“Another Vile Three-Headed Monster Threatens Humanity”
A Filmmaker and Fellow Traveler Reflects on Working with Narco News
By Greg Berger
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
April 18, 2005
Why does an independent filmmaker need friends like Narco News? The answer lies in the nature of the beast.
I grew up in 1980’s New York. Cigar smoking yuppies working in the stock market stepped over the city’s increasing homeless population in front of our rent-stabilized apartment. Inside, my mother cooked dinner every weekend while screaming at Ronald Reagan’s lying face on a television in the kitchen, while I watched kung-fu and monster movies on another TV in the living room. It’s not hard to see then, as an adult why I became an activist using film – both fiction and non-fiction – as a medium for dissent, sharing of information, and radical entertainment.
In the pantheon of Saturday afternoon television, the Japanese monsters of the world of Godzilla movies were the best. In that world, the fire-breathing Godzilla made unlikely alliances with such supernatural creatures as Mothra (a giant moth and sometime protector of humanity) to defend Tokyo from Gidhra, a three-headed atomic monster from Outer Space. Countless human deaths were prevented when their combined powers repelled the ruthless Gidhra back into the nether reaches of the galaxy.
Today, another vile three-headed monster threatens humanity. Gidhra the genocidal space alien has a three-headed cousin whose heads represent a triumvirate of undemocratic so-called democratic states, unrestricted capital, and the contraband drug and arms trades. These three heads displace entire communities, proliferate violence, destroy the environment as they grab natural resources throughout the global South, and claim democratic legitimacy even as true democratic alternatives are repressed. Where are Godzilla and Mothra when we need them?
As a filmmaker, I seek to embed myself within communities affected by this new neoliberal “Gidhra” to produce entertaining and informative independent films. But I can’t work alone. Thankfully, I have formed an alliance with Narco News, the groundbreaking online newspaper whose frontline reporting of the drug war and true democratic movements in the Americas have brought top quality journalism on stories ignored or misreported by the mainstream media. After participating in the 2004 Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, I now have a new network of collaborators from Narco News that includes talented video journalists, frontline contacts from throughout the Americas, and progressive print journalists. Given that it is a constant uphill battle to produce high-quality independent radical media, it has been essential for me as a filmmaker to make such alliances. Together we are following in the footsteps of Godzilla and Mothra to destroy the enemies of humanity through our work.
Filmmaking must be informative, and journalism must be entertaining. But unlike most mainstream Hollywood films or Fox news, independent endeavors in both disciplines must be executed with integrity and be free of manipulation by powerful interests. That’s why working with Narco News has proven to be such a joy. We are indeed fellow travelers.
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