This is Where We Take Our Stand is a film about an event that occurred three years ago, when George W. Bush was president and the Iraq War was raging. But that's all changed now, right? Barack Obama is president, he ran on a promise to end the war, and he's fulfilling that promise. So why "dwell on the past," as President Obama has repeatedly said?
We, the filmmakers, felt compelled to review the past, as it is all too present. We chose to examine what continues as the war on terror because it has ultimately become the terror of war. We chose to follow courageous men and women who felt compelled by their sense of duty to their country and humanity to bear witness to what they had participated in, revealing in vivid, heartbreaking testimony why they came to oppose their military and government policies. Their voices are filled with a profound commitment to civic duty that equals the sacrifice and fearless passion they had expressed once as soldiers.
Their stories make us proud to have witnessed their journey to tell fellow countrymen what most have not heard or have refused to believe. In their quest for an honest dialogue, they have revealed the truth about what divides our nation: Are we really engaged in making the world a safer place — do we know the price paid by the people whose countries we have invaded, as well as those in uniform who occupy them? These aren't political or theoretical arguments, but the eyewitness accounts of men and women who thought they were fighting for their country and learned that, as Jason Washburn, a Marine veteran with three tours in Iraq put it, "We were on the bully's team, and that's not what I signed up for." It is a wrenching, painful, and necessary story.
This film reminds us that nothing is over. And it asks us to question what has changed. Certainly not the war in Afghanistan, which has expanded in the past three years, and not the killing and misery in Iraq, unleashed by eight years of military occupation.
This is Where We Take Our Stand is the story of hundreds of Iraq War veterans who risked everything to publicly tell their stories of killings of civilians, torture, and the widespread degradation and destruction of Iraq that was brought on by the policies of their government. And it is a story that needs to be told especially today. These brave soldiers and veterans are challenging a complacency that runs very deep underscoring a willingness to accept unspeakable horrors committed in our name — as long as we don't know about them.
David Zeiger, Producer/Director
David Zeiger has been making documentaries since the early 1990s. His films include his personal essay, The Band (P.O.V., 1997); a 13-part series about the 1999-2000 school year at Fairfax High in Los Angeles, Senior Year (PBS national broadcast 2002); a film about octogenarian television writers, Funny Old Guys (HBO 2002); and a feature documentary telling the suppressed story of the the GI antiwar movement against the Vietnam War, Sir! No Sir! (2006 theatrical run, 2007 Sundance Channel, BBC, Arte France).
Bestor Cram, Producer/Director
Bestor Cram has more than 20 years of experience as a director, producer, and cinematographer. He founded Northern Light Productions in 1982 and has built it into one of the premiere documentary production companies, producing works ranging from broadcast documentaries to historical, dramatic, and educational media. His independent film, Unfinished Symphony, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the documentary competition in 2001 and has won top honors at film festivals around the world. A recent independent project, The Special — about the song “The Orange Blossom Special” — premiered at the Nashville Independent Film Festival and was selected to screen at AFI’s SilverDocs Festival.
As a cinematographer, Bestor’s credits include the theatrically released feature documentaries After Innocence; Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner; the Emmy-nominated Discovery Channel special Mysteries of the Sea: Freak Waves; the HBO special, Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case For Reasonable Doubt?; the PBS/BBC series China in the Red; the 1995 Documentary Academy Award-winner Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision; and the American Experience on Eleanor Roosevelt.
Bestor holds a BA in economics from Denison University, pursued graduate studies at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Guildford, England, and has taught film at MIT and the Maine Film & Television Workshops. He is a Vietnam veteran.