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VIDEO: Hitchens vs Galloway: The Big Debate

VIDEO: Independent Media In A Time Of War

VIDEO The Making Of "Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories"

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Very Pissed Off Combat Veterans -- And Blueprints For Change By John McCarthy

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VIDEO
The Making Of "Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories"

Interview with documentary film maker Mike Shiley about his film "Inside Iraq".

Discussion includes:

  • Media's role in forming public opinion and creating our fear of arabs and a belief of "must attack".
  • How the American "Corporate Media" causes a shift from investigative journalism to propaganda

Runtime 50 minutes, click play to start

Source:
www.youtube.com

See the film

VIDEO Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories

FROM PRESS RELEASE

CRASHING THE WAR IN IRAQ:

HOW I MADE A FAKE PRESS PASS AT KINKO’S, JOINED THE ARMY AS A TANK GUNNER, AND WON A COMBAT MEDAL.

Guerilla journalist and filmmaker Mike Shiley will speak and screen the film Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories as part of a national collegiate tour. After the screening, Shiley will present a solution to the war in Iraq!

When it comes to the war in Iraq, most Americans no longer know who to believe. The media? The government? The soldiers?

We deserve to know more about Iraq than car bombs and press conferences!

Mike Shiley, with no media or military experience:

  • Made a fake ABC News press pass at Kinko's
  • Rented a bullet-proof vest
  • Flew to Iraq on frequent flier miles
  • Traveled unarmed through Iraq for two months reporting what the media ignores Embedded with the US military
  • Joined a tank combat unit on the Syrian border
  • Awarded a civilian combat medal

Shiley produced a balanced 84-minute documentary film, called Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories that uncovers incredible new stories from the fresh and honest perspective of an average American.

Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories has screened at 15 film festivals and was awarded BEST DOCUMENTARY four times.

STORY IDEAS:

  • Are you F***ING crazy? Did you really make an ABC News press pass at Kinko’s and join the military as a tank gunner?
  • The solution for long-term peace
  • What is going right and what is going wrong
  • What the Iraqi people really want
  • Five things the media and the military never tells us
  • Millions of dollars worth of goods are thrown in the base dump
  • How one soldier stopped the nightly base attacks

TRAILER:
www.insideiraqthemovie.com/trailer.html

HIGH RES PHOTOS:
www.insideiraqthemovie.com/presskit.html

BIO PROFILE OF MIKE SHILEY

Award-winning filmmaker, lecturer and journalist Mike Shiley, has been to the most dangerous places in the world. He lived in and traveled through the Middle East, covered wars in Iraq and Kosovo, reported on the tsunami in SE Asia and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

An avid world adventure traveler, Mike has visited 38 countries. He has trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, completed a 3,000-mile solo bicycle trip from Canada to Mexico, climbed 14 mountains in the Pacific Northwest, and is a ski instructor for the handicapped. An accomplished scuba diver and a certified Divemaster, he has guided over 250 dives in the Red Sea in Egypt.

Mike has produced six feature length documentary films. His last two films have been official selections in over 30 film festivals and have won Best Documentary awards five times. The Smithsonian Institution selected Shiley’s new film, Dark Water Rising, to be a part of its permanent collection on Hurricane Katrina.

Mike has spoken and shown his films over 400 times in 35 states and seven countries.

Mike is 39 and lives in Portland, Oregon.

MEDIA REVIEWS

...allows viewers to experience people and places not typically seen on the news.
- The Boston Globe

Those who are strongly for or against the Iraq war won’t find their positions unequivocally supported by this film. Which is what makes it worth seeing.
- The Portland Tribune

Shiley's film is an incredible guided tour of the Iraq that has yet to be adequately portrayed in mainstream American media.
- Willamette Week (Portland, OR)-Movie Review

… a highly personal travelogue that sheds a light on a complex and volatile situation.
- The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Shiley deserves credit for going to Iraq twice by himself to get stories that are worth showing.
- San Francisco Chronicle

...makes an important point about just how out of control the situation in Iraq has gotten…”
- San Francisco Bay Guardian

...a rare, unfettered look at what’s going on “over there”.
- The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI

...a war documentary of exceptional humanity.
- The Daily Page, Madison, WI

…a heartfelt documentary that shows so much more than we see on our nightly news.
- The Denver Post

The result is a fascinating, unfiltered perspective...”
- The Independent, Missoula, MT

This is guerrilla filmmaking at its best...”
- Salt Lake City Weekly

 
LEWISTON TRIBUNE

Filmmaker looks 'Inside Iraq'
Documentarian brings his film to WSU for showing and discussion

November 5, 2004
JENNIFER K. BAUER

Like many Americans, independent filmmaker Mike Shiley's life is divided into before 9-11, and the dark shadow of after.

