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Monumental Myths (2009)

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Monumental Myths unveils the perpetuated myths told at several American monuments and historic sites. Carved in rock or cast in bronze, America’s monuments are intended—by those who commission them—to impart a sense of authority and an unquestionable truth about the people and events they commemorate. Director Tom Trinley traveled across the country in a borrowed 1965 Airstream trailer and visited several sites to provide the untold, alternative viewpoint of those whose experiences have been left out of history and the landscape.

Among others, he visited Fort Pillow in Tennessee, The Purchase of Manhattan monument in New York City, Lincoln’s Birthplace Log Cabin in Kentucky, the Christopher Columbus statue on Chicago’s lakefront and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. Along the way Tom interviewed local residents, tour guides, park rangers and tourists to better understand their perspective of American history and to find out who protects America’s myths and why.

The idea for the film was inspired by the book, Lies Across America, written by best-selling author and sociologist Dr. James W. Loewen. Dr. Loewen was the project’s content advisor and appears on-camera to provide information relevant to each site. Other on-camera experts include Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States and Lonnie Bunch, President of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African American History.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21