By Thomas Kaufman
Abby Ginzberg was waiting to film an interview with Congressman John Lewis for her film, BARBARA LEE: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER. Sound recordist Bob Silverthorne and I waited with her. We wouldn’t have much time to set up, and we wanted to move fast once we got inside. I was eager to begin. In this situation, I felt I owed it to the director to leave her as much interview time as possible. That meant adapting to the situation quickly. To be fooling with camera and lights when Congressman Lewis was ready would be unthinkable. Yet in the hallway Abby was calm, even relaxed.
Since we had a moment, I asked her why make a movie about Barbara Lee? “Because she’s fabulous and I want more people to know about her, “ Abby said. I learned that Congresswoman Lee was an independent thinker, and the only member of congress to vote against the war in Afghanistan, and against giving the president a broad, open-ended authorization for military force. Her vote caused a wicked backlash. Lee was called a terrorist, and received death threats for voting her conscience.
This is why we need to celebrate our leaders who have courage and convictions. My hope is that young men and women will see this film and decide to take positive action. On Capitol Hill there’s nothing we need more. Along with local DPs Richard Chisolm and Mike Moser, I was grateful to have the chance to work on this film. I hope you see it. It’s available on iTunes and Amazon. You can email Thomas Kaufman here.