Before 9-11, he worked odd jobs between trekking the globe making what he calls B-version Travel Channel adventure videos bought mostly by senior citizens, "who didn't seem to know cable TV existed." After 9-11, he talked his way into the Iraqi war zone with his camera.

Footage of him climbing Everest and on elephant safari in Thailand changed to him interviewing child victims of Saddam's mine fields and firing a tank on a U.S. "harass and intimidate" mission. These last are scenes in his 80-minute documentary, "Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories," which he is taking to universities and colleges around the country. He will be at Washington State University in Pullman Sunday.

After getting a business degree in 1989 from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Shiley went to work at Burlington Northern Railroad in "the most boring job ever." He saved his money, quit and began traveling around the world with his camera. He guided scuba dives in Egypt, where he learned Arabic, and biked 3,000 miles from Canada to Mexico. He visited Russia in its first year of nonrestricted travel and spent Christmas Eve in Bethlehem.

Then 9-11 happened and Shiley felt called to do something for his country. "I was too old to join the military and I was not sure if that was the direction for me. I wanted to see if I could get into Iraq and tell a story closer to what was going on in the country."

He convinced the Portland branch of Northwest Medical Teams International to take him to northern Iraq, where teams were setting up medical clinics during the spring of 2003. The organization first rejected, then accepted -- after more persuading -- his offer to pay his own expenses and film the teams' efforts. The Kurdish region was safely pro-American.

When he returned to the United States he felt he had to get to Baghdad to get the story. He contacted all the major media affiliates in Portland and made a deal with ABC, the only one that replied, to supply free images from Iraq. In return, he agreed to be embedded with the Oregon National Guard -- who happened to be running the largest base in the country, Logistical Support Area Anaconda.

Shiley was to leave before Christmas 2003. Kidnappings, beheadings and car bombings were the daily headlines and he circled the airport anxiously four times in his car. "I could not get myself out of the car. It was like peeling myself off the seat."

His introduction to the war zone was ABC's weekly Saturday morning "shuttle" -- 11 armor-plated, bullet-proof, white Chevy Suburbans driving in wedge formation at 100 mph along Route 1 from Amman, Jordan, to Baghdad. The 10-hour trip took them through Fallujah, the country's most violence-prone city and part of the rebellious Sunni Triangle.

Driving through Fallujah, the armed Jordanian drivers didn't take any chances, bumping cars that got in their way off the road. Shiley and the others had to don bullet-proof vests and lay on the floor. "It was probably the scariest part of the whole experience," says Shiley, who had begun filming.

His untold stories of Iraq include a day at Saddam's mine fields on the border between Kurdistan and Iraq. The 30 million mines behind lines of red flags printed with skull-and-crossbones symbols were being removed by workers paid $10 a day. He spent Christmas Eve with U.S. soldiers listening to gunfire and helicopters and visited an Iraqi hospital for mine victims where children sit with faces, legs and arms melted by the mines' sulfuric acid.

He finds a civilian bomb shelter hit by a U.S. laser-guided, bunker-busting, smart bomb during the first Gulf War. The shelter was lined with three layers of 6-foot-thick, reinforced concrete. There were 345 people inside. "The heat was so great when it detonated it literally seared people to the walls. It burned them so bad you could see the outlines of people. It's ghastly. It's like the shadow of a ghost." The shelter now contains gravestones, photos of victims and a clock set at the time of the explosion. "It's just one person's perspective," Shiley says of his film. "I didn't try to push an agenda. It's my personal experience. It's disturbing. It's sad. There are people out there who don't want to think. They want to think that everything we (the U.S.) touch turns to gold. "We're trying to make a neutral film. It's so messed up over there. We are our own worst enemy in so many ways."

Shiley believes he has a better perspective on what is going on in Iraq than most soldiers stationed there. "I respect the soldiers. I was embedded with them for two weeks, wore the uniform of the military and trained to be a gunner on a tank. Even so, I'll tell you that so many of them don't understand Iraqi culture. "Few speak two words of the language and the vast majority never get off the base, never get around the people. They just don't do that. They're up in a tank or in a unit sweeping for insurgents -- although the people that do that are a very small part of what they do over there. Most know relatively little about the country and may or may not have met an Iraqi."

Shiley says response to "Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories" has been polarized at the universities and colleges he has visited. In one place, a Vietnam veteran jumped on stage screaming and cursing Shiley and his film. He had to be removed by security guards. Other times, he says, people bought the video before the show and demanded their money back afterward. Others have approached him with tears in their eyes saying it's the greatest thing they've ever seen. He is entering the film at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.

He is planning a new film about the civil war in Sudan, Africa. "I feel I've done something far greater than I ever thought," says Shiley. "I'm just one guy and his camera ... I just shot what I saw."

Bauer may be contacted at jkbauer@lmtribune.com
 

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