imageThe bizarre story of Asa/Ace/Forrest Carter truly hinges on the cusp of believability. The film The Reconstruction of Asa Carter traces the confusing reinvention of white supremacist and polemicist Asa “Ace” Carter into Forrest Carter, self-proclaimed storyteller of the Cherokee Nation, and author of the New Agey book “The Education of Little Tree.” In hindsight, Forrest Carter’s success as an author (he first penned the sleeper-hit novel “The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales”) makes sense in a twisted way. No matter what first name he was using, Carter was clearly a consummate storyteller, regardless of whether he was using his speechwriting skills to burnish Alabama politician George Wallace’s credibility as a stark racist and segregationist, or if he was selling the character of Forrest the Novelist to a smiling Barbara Walters. Some of the film’s most striking scenes consist of capturing the reactions of the friends of Forrest as they are shown clips of the vitriolic hatred he espoused in his earlier incarnation as Ace. They are understandability bewildered, seeking an explanation that only the late Carter himself has the power to provide. Following the screening, Stranger Than Fiction Artistic Director Thom Powers spoke with director Marco Ricci, producer Douglas Newman, executive producer Laura Browder and co-producer Michael Fix. Click “Read more” below for the Q&A.

[Photo: from left, Laura Browder, Douglas Newman and Marco Ricci, courtesy of Simon Luethi]

Stranger Than Fiction: What brought you to the story, and what led you to take control of it? I would think once the news broke, the revelation had been made, that there would be lots of people who would want to tell this story.

Douglas Newman:
We got to the story soon after it broke. I was in college at Brandeis University, and was assigned The Education of Little Tree in class. My father, in passing, mentioned remembering reading something in the New York Times about it being a hoax. I mentioned it to my professor, who kind of blew me off. The long and short of it was that I went to a different professor who said, you should do a project on it. Laura, who was a graduate student writing a book about fake ethnic biographies—yes, there are enough to fill a book. Then about twelve years later, after working in documentaries, I approached Marco and Laura, and said, let’s do this for real. No one had done it, and there were a lot of challenges that made it so that no one had done it.

STF: Can you talk about those challenges?

Newman: One is a lack of people who want to talk. It took us a long time to get people who were willing to talk. Another is a lack of archival footage. We squeezed every bit of archival footage of Asa and Forrest that existed, those were the two biggest challenges.

Marco Ricci:
Well, also, his life is confusing.

Laura Browder: It’s a very tangled web. We had to do some simplification, just to be able to tell the story coherently. His life was a mess, he moved around a lot, he had these different identities…

STF:
Talk about the search for archival footage, because what you did pull up is kind of amazing stuff.

Newman: I think our biggest find was in somebody’s basement, it was a two-inch tape of his campaign commercial for governor. We found stuff at a local Alabama television station that they didn’t even know they had. Because I had gotten it years back, and then Marco and I went down to Montgomery and searched their archives and we didn’t find it, and he didn’t know he had it. The liberty essays, the audio, we used a couple at the end, we got from one of his friends who had the cassette tapes.

Ricci:
There were months of detective work that had to go into this.

Audience:
Did you guys get in touch with his family? What happened to them?

Browder:
His family was also very elusive. His wife would never return phone messages, his kids would never return phone messages. We did track down one relative eventually, who was a very interesting person, but didn’t want to be interviewed on camera because he didn’t want to be identified with a violent white supremacist.

Ricci:
We had a screening in his hometown, and a lot of his grandkids were there. We met them and they really were appreciative to—and his son too, to an extent—but they were appreciative of the portrayal because ours is not as condemning as he was in the papers, I don’t think. We tried to present a fairly rounded piece. So we met them there and they were appreciative of the handling of it, which meant a lot to me.

STF:
Can you talk about getting those interviews with the former Klansmen? Or for all I know they’re current Klansmen. What was the process?

Ricci: Douglas had met this guy Wayne Greenhaw, who was sort of the intro. But a lot of it was just like, we would go down three or four times, and then they would talk to us. Like Ray Andrews, he stood us up a couple of times, and then we paid him like 300 bucks or something, and he invited us to go out to some restaurant in the hills.

