win tickets to see lt. watada at sfiaaff

This one's for my friends in the Bay Area... as you know, the 28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival kicks off next week. A showcase of the best and brightest in Asian and Asian American cinema, it's easily one of my favorite events of the year, and I want you to share in the fun.

So, heck it. I'm giving away five free pairs of tickets to see the documentary Lt. Watada by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fredia Lee Mock, screening Sunday, March 14, at the Landmark Clay Theatre in San Francisco. Here are some details about the film, from the festival catalog:
Lt. Watada

Spotlight: Freida Lee Mock
(USA, 2010, 40 mins, Video)
Directed By: Freida Lee Mock

Cinematographer: Erik Daarstad
Editor: Brian Johnson
Music: Charles Bernstein

Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the bravest man in the military, or the best friend of Al Qaeda, depending on whom you ask. Court marshaled after refusing to deploy to Iraq, he has become a heroic model of resistance for those who oppose a war based on, as he says, "intentionally manipulated intelligence." His supporters include the Grannies for Peace and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His opponents hold signs along the road like "Honk for our Troops, Fart for Watada."

In LT. WATADA, documentary filmmaker Freida Lee Mock allows the very well spoken lieutenant to tell his tale of resistance, one that finds its bravery not on the battlefield, but in the soul. With a copy of the 1973 children's novel HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS on his desk, Watada explains that after 9/11 he abandoned a potential career in finance and joined the military to help his country defeat terrorism. His new battalion commander encouraged him to learn "everything there is to know" about the military and Watada began to seek out the history of Iraq, research that led him to believe the battle he was about to engage in was an illegal war "of devastating consequences based on lies." Invoking the Geneva Convention and the UN Charter, Watada and his lawyer ask the controversial question, "What if our elected leaders become the enemy?" Watada believes that his loyalty is to the people of the U.S., not to its president. For him, and for the countless others he has come to represent, resisting the war in Iraq is a "David and Goliath matter." And we all know what happened to Goliath. - Natalie Mulford
Director Freida Lee Mock will be in attendance for a post-screening Q & A. If you know anything about the story of Lt. Ehren Watada, you know that as a military man, his refusal to deploy to Iraq made him one of the most significant, public voices against the war. This should be a really interesting film.

If you'd like a chance to win tickets, just email me with your name by the end of Monday, March 8. Be sure to include "SFIAAFF TICKET GIVEAWAY" in the subject line. I'll throw all the names in a hat, pick four winners at random, and you'll be on your way. Otherwise, you can purchase tickets and learn more about the festival at the SFIAAFF website here.

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