On June 12, 2012 at 7pm the Rosendale Theatre will showcase a “sneak preview” of the documentary film Bordering on Treason—the extraordinary and inspiring story of journalist Lorna Tychostup, who, on the brink of war, travels to Iraq — determined to put a human face on what has been the decade’s most conspicuous and tragic global crisis. Bordering On Treason Director/Producer, Trish Dalton and Tychostup will be on hand to answer questions after the screening. Dalton recently won a NYS Council on the Arts $17,000 grant to complete post-production on the documentary.
It was a heady time,” said Tychostup of her trip to Iraq in February 2003, just weeks before the bombing began. “After 9/11, when media talking heads were saying that 90 percent of Americans wanted to strike at those behind the attack, I began documenting the US peace movement – the supposed 10 percent who did not want to go to war. The sanctions were still in place against Saddam and Americans going to Iraq were subject to heavy fines and imprisonment. I was interviewed by the major networks… NBC’s Nightly News, NPR, Fox’s Hannity and Colmes. FOX labeled me a ‘lefty liberal,’ lambasted my efforts as ‘villainous and bordering on treason,’ and accused me of ‘aiding and abetting the enemy.’ On later trips, when I wrote about what Iraqis were telling me, folks on the extreme left called me a Bush lover and criticized me for supporting the war.”
Arriving in Iraq, Tychostup spent 3 weeks dodging Saddam régime-assigned “minders” in order to walk the streets and take taxis unencumbered. Visiting homes, hospitals, markets, and schools in and around Baghdad, and she then traveled to the Iraq/Kuwait border to document where coalition forces would be crossing. Returning home to the US with 75 rolls of color and B&W film, her photos were used to brand the American Friend’s Service Committee’s Eyes Wide Open Exhibit on the Human Cost of War that was shown at over 100 sites all across the US. Along with photos of Iraqis, the exhibit laid out a pair of boots for every US soldier killed in Iraq – a number that grew daily. As the boots approached 4,000, the touring exhibit was reluctantly shut down – too expensive and unwieldy to maintain.
Returning regularly over the years to research, write about, and photograph conditions on the ground, Tychostup reported the stories of Iraqis facing everyday realities, and eventually became consultant to an Iraqi environmental conservation group, Nature Iraq, working to base-line environmental conditions in Iraq in support of socio-economic development and reconstruction efforts. “Can you imagine, before the bombing stopped these folks were on the ground undoing Saddam’s draining of 90 percent of Iraq’s massive Mesopotamian Marshlands, an area the size of the state of Massachusetts where he diverted the water flow in retaliation against the Shiite in the south. Since then, NI scientists working in the north, central and south of the country, in the face of the insurgency and related violence, have been taking water, fish, and plant samples, and counting and photographing migratory bird species….”
Always leaving Iraq with more questions than answers, Tychostup chose to round out her on-the-ground experience by completing an MS at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs in 2009. Exactly seven years after her first trip to Iraq, in February 2010, she took up residence in Baghdad working as a Communications and Outreach consultant for USAID-funded and other development projects.
“A lot of
writers, academics, and pundits talk about the issues in Iraq – many pushing their own agendas while in most cases never having stepped foot in the country. I’ve had an unparalleled opportunity to witness complex developments and have built my reputation on reporting the ‘other truths’ – stories that go beyond mainstream media coverage of explosions and dead bodies. Along with the rest of the world, I watched the march to war and lived through the devastating day-to-day realities. I’ve also had the privilege to be among ordinary Iraqis and witness their death-defying attempts to rebuild their country and forge their own brand of freedom. My hope is that Bordering On Treason will not only inspire viewers, but also give them some sense of healing. After all, we all lived through this together…”
Suggested Donation: $12 at door, $10 in advance * 7pm Showtime
Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street, Rosendale, NY
CONTACT: Mary Goggin * Cell: 845 – 702-4506 * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish Dalton: (Director/Producer) Independent filmmaker. Credits include: Why Are We In Afghanistan? Producer/Editor, Studs Terkel Award for Media and Journalism 2010; One Night Stand Director/Producer, Audience Award from NewFest, screened at Denver, Austin, Miami, IFFBoston and other festivals 2011/12; Keras&Manis Editor, Gold Kahuna from Honolulu IFF, Best Editing Award from Los Angeles Reel FF 2010; 34x25x36 Co-producer, aired on PBS, screened at SXSW, Full Frame, True/False and other festivals 2008/2009; Farm Sanctuary, Co-producer/director, Media that Matters Food Award 2007; and Tiffany’s Story, Director/Producer, Tribeca Film Festival 2005.