Audience:
Do you, or does the Cherokee tribe, think he is part Cherokee?

Browder:
For a very long time, The Education of Little Tree was on sale in reservation bookstores. We actually talked to the leader of a Cherokee cultural organization who still loves the book, and had her grandparents give it to her to read when she was younger. Has he been authenticated by the Cherokees? No.

Ricci:
Well, what is Cherokee? That’s very dicey. Are you on the rolls, is it blood, is it cultural? There are tribes in Alabama who are totally not Cherokee compared to the tribes in Oklahoma, but they believe they’re Cherokee. It’s a really loaded question.

Newman:
He’s not culturally Cherokee and he’s not on any rolls.

Audience:
Do you think this was something where people enact another ethnicity to reinforce their feeling of whiteness?

Browder: Yes, absolutely. There is a long history of white supremacists embracing Native Americans as a pure, doomed race. In that sense, Asa Carter fell squarely into that tradition. That misty footage you saw at the beginning of the movie, that was from the first supposedly all Native American movie, The Silent Enemy, which starred a former colored janitor from North Carolina who had reinvented himself as a Native American. Asa Carter was kind of the flip side of that.

Audience:
Did his wife and children know what he was doing?

Newman:
She knew, his kids certainly knew. I think they really were kept kind of behind the scenes, I don’t think they went with him anywhere. But they definitely knew.

Audience:
How exactly was the fraud uncovered?

Newman:
It was actually uncovered twice, three times maybe. It keeps getting uncovered. People forget, and then it pops back up. It was originally uncovered in 1976 in a very small article buried on like page 26 in the New York Times by Wayne Greenhaw, who’s in the film. He wrote something when Josey Wales came out, wondering if Forrest Carter was really this guy Asa Carter. No one paid attention to it. His publisher denied it, his camp denied it, and everyone seemed to be fine with it. Then Dan Carter, when the book started becoming really popular, right around Dances With Wolves, that’s when Carter wrote a full page op-ed piece in the New York Times. Then Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote something, and that’s what got people’s attention. It’s funny because it was on Oprah’s book list until 2007.

Browder: The history of Asa Carter is the history of our cultural amnesia, really. We kept finding out that he wasn’t who he appeared to be, and then we forgot again, because we wanted so badly to believe as a nation in this mystical, magical Native American identity that he wanted to portray.

STF: After spending all this time on this character, what are your personal feelings on Asa Carter, Forrest Carter?

Ricci: We’ve had arguments for hours about it. But obviously as a director, you sort of fall in love with your characters. Not that I’m in love with Asa, but he’s certainly a fascinating guy, and I have my own thoughts on the truth of his journey, but I think I’ll keep them to myself, because I think that’s what’s enjoyable about it. If you talk to people who knew him, they would insist that he was a transformed guy.

Browder:
He was successful because he was a cypher, he was sort of a Rorschach blot that audiences could project their fantasies onto. We all hope and wish that our audience will do the same thing.

Ricci:
One thing you have to give him credit for was that he was really smart and talented. No doubt about it. If you look at the stuff he wrote in the 50s, it’s awful, but he knew what would get people emotionally.

Audience:
Was he aware of the violence that his speeches could cause?

Ricci:
I certainly think he was aware. He certainly was a believer in segregation, no doubt about it. It was war to him, he was fine with that at that point in time.

[Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.]

Related Film

asacarter_website
THE RECONSTRUCTION OF ASA CARTER

  • Bud Parr

    Congrats! This is exciting.

  • Pamela Cohn

    I have a wonderful conversation on my blog with Astra—talented, talented woman!

    http://stillinmotion.typepad.com/

  • Bud Parr

    Great essay, Thom. Many of us who write about books, serious literary fiction and literature in translation in particular, feel the same way; it’s a complaint commensurate with the shift/decline in print media.

