The American Democracy Project (ADP) debuted the first installment of its Burning Issues Film Series Saturday at the Don Walker Sr. Education Center.
Director Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers,” was the first of several films that are meant to examine the issue of wartime propaganda and promote civic participation in the Bearkat Community.
“I think it’s important for students to have an understanding and appreciation for the role of being a citizen in a democracy,” said Diane Dowdey, a member of the ADP Project Committee at SHSU.
To accomplish that, each film presentation is followed by a reception where participants can discuss the movie.
“Flags of Our Fathers” is based on the true story behind the most famous military photograph of all time- the picture of six soldiers raising the American flag in Iwo Jima. Hailed as the turning point of the war, most Americans are familiar with the famous photo, but not many people know the actual story behind it.
Senior accounting major Eric Taylor said, “I didn’t realize that the photo was taken before the battle was even won.”
The film, based on the novel by James Bradley, shows the moral dilemma faced by the four soldiers who were forced to glorify the battle that had taken so many of their close friends, including two of the men in the photograph.
“‘Flags of Our Fathers’ was chosen because it talks about the kind of sacrifice that citizens in a democracy are often called upon to make,” Dowdey said. “It also talks about the funding of the Second World War which is pertinent today as we are funding the war in Iraq.”
The 2006 release, starring Ryan Phillipe, Jesse Bradford and Adam Beach was nominated for two Oscars. Eastwood also directed a film about the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective entitled “Letters From Iwo Jima.”
The American Democracy Project is sponsored by the American Association of
State Colleges in conjunction with the New York Times. According to their website, their goal is to reverse the “declining participation in civic life by younger Americans.”
Students will get a second chance to see “Flags of Our Fathers” at 3:30 p.m. on September 18-19 at the Lowman Student Center Theater. Admission is free.