Tuesday , June 18 2024
From presidential elections to bird guano...

BC Radio Live: Filmmaker Katy Chevigny and Authors Ed Strosser and Michael Prince

BC Radio Live is the flagship program of the BC Magazine station on BlogTalkRadio. It's hosted by Phillip Winn, Eric Olsen, and Lisa McKay and airs weekly on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Shows are archived and available for streaming or download after the live broadcast. Our guests on June 25 were documentary filmmaker Katy Chevigny and authors Ed Strosser and Michael Prince.

On November 2, 2004, a small army of camera crews under the direction of documentarian Katy Chevigny fanned out across the country to record the Election Day experiences of a variety of ordinary American citizens and poll workers. An exercise in cinéma vérité, the result is Election Day, a compelling look at one of America's most vaunted rights of citizenship and perhaps one that many of us still take for granted. Chevigny was on hand to talk with BC Radio about the challenges presented by the need to complete all of the filming in one day, the hassles of getting permission to film at the polling places, and the logistical challenges of sending more than a dozen crews out simultaneously. One of the things that Chevigny took away from this experience was a sense that voter apathy is not as rampant as we might think — in fact, many of the people who are depicted in the film go to great lengths to ensure that their vote is cast and counted.

In addition to this film, Chevigny has directed several other acclaimed documentaries and is the executive director of Arts Engine Inc., a non-profit organization which supports, promotes, and distributes socially relevant independent media. Election Day has screened at many festivals and other venues, and will have its national broadcast premiere on Tuesday, July 1 as part of the PBS series P.O.V. The show airs at 10pm Eastern (check your local listings as times may vary).

Authors Ed Strosser and Michael Prince visited BC Radio to discuss their recently published book, Stupid Wars: A Citizen's Guide to Botched Putsches, Failed Coups, Inane Invasions and Ridiculous Revolutions. A look at some of the more ill thought out and perhaps baffling decisions made by governments of all sorts throughout history, this is an entertaining account that's not just for history buffs. Strosser and Prince were initially concerned that there might not be enough stupid wars to fill a book, but their research soon disabused them of that notion. The book starts out with the blunders of the Roman empire and the Crusades, and marches through to fairly current affairs. Strosser and Prince talked about their favorite military mistakes with BC Radio. The British invasion of the Falklands figures largely in this wide-ranging conversation, and if you didn't know that the United States invaded Russia in 1918, then you clearly need to read this book. If you ever wondered what bird guano has to do with international warfare, listen to the archived broadcast to find out.

About Lisa McKay

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