    Don’t discount blogs though. At least in the book world there are a lot of avid writers not only picking up where the old mainstream media left off, but finding new ways to critique and engage books (and pushing the blog format) – new online literary journals are popping up too, for the very same reason that there are more filmmakers: technology has reduced the barriers to entry. And now, former professional critics are becoming online critics, paid or not, and enjoying the freedom of the format and the connection with their audience that rarely existed in print. The result is an eclectic and vibrant mix of voices and I’d assert that if there’s an audience for doc films, which there is, then there’s the potential at least for the same sort of renaissance in doc-film criticism.

    Bud Parr, blogger,
    Chekhov’s Mistress
    Words Without Borders

  • David Van Taylor

    Nice going, Thom!

    I’ve bemoaned the sad state of docu criticism on many occasions, but never really considered that there might be an alternative.  Reading your piece made me realize what a boon reliably in-depth and insightful criticism would be to my work (and others’). 

    Maybe you should contact Pat Aufderheide.  Now that she’s successfully revolutionized copyright, perhaps she can help fix things up in this arena.  But seriously, I bet her Center could make a real contribution.

    Thanks for opening eyes and pushing the field forward.

    dvt

  • Bill Jersey

    Thanks for the thoughtful analysis.
    Problem is that we are dealing with “the Tyranny of Large Numbers”
    When I was doing Network television in the early 60’s there were 4 channels- and a push from the FCC to do “ed B’castin” How does one do justice now to the abundance of programming bombarding us.
    and more importantly-What in our contemp society encourages reflection, much less contemplation- we believe the lies because it’s easier than searching out the truth- and if they confirm our assumptions- so much the better.
    But I, like you ,and thousands of others soldier on
    —because even if unwanted or ignored- the pursuing of truth beauty and justice is our way of being in the world and I for one have no intention of changing course.
    Bill Jersey

  • Sean Farnel

    great essay Thom.

    As a smalltown boy my own love of cinema was heavily reliant on film criticism. I didn’t have access to many of the films I was reading about (via by Pauline Kael, Ebert, and especially J. Hoberman, when I could find a Village Voice in Northern Ontario), but the writing fueled my interest and passion, and eventually led me to film school.

    In Toronto, our best film critic, Geoff Pevere, become quite addicted to docs, and wrote incisively about them. I tangibly noticed what a difference it made in developing audience interest for the form here. Unfortunately we lost him to the Book Section!

    But, I agree with Rosenbaum that sites like ROUGE (which is excellent) are picking up the critical slack, even if industry gossip sites continue get most of the hits.

  • Robyn

    Wow, this sounds great. Wish I had been there. Ever since I read her autobiography Dust Tracks on the Road, I have been obsessed with ZNH!

  • Andrew Berends

    Also deserving a mention: the first Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Awards. Perhaps the fanciest documentary party ever, or, as one of the grantees commented, the scruffiest Gucci party ever. Not scruffy at all though.

  • Shashwati

    Hey Thom, when are you going to head East and check out all the great stuff being made in East Asia? can’t you come to the Iron Horse, the Golden Horse or something?

  • Brian

    Here’s a look back at the STFs I attended this past year:
    http://www.thefilmpanelnotetaker.com/2008/12/thom-powers-top-10-favorite-doc-events.html

    As well as my own top 10 list:
    http://www.thefilmpanelnotetaker.com/2008/12/reflections-on-2008-and-top-10-favorite.html

    Looking forward to the new season!

  • Nigel Beale

    I spend most of my time reading and reviewing books, and interviewing authors. Engaging with the printed word is simply much more stimulating than watching 90% of the movies that are currently served up to the public..of the 10% that are worth thinking and writing about, I’d say most are documentaries…

    This is, as you say, an interesting field in which to practice criticism; given the state of today’s media however, few are likely to be hired based on any particular knowledge of the documentary genre.

    Good criticism is a function as much of what is criticized as of how the critic writes…and talented critics, when they have a choice, will always seek out the most challenging material, regardless of which medium it may appear in.

  • Tom Hall

    I saw VSPRS in Paris in October 2007 (on my honeymoon), and its was GREAT; I had no idea this was happening! Big fan of Sophie’s… glad to see PERVERT’S GUIDE get a run… and no idea she had done a VSPRS film…

    Thanks for the update, Thom!

