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Friday, May 28, 2010

June 19 Screening of "Lt. Watada" in Little Tokyo, LA


For Immediate Release May 24, 2010-05-24

Special Screening of Academy Award- Winning Director Frieda Mock’s New Documentary “Lt Watada”

The Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR) and the Asian American Vietnam Veterans Organization (AAVVO) will screen Freida Mock’s documentary, “Lt. Watada” on June 19, 2010 at the David Henry Hwang Theatre at 7:00 PM. “Lt. Watada” is an in-depth look a the case of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq on the grounds that the war was illegal and immoral. He was inspired to join the army after 9/11 and in preparing to lead his soldiers to fight in Iraq, he was encouraged by his battalion commander to learn everything he could about Iraq and the war. His research led him to the conclusion that the U.S. invasion was an act of aggression based on lies. Watada believed that, as an officer, it was his duty to uphold the Constitution and that he could not obey an order he knew to be illegal. In June 2006, Lt Watada refused the order to deploy to Iraq. He was charged with “missing a movement” and “conduct unbecoming an officer,” and faced up to eight years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

Freida Mock is an Academy and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, credited with producing films about a wide variety of historical and contemporary subjects. She is a co-founder of the American Film Foundation with her husband, Terry Sanders.Mock's diverse production credits include "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision", "Sing!" (about a Los Angeles community children's choir), "Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember", "To Live or Let Die", and "Return with Honor", presented by Tom Hanks. (wikipedia) . Both “Sing” and “Lt. Watada” were recently screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. (quote from Freida) Mock’s “Lt Watada” charts Watada’s emergence as a public speaker and activist and chronicles the tense days of his court martial trial in February 2007 which ended in a mistrial. This thoughtful and incisive documentary is both an inspirational portrait of one man’s act of conscience and a powerful investigation into questions that threaten to unravel the government’s justification for the Iraq war.

Watada’s actions helped educate people nationwide and created dialogue in the Asian American community about the illegality of the war in Iraq. In October 2006, NCRR and AAVVO sponsored a speaking tour with Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi, Ehren’s father and stepmother. Before the court martial in February 2007, the two organizations organized a march and rally in Little Tokyo led by Carolyn Ho, Ehren’s mother. Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi as well as Carolyn Ho will answer questions at the screening along with filmmaker Freida Mock. They will all be available at the reception following the screening.

General admission for the screening is $15/ Seniors and Students: $10. The VIP ticket for $100 (tax-deductible) includes admission, reserved seating and a special pre-release copy of the “Lt Watada” DVD signed by the filmmaker Freida Mock and the Watada Family. To order tickets: visit For more information about the event or to order tickets by phone, call (213) 284-0336.

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