Thursday, August 9, 2007

Day Zero — What would you do?

A couple of weeks ago, Di was surfing and learned about the new indie film, Day Zero. The premise: The military draft is reinstated to fill the ranks for the war on terror. Three best friends in New York City — a novelist, a lawyer and a cabbie — receive their draft notices, and in the 30 days before they must report for duty, they confront their beliefs about duty, honor, courage, friendship and love.

I e-mailed Lew Rockwell about the film on 27 July. He blogged about it on 2 August.

When Day Zero's website saw a surge in traffic, producer Anthony Moody traced it back to Lew Rockwell's blog — you just gotta love the Internets, right George? — so he contacted him. Rockwell invited Moody to write a piece about the film for his website.

Moody's piece appeared on LRC today. He writes:
... Of note, the trio of writer, director and producer included (in no particular order) a liberal, a conservative, and a centrist. So how did we collaborate to make a "political" film? The answer, for my part at least, is that we didn't make a political film in the traditional sense which, to me, is one that takes a biased stance and attempts to persuade the audience to its argument.

Instead, we made a film meant to provoke thought, introspection, discussion, and debate. Mandatory conscription is a concept and practice that dates back literally millennia. Day Zero asks the simple but universal question: What would you do if called to serve? It's a question, like those surrounding guns or abortion, about which people tend to have extremely strong opinions. It's a question whose answer is ultimately rooted in all that is deeply personal.

Is it influenced by one's view of government (left or right), war, class, or religion and morality? Of course. But it is also shaped by who we are, how we perceive ourselves, how others perceive us and interact with us, and how we live our lives. These latter, most personal factors are ones we rarely stop and think about (for the most part).

With Day Zero, what we've tried to do is to get people to stop and ponder for themselves — not a knee-jerk, but a consideration ... when you come home from work, check the mailbox, and sort through the pile — you see that envelope from the Selective Service Administration ... what do you do? How do you feel? How do you respond? How do you treat others around you? And ultimately — what choice do you make?

What's been most gratifying, in this age of disposable entertainment (when was the last time you chatted about a blockbuster beyond the ride home from the theater?) is how the audiences at our screenings let us know — by email, phone, blog posts, reviews, etc. — that Day Zero stayed with them. They continue to think about the characters and how they would respond in their place long after the credits rolled. Even better — they continue to discuss it with their friends and family. In that regard, I'm extremely proud and feel like we did our job.
Before a person can answer the question, "What would I do," I think he needs to answer (as Moody alluded to) the fundamental question, "Who owns my life?" Me? God? The polis (state)? The demos (people)?

Moody writes, "Day Zero is due for a small-scale theatrical release later this year. If successful it will be rolled out to more screens in more markets. It will also eventually be available on DVD." If you are interested in seeing this film, don't wait around for the DVD! Contact the management of your local theaters (especially those that screen documentaries and indie films) and encourage them to get the film.

And when they do, be sure to take some friends along.

I look forward to seeing Day Zero, and hope it provokes a vital and long-overdue discussion in our nation about the proper relationship between the individual and Caesar.


Jon Luker said...

Just saw this movies highlighted in my Google News this morning. Looks interesting as well.

Dianne said...
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Frank said...

Roger that ... No End In Sight is on our radar, as well. Thx for the reminder!