  • Deanna Kamiel

    Great piece, Thom.  Essential.  A new doc criticism is necessary if only to encompass documentary filmmaking in countries like China, India, Africa and eastern Europe.  Jia Zhangke, for example—Useless, 24 City—says he makes non-fiction films to stop the disappearing of images and stories and landscapes, endemic to postwar Chinese history.

    Many thanks,

    Deanna Kamiel

  • paula longendyke

    Thanks Raphaela for your account of the festival.  I read evey word and felt like I was there.  You and Thom are the best.  Hope Kevin and I will get to see you soon at IFC for a screening!
    Happy New Year
    Paula

  • Sean

    Beautiful evening. I especially enjoyed the screening of the 12-minute short on “The First World Festival of Negro Arts” I loved how Greaves captured the optimism of that early period of African independence so well.

    Sean Jacobs
    http://theleoafricanus.com/

  • Naomi Woddis

    just read it – now am in tears. Britical you write so bloody well, I want 1000’s and more to read your words !

  • james

    nice enjoyment had taken place i m feeling jealous.

    motorcycle insurance quote

  • tully

    It was initially disappointing to see so many empty seats in that room the other night, for this will certainly turn out to be one of the real cinema-going treats of 2009, but the post-film Q&A;felt more intimate because of it (although that one dude telling Peter Davis what he did and didn’t stage was… well, I would rather not get into that right now).

    Lucky for us, and shame on everyone else for missing out (though maybe Cannes had something to do with that?). It sounds like there are no immediate plans for Icarus to release the Middletown series in a more affordable DVD boxed set edition, but maybe if enough of us complain it will kick them/someone else into gear. After having only seen Seventeen and Second Time Around, this already stands tall as the Decalogue of nonfiction. I might consider lopping off a finger to see the others. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

  • Nick

    It was mildly disappointing, I suppose, that the theater wasn’t jam-packed, but the real disappointment is that these films aren’t available on DVD.  In an age when EVERYTHING is available for download or rental or Netflix, it’s inexplicable that we shouldn’t all be able to order up these six beauties with the touch of a button (and, okay, maybe a credit card).

    As for the so-called ‘argument’ about what was staged and what wasn’t—with all due respect, you missed the point.  It wasn’t that anything was staged, and no one, not I, who got the conversation started, and not the other dude in the row behind me (who I think is the dude to whom you’re referring), was suggesting that any scenes were staged, but merely the rather obvious fact that the actions of the subjects of documentary films are of course altered by the presence of the camera. 

    (My point, and I am happy to make it again, and complete it, is that the scene where the couple talks about how much money the guy spends on his stamp collection was in particular affected by the camera’s presence; that without a camera there, it is likely these two may not have recognized how silly and wonderfully trivial the conversation was; that they might not have laughed so charmingly about the whole thing… I think it’s one of the strongest scenes in a very strong film, and the moments of acute self-consciousness on both their parts contributes to the scene being so terrific.)

    And by the way, not that it matters (and it doesn’t), but I happen to know that Peter Davis agrees with me on the larger point.  Other families talked politics at the dinner table; as much as Dad may like to think we talked about politics too, what we really talked about was stuff like this.

  • John G

    Nice synopsis of the panel. It’s interesting that journalists trapped in the world of mainstream media have a very difficult time of portraying the news and the underlying message due to the pressures of the companies they work for. grand rapids lasik

  • sooran

    <a > thancks </a>
    this post very very helped me !

    Good Time

  • Peter Davis

    My vote for a great sports documentary goes to Blood, Sweat and Gears directed by Nick Davis

  • Nina Seavey

    4TH AND GOAL – Coming soon. Sometimes the best is yet to happen.

  • Sloane Cooper

    Best Sports Doc?  Blood Sweat + Gears Directed by Nick Davis

  • judith Helfand

    Thanks Thom for creating the CLIFF NOTES for the new indie distrib frontier. much much appreciated!!  xo

  • Sarah Miller

    I was at that IFP conference panel too and found it really fascinating. Thanks for filling me in on the TIFF and MoMa events. This is such a hot topic right now!

