We (the United States) defeated Hitler and Mussolini back in World War II, and they were all fascist--we defeated them in 44 months without becoming fascist ourselves. Must we become the Christian Taliban in order to defeat the Islamic Taliban?" Weinstein asked.
The lecture is free. --J.W.
Former Tucsonan Jamie Anderson hasn't been here for a while, and she said she's excited to finally get some real Mexican food.
Born and raised in Phoenix, the award-winning singer-songwriter-comic's journey is coming full circle. From her home in Durham, N.C., where she teaches guitar, she is returning to Tucson--where she recorded her first album--to perform a concert showcasing her eighth album, Three Bridges, at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.
"I have very fond memories of Tucson," Anderson said. "There are a lot of ties to Arizona with this album."
Three Bridges is a celebration of 20 years of touring. It features her most-requested songs, from ballads to blues to folk tunes, as well as two new jams.
Anderson taught herself to play guitar as a Girl Scout and began performing in coffee houses and bars around Tempe while in high school, playing folksy, Joni Mitchell-esque music.
When she moved to Tucson to attend the UA as a business student, she never imagined that she'd end up a full-time musician, especially after being offered a job in the legal field. It was her girlfriend who encouraged her to follow her passion for crooning.
"She asked me: Do you want to wake up when you're 80 and say, 'I wish I'd tried that?'" Anderson said. "She convinced me to play music for a living. Who wants to be safe? Do something exciting!"
Anderson is also looking forward to seeing the Catalinas, going to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and listening to KXCI FM 91.3, where she used to be a DJ.
Tickets are $10. For more info, visit greenfireonline.org. --D.P.
In the mid-1990s, cousins Louis and Shaol Pozez organized a free lecture series for UA's Center for Judaic Studies.
It's been almost a decade since Shaol Pozez passed away in 1999, but the Shaol Pozez Memorial Lectureship Series--now named in honor of the philanthropist--continues on.
Ed Wright, director of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, said the series of lectures brings in leading scholars from around the country and world to discuss topics in which the UA department lacks expertise.
"The theme is new ways of looking at issues that have been of interest in these scholars' particular fields," said Wright.
This year, the lecture series includes a variety of subjects ranging from how Middle Eastern countries can move peace forward to bringing Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient texts back to life.
Dr. Kenneth W. Stein, director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel at Emory University in Atlanta, will lecture on Monday at the Jewish Community Center.
"Dr. Stein will (speak) on what works in negotiations and how negations can move forward in the conflict between the Israelis and Arabs," said Wright. "He will talk about what has and has not worked throughout different negotiation rounds in history." He is the second of the six speakers in the monthly series, which began in October.
(Dr. Stein said he preferred not to speak to the Weekly, because media outlets have tended to quote him incorrectly in the past. He said he would rather his information be heard at the lecture.)
For information on lectures, visit the Shaol Pozez Memorial Lectureship Series Web site. --J.W.