ACLU And Rights/Camera/Action Announce Festival Premiere Of "The End Of America"

October 17, 2008 12:00 am

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EAST HAMPTON, NY – The American Civil Liberties Union and Rights/Camera/Action will co-host the premiere of “The End of America,” a new documentary from award-winning filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg at the Hamptons International Film Festival tonight. The ACLU and Rights/Camera/Action will also co-host a private reception on Saturday and the film’s online premiere on SnagFilms next Tuesday, October 21.

“‘The End of America’ presents the perfect opportunity to advance the goal of Rights/Camera/Action to connect artists and audiences, each empowering the other to effect change,” said Allison Walker, who oversees the Rights/Camera/Action program for the ACLU. “At this crucial time for civil liberties, this documentary is a perfect example of the vital role film can play in the ACLU’s work.”

“The End of America” follows Naomi Wolf, the author of the bestselling book by the same title, as she discusses America’s dangerous slide towards a society of fear and surveillance, and chronicles her work to raise awareness about the threats to democracy in the U.S. when the rule of law is not upheld. The film traces the ten steps that have historically led to the closing of open societies in other nations, including secret prisons where torture takes place, surveillance of ordinary citizens, and arbitrary detention and release of citizens. The film underscores the importance of the work of the ACLU to fight such government abuses of power and to defend civil liberties for all.

Alec Baldwin will introduce the film and ACLU National Security Project Director Jameel Jaffer will make brief remarks at tonight’s premiere. The evening will also feature a question and answer session with Wolf and filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (“The Devil Came on Horseback,” “The Trials of Darryl Hunt”).

In addition to copies of Wolf’s book, gift bags handed out at the film’s premiere will include pocket Constitutions and information about the ACLU’s “I am a Constitution Voter” campaign. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to learn more about the campaign, sign a pledge reminding candidates running for office of the importance of the Constitution to American voters, and record short videos for the ACLU’s website about why they are Constitution Voters.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero filmed an introduction to the film that will open the online premiere of the film on next week. That introduction, as well as an interview with Romero, will be included as an extra on a special DVD edition, due out following the online launch from distributor IndiePix.

“Freedom can’t protect itself and we can never take it for granted,” said Romero. “While the ACLU and other activists like Naomi Wolf can work together diligently and forcefully to defend the Constitution, we all must understand what’s at stake. The defense of our America is what makes us patriots. That is what makes this film so important – it builds the movement and strengthens the defense of our freedoms.”

Rights/Camera/Action is a new program of the ACLU that uses the arts and popular culture as a platform for civil liberties discussions. Rights/Camera/Action brings together artists and entertainment professionals, civil liberties experts, activists and public audiences of all ages to talk about the wide range of civil liberties issues addressed in film and the arts historically and currently.

“The End of America” premieres at the Hamptons Film Festival on Friday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ross School in East Hampton, and plays again Sunday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the South Hampton 1 theater. Tickets are available through the Hamptons International Film Festival. More information is available online at:

The film premieres online via SnagFilms on Tuesday, October 21. It can be viewed online at:

More information about Rights/Camera/Action is available online at:

The ACLU’s “I am a Constitution Voter” campaign is online at:

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