  • Andrew Catauro

    Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait would be near the top of my list; and maybe Speedo! (Why not)

    Racing Dreams would also be worth some discussion—a great recent entry in the motorsports doc canon.

  • Patti Villegas

    One of my faves is Quantum Hoops directed by Rick Greenwald.

  • Eddie Rosenstein

    How about that little diddy, “OLYMPIA”, by Leni Riefenstahl?

  • Admin

    STF should start a dvd/streaming video platform!

  • Admin

    “The box office on MRS GOLDBERG should be higher – except most of the tickets are at senior citizen prices.”

    Hah! Great piece, Thom.

  • Laura Poitras

    Raphaela & Thom,
    We are all so happy for you both and expect to be updated on the big news. 

    Raphaela was radiant last night!

    Laura

  • Carolina

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!!!

  • Rabbi Eva Goldfinger

    What do you mean ‘uncharacteristic’ profanity.  Don’t be fooled by that sweet face smile.  Bez looks like he’s saying “Thank you very much, but I would have preferred the warmth and comfort of ‘inside’ rather than being forced to endure the cold wintry American weather.  Ah, but in the last two photos he seems more reconciled and perhaps comforted by being embraced in dad’s arms and snuggling up against mom’s warm breasts.

    What an amazing production!  Hope you will reap lots of benefit from your work…..

    Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto (I hope) later this year.
    Love,
    Eva

  • Dima, Anastasia and Nica

    Congratulations! Having recently concluded similar negotiations, albeit with the use of drugs (on the part of the father of the deal), we are glad to hear that yours was successful and not especially protracted, though, it probably did not seem that way at the time.

    Congratulations to Thom, Raphaela, Bez and the Powershausen families!!!Wishing you health, quick recovery and the occasional bit of sleep.

  • Cristina and Dominique

    What a production!!!!!
    Without a doubt the best STF experience! Besos to both and congratulations!!!!

  • Shelley Powers

    What a cutie! (no Thom, I was talking about Bez)This newest little addition is oh-so-lucky to be on board with a such great team.  Welcome Bez!!

  • Daphne :0)

    What a beautiful baby!!

  • Kyla Dunn

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! What wonderful news! Welcome to the world, Bez! Well, if you’re not ready to compete with Nina Davenport on the home-documentation front, maybe you could just do a Nikita Mikhalkov and film him once a year on his birthday! smile xoxo

  • ale and danish

    !!congratulations to the powershausen clan!!  fantastic work on the delivery, rafferty of my heart!  can’t wait to meet Bez soon

  • Annemarie Jacir

    Congratulations to both of you!! Wonderful news! Mabrook!!

  • Mark Crilley

    Congratulations, Thom and Raphaela. That lucky little guy’s got an incredible life ahead of him guaranteed, courtesy of two of the coolest parents he could’ve hoped for.—mark

  • Teri

    You used the BEST Doula in all of Brooklyn. Congrats on the birth !

  • Heidi and John Hood

    Pleased to meet you Bezalel!
    You brought your charms into a really terrific family…AND you sure will woo your singing Grandmother.
    We wish all of you lots of love and hugs!

  • Erin Donovan

    Too cute! Congratulations to your family smile

  • Maureen O’Shea

    Congratulations and Best Wishes Welcome Bez

  • Grandma and Pappa Powers (Thom’s mom and dad)

    We sit here with tears streaming down our faces as we first see our beautiful grandson, Bez, held by his daddy and mommy.
    How blessed you are, Thom and Raphaela, and both families too, to have this precious gift of life in our midst.  We laughed out loud when we saw the doula’s name was Meghan, the very Irish name we’d chosen had a second daughter been added to our family of Thomas, Patrick, Jr and Maureen. And so the greatest journey ever begins for Bez and his parents.

    With hearts bursting with joy and gratitude to God, we send you our love.

  • Uncle PJ

    Congrats, bro and sis! Such a beautiful baby. Shelley and I can’t wait to see him in NY in a few weeks.

