Jan. 24, 2018: Joint Screening of Grounds for Resistance and A Soldier’s Home in Eugene, Oregon!

Veterans Speak: Identity, Community, Resistance, Disruption

Please join us on January 24 (5:30-8:30 pm) in 145 Straub Hall on the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon Campus for the screening of A Soldier’s Home by U.S. Army veteran Andrew McLaughlin and Grounds for Resistance by Lisa Gilman. The documentaries in conversation with one another shed light on the impact of war for U.S.veterans who fought in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both directors will be present for Q & A. Descriptions and bios are below the poster. For questions, please email  Lisa Gilman lisa.m.gilman@gmail.com.

A Soldier’s Home (McLaughlin, 2013)

To see trailer, please visit: https://www.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/1161112/uiconf_id/30743092/embed/auto?&flashvars%5BplaylistAPI.kpl0Id%5D=1_v5qnqnn6

From May of 2005 to May of 2006, Andrew McLaughlin was deployed to Iraq as an infantryman with the US Army. After seven years of service, two improvised explosive devices, a handful of bullets and a Combat Infantry Badge, he returned home to become a college student. Told as a retrospective of the filmmaker’s life, A Soldier’s Home is an hour-long auto-ethnographic look into the filmmaker’s personal transition from combat to the homefront. The narrative is assembled through a series of chapters that juxtapose personal memories with popular histories of combat, utilizing comparisons of Hollywood footage, found footage, and a collection from the filmmaker’s personal archive. During the course of the film, the filmmaker also examines personal artifacts including medals, documents, and memories in search of meaning. The narrative serves as a critical alternative to representations of combat veterans from dominant mass media perspectives, and the name is borrowed from a short story by Hemingway that similarly addresses themes of trauma and identity. Acknowledging the film’s ranking amongst other films that represent veterans and military culture, the filmmaker playfully acknowledges the fine-line between exploitation and representation in filmmaking. In a series of reflexive moments, the filmmaker questions the popularity of homogenized representations of veterans, often created by professional filmmakers instead of rank-and-file veterans like himself.

Bio: Andrew McLaughlin is a third-year doctoral student in Media Studies at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. His research interests include the practice and theory of documentary filmmaking, alternative media, critical cultural studies, and political economy of communication and media. As a US Army combat veteran, his research often focuses on the representation, commodification, and political economy of military culture in media.

Grounds for Resistance: Stories of War, Sacrifice, and Good Coffee. Distributed by Films Media Group.  (Gilman, 2011)

See trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdDlvQHa4gk

Inspired by the Vietnam-era G.I. coffee house movement, young American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars opened Coffee Strong near Joint Lewis-McChord Base in November 2008. This non-profit organization and café, where soldiers and veterans drink coffee and discuss politics, provided G.I. rights counseling and directed people suffering from combat stress, military sexual trauma, and medical problems to appropriate resources. At the center of this fifty-minute documentary are the young veterans who ran the non-profit. Their involvement in the military compel them to devote themselves to helping soldiers, veterans, and troops’ families.  It explores each one’s stories from their decisions to join the military, memories of deployment, relationships with one another, and how their activist efforts to make a more peaceful and just world help them cope with their own experiences of war.

Bio: Lisa Gilman is Professor of Folklore and English at the University of Oregon. Her research explores the intersections of performance, gender, and politics. Her monographs include My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (Wesleyan University Press, 2016), The Dance of Politics: Performance, Gender, and Democratization in Malawi (Temple University Press, 2009), and the co-edited volume (with Michael Dylan Foster) UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage (Indiana University Press, 2015). Grounds for Resistance is her first documentary film.


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My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

Hi everyone. My book about music in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is out. This is the project I was working on when I discovered Coffee Strong. Many of you who find the film interesting may also be interested in the book. Follow this link for more info, and do help spread the word: http://www.upne.com/0819575999.html

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Price reduced to $10

I just dropped the price of the film to $10, basically enough to cover the expenses of producing and mailing the film. If you’d like a copy and this is still too expensive, let me know. I’ll make sure you get one! Thanks to everyone for their support of this project.

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Memorial Day 2014 Screening

The Quakers in the Honolulu Friends Meetinghouse have scheduled a screening of Grounds for Resistance for Memorial Day 2014. 

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Update April 2014

Greetings. Since the film received distribution from Film Media Group in Fall 2012, I haven’t put much effort into organizing screenings or distributing the film to individuals, mostly because I was out of the country for eight months and have just been too busy. Colleagues continue to show the film in university classes and invite me occasionally to speak, and the film continues to be screened at a variety of events. The issues in the film are still extremely relevant as combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars deal with multiple issues resulting from their time in the military and at war. In the last year or two, the wars seem to be fading from the consciousness of many people in the U.S.. My perception is that fewer people are thinking about the longterm consequences for the people who fought in them. I do hope that folks will continue to watch the film and share it with as many others as possible.

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Screening at What is Documentary conference in Portland, April 26, 2014

Grounds for Resistance will be screened at the” What is Documentary?” conference in Portland, OR on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from  11:45am-1:00pm. It will be the lunch screening, so folks can enjoy sandwiches while watching it in Room 142/144 of the University of Oregon’s George S. Turnbull Center, 70 NW Couch St. I’m very honored to have the film included.

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Films Media Group to Distribute Grounds for Resistance

Grounds for Resistance: Stories of War, Sacrifice, and Good Coffee has been picked up (and slightly renamed) by Films Media Group for academic distribution. If you feel compelled, please ask your public and university libraries to order the film. Here is the link: http://films.com/id/25096/Grounds_for_Resistance_Stories_of_War_Sacrifice_and_Good_Coffee.htm.  

For those of you interested in purchasing copies for your individual use, you can purchase it for $25 following the links under “Order DVD” on this website. 

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Youtube interview with filmmaker at Seattle True Independent Film Festival


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Next Screening on Aug. 20, 2012 in Vancouver, Washington.

August 20, 3:30 PM. Vancouver, Washington. Columbia Gorge International Film Venue: Popculture. 1929 Main Street. Vancouver, Washington. Please join us for the screening if you are in the area and help spread the word.

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Columbia Gorge International Film Festival–Next Screening

Grounds for Resistance will screen at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival in Vancouver, Washington Aug. 15-19, 2012. I’ll post details once the schedule has been finalized. In the meantime, visit this website for information about the festival: http://www.angaelica.com/festivals/submissions/2012cgiff/

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