    Is it true that there is a bidding war for the Director’s Cut of the Bris?

  • Anna Kreditor

    Raphaela looks beautiful and glowing:) Great job, guys:)

  • roger Berkowitz

    Welcome Bez! And Mazel Tov to your parents. WE can’t wait to see all of your joyous faces in person

    R

  • Joe Terrasi

    Tremendous! Congrats.

  • Maria Luise

    I have a feeling……. that Bez was already very present at our lunch last Sunday and – even more so -in the afternoon.
    Please come soon to the farm and stay long!

    Abbracci,
    ML and Horst

  • Nina Davenport

    OHMYGOD THAT IS THE SWEETEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love the name!!!!!!!
    so feminist too!!!!
    can’t wait to meet him!!!
    jasper loves him already.

  • Alex T

    Dear Bez,

    Mazel tov! You couldn’t have picked a finer pair of parents to, er, represent you. Or to develop you? Make you manifest, express you—whatever they did, Powers and Raphaela did it beautifully! We can see that you’re a serious fellow, but we do hope you take the time to savor these first few days.

    I’m so excited for you both, you all three, and I can’t wait to see you. Congratulations and love.

  • Helen Leis

    Raphaela and Thom—Congrats and so glad everyone is doing well!  Can’t wait to meet Bez and welcome him to the world—enjoy your precious miracle!

    Love,
    Helen

  • Brian Geldin

    Congratulations Raphaela and Thom! Will Bez be moderating the next Q&A smile

  • Suni and Stephan

    We are absolutely thrilled for you three.

    Welcome to the world little Bez—many kisses await you.

    Suni and Stephan

  • Jeanne

    Congratulations! So much has happened since I was first introduced to you two. I can’t imagine two better parents for this lucky boy.

    Best,
    Jeanne

  • Ry

    A big big congrats!!
    I look forward to meeting him.

  • Andrew Rossi

    So cute! Congrats!

  • Russ Baker

    Marvelous accomplishment! My best to baby, mother, and father. Also my nomination for “best press release.”

  • Stella Fitingof

    Welcome Bez!  Warm congratulations to your parents Raphaela and Thom, and the PowerHousen families!

    Being a parent requires a sense of humour.  I would like to share with you a wonderful editor’s message from a Toronto parent magazine.  It goes like this:

    A parent’s job description, if it was advertised:

    Parents Wanted – Apply Within:
    Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in a chaotic environment.  Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work days, evenings, weekends and 24-hour shifts on-call.

    Responsibilities:
    The rest of your life!  Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.  Also, must possess the physical stamina of a buck mule and go from 0 – 60 mph in 3 seconds flat, in case screams are not someone crying wolf.  Must maintain character and coordinate homework projects.  Must be willing to be indispensible one minute and embarrassed the next.  Must assume final; complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

    Possibilities for advancement:
    None!  Your job is to remain in the same position for years, constantly updating your skills without complaining.

    Salary:
    None!  You pay them.  A balloon payment is due when they turn 18, of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left.

    Benefits:
    While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays, and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, lots of laughter, and free hugs and kisses.

    Raphaela and Thom, you are obviously up for the job!  Mazel Tov!

    All our love,

    Stella, Kobi and Eitan

  • James Longley

    How wonderful! The world is already a better place. Congratulations, Thom and Raphaela!

  • Irina Konon

    The fruit of creation of your love that you have for one another is the perfect joy of having that baby boy cuddling warmly in your arms. Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy, BEZALEL!!)

    My Best wishes!
    XOX

  • Debraj Ray

    Dearest Thom and Rafaela

    Warmest congratulations!

    Thom, your fathering an infant truly puts this event in the STF category. (You would probably respond that it’s Bezness as usual.)

    Much love to both of you and Bez.

    Debraj

  • Zeva (mother of twins)

    Congratulations Thom and Raphaela!
    He’s beautiful and best of all—he’s only one!

  • Veronica Velez-Burgess

    felicitaciones! i hope our boys can meet one day soon!

  • Ilona & Andy Mack

    Congratulations to you all – what wonderful news! And big big CHAPEAU for doing it all without silly interventions and drugs!!!

    Welcome to the beautiful exciting world, Bez!

    Lots of love from London

  • Helen Erlich and Barry Razmov & Families – Thorn

    Mazel Tov !!!!!!  We are all very excited by this wonderful news. Way to go Raphaela and Thom. We know that your parents, grandparents and all family members are elated. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto later this year.

    Best wishes !!

  • Auntie Marianna

    BRAVO FOR BEZ!!!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE to all 3 of you!!!!!!

  • Amelia Hanibelsz

    What a brilliant article and an even more brilliant ending !!!

    Can not wait to see you both and I am so very happy for you – congratulations .This is very exciting !!!

    STF Groupie and Filmmaker

    amelia oxoxoxoxo

  • Almudena Carracedo

    Raphaela and Thom, CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a beautiful baby. It’s so awesome, just 9 months of production… 20 years of distribution though!

    We’re next in the production pipeline -hoping for an equally auspicious premiere!

    Our best wishes,

    Almudena and Robert

  • Jennifer

    Mazel Tov!

    I remember reading a story in religious school in the ‘70’s about a kid with that name (the gentile teacher wanted to call him Butch or Buzzy), but google-fu is failing me as to who wrote it.

  • Theresa Loong

    Dear Thom and Raphaela,

    I love the blog post and the photos!  I was distracted by my first visit to Sundance (spectating and meeting folks) and arrived home to read about the great news.

    Congratulations and best wishes.

    -Theresa

  • Madlena

    My warmest congratulations, Raphaelochka! Molodetz!
    Your new Commander in Chief is great! Lots of joy, happiness and strong health for little Bez and his wondrful parents!
    Very happy for you,
    Madlena, Dima Kroshka’s mum.

  • Elizabeth Westrate

    Standing ovation. Much love to you.

  • Anonymous

    What was the third doc about Russia?

  • Dusty

    BEZ!!! Congratulations Thom and Mrs. Thom! I have indeed been lost in the Sundance fog, but this is definitely the best news of the week. Very cool. Wishing you the best of luck and at least a little sleep.

    dusty

  • Howard Weinberg

    And the winner for the best photo layout and script introducing a new actor with superb supporting roles for his parents…Bez!  Congratulations! —Howard

  • Gita Pullapilly

    Congratulations! What a gorgeous addition to the family!

  • Matt Smith

    Beautiful baby!  I hope the furniture is ready.  Can’t wait to meet Bez.

    Love,
    Matt, Alicia and family

  • Pat Aufderheide

    Congratulations on the cutest baby ever and pretty much the best baby announcement too! Enjoy every minute!

  • Roli Chaturvedi

    Congratulations once again !!
    This is the most unusual and a beautiful welcome note…would love to see him sometime.

  • Birender & Kulvir

    Wow,  how amazing.  Congrats to the whole family!!  Bez is adorable.  Hold him tight, because he is going to grow up before you know it.  We loved the announcement.  Can’t wait for regular updates.  Hope to catch up with you guys in the summer.  All our love,

  • David

    isn’t “The Cove” amazing? get involved and help save the dolphins!!! http://www.takepart.com/thecove

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  • Theresa Loong

    I enjoyed watching “The Kids Grow Up” and attending drinks afterwards (I usually have to head home!).  FYI, the nurse in the photo is also documentary filmmaker Claire Panke.

  • Claire Panke

    Thanks for ID’ing me Theresa! I’m a documentary filmmaker AND a nurse – thanks.

  • julia reichert

    Just came across this.  Great idea, especially presenting work from radio, audio, photography, writing etc.  Needed. We have noticed that some festivals are including audio documentary.  Our little Fest in Dayton does that. Will tell our audio buddies out here and in the City to submit work.

    Be sure to notify the SALT Institute in Portland Me.  and the Duke Center for Documentary Studies…each have a focus on writing, audio and photo.

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    Thanks and looking forward to another great season of STF.
    Happy New Year!
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  • Diego Mas Trelles

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  • Tom Hall

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  • Betsy

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    Thom, Chris and I spent 4 years of home room and a couple of German classes together. He was the first guy I met at Terry Sanford (that I did already know as he went to another middle school. We laughed for 4 years and after college would have a beer or three at a local pub called the Highlander. And although I haven’t seen him in a few years I followed his work through his pictures and along with other Fayetteville natives and classmates on FB. Your words ring true. I will remember his smile and his work ethic. He was truly a unique soul and I find it hard to explain why it has hit me so hard. I sum it like this. Several years ago when my life seemed to be falling apart I ran into him in Fayetteville. He seemed to know that I was going through something and he said “Hey Holtet, let’s get beer.” Sadly we didn’t. But I have remembered that day for a long time. You just don’t get the chance too have friends like that in your life very often. He will be missed. Thank you for your words..

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  • Jean Manuel Beauchamp

    This article written by Aaron Cael, while well-informed in its correct views of the film, is wrong in the lack of respect shown in its final sentence: “the game of international politics that will likely keep his grandfather imprisoned for life.”

    While my grandfather is currently serving time in Paris, against all Geneva Conventions, without evidence against him, on behalf of the United States Government, the actions currently being taken by the President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli and the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton make his safe return to Panama imminent. While it was supposedly assumed that the United States should have had no role to play after the completion of his sentence in Miami, all actions point the opposite, and Barack Obama’s current Democratic presidency has to make up for the Republican scheming in the respect of my grandfather’s case.

    Despite the use of the word ‘likely’ in the final sentence of this review, this sentence not only provokes unnecessary drama to my requested participation in the screening, but it also takes part in the deception of the media that the film discusses at length by suggesting a continued lack of justice.

    -Jean Manuel Beauchamp

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  • fairytale

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  • Mary Hunt

    The trouble was, “16 in Webster Groves”  wasn’t verité…. The producers came to town to film their (mistaken) hypothesis that 16-year-olds longed for adventure, but THESE 16-year-olds were a bunch of conformists who wanted a nice house and a nice family. They got the ages wrong— OLDER young people want that.

    Apparently the producers didn’t have teens of their own, or didn’t pay attention to them.

    As I recall, the film focused on large, impressive homes—not the tiny ranch house in which one of the most popular talking heads lived.

    I had gone to Webster Groves High School a few years before “16 in WG” was filmed. It was a thrill to see the excellent photography capture the personalities of my teachers, and the self-satisfied energy of the Glee Club under the charismatic “Miss Rep,” singing, “This is my country, land of the free”—which I always found irritating.

    But the manipulation and lazy political correctness of this TV show shaped my own writing and reporting in the opposite direction. Approach your subject with an open mind, gather information and viewpoints, and THEN tell your story.

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  • TheDocHierarchy

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    P.S. Berlinger and Sinofsky were robbed!

  • Jill W.

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  • Rahul Chadha

    Hey Tim. I just tried the Bowers link and it seems to be working now. Thanks for reading all.

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    I want to echo some of the earlier comments – great job Rahul! Love that I can find a wrap-up of all recent doc news in this Monday Memo.

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  • Johanna Samuel

    Hi Thom- I will also be there acquiring documentary films and selling our doc catalogue worldwide. Just acquired Joel Katz’s WHITE: A MEMOIR IN COLOR, Dani Menkin’s DOLPHIN BOY, Vic Sarrin’s DESERT RIDERS, David New’s TEACHING THE LIFE OF MUSIC, a film called THE LAST NAZI HUNTER, a new feature doc GREENWICH VILLAGE;MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION, “THEIR EYES WERE DRY”, Gabrielle Pfeiffer’s A POET ON THE FRONTLINE, THE HOUSE OF SUH,…and many more! Love to you and to Rafaella!!
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  • Pingback: Recommended Reading: Top 10 Twitter Tips for Filmmakers | POV Blog | PBS

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    It was also nice to see a film that really did put the western men it followed in a good light, as it showed they were only trying to find someone to love which, let’s face it, isn’t a bad thing :)

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