‘The Eastern Front’ US/Hollywood Premiere
A beautiful night for a somber and sobering event
Before we began the screening of Byline TV’s documentary film, ‘The Eastern Front’ at the Skiptown Playhouse in Hollywood, author and poet turned war correspondent Zarina Zabrisky asked the audience to refrain from clapping at the end.
“We will celebrate when Ukraine defeats Russia,” she said.
From the moment the viewing started, I watched the gathered guests respond to this emotional, riveting film, which documents the Russian military’s war crimes against the Ukrainian people. Grown men and women visibly weeping. That’s the kind of film it is. It is an important film, please watch it here.
The guests — actors, producers, entertainment lawyers, film critics, Twitter friends, RadPod friends, Bette friends, family, Ukrainians living in America, and simply concerned citizens — shared the experience of witnessing Zabrisky, veteran war correspondents John Sweeney and Paul Conroy, and director Caolan Robertson document the evidence of war crimes, document reality, so when Russian state-sponsored propaganda and troll farms and American mass media try to pretend them away, a document exists with the evidence.
Guests shared their personal experiences with the film at the post-screening Q & A. A playwright/screenwriter originally from Venezuela, a man from Harlem, me — a first generation German-American — who saw our ancestors’ stories reflected in the eyes of the elders interviewed in the film. The cruelty of being forced off their land, seniors in their 90s, immobile, living in fear.
The inhumanity of war told in profoundly human terms.
I urge you all to see it.
As promised, here are some photos from the premiere. Note the fashion statements. Zabrisky wore her ‘Fuck You Putin’ tshirt dress in solidarity with the Ukrainian model kicked out of Cannes for making the same statement. I wore leopard, an encouragement to send more Leopard tanks — Canada got the memo and is doing exactly that! Those who wish to support a flash mob fundraiser for Kherson Rescuers, can buy the dress Zabrisky is wearing here!
Please do share this post with any friends in NorCal. The next screening is on Monday, June 19 in San Francisco. Here is the information for that screening, which is taking place at the SF Creative Writing Institute.
Thank you to the members of the Bette Dangerous community who supported us as we hosted this very memorable evening.
And in the words of John Sweeney, Vladimir Putin do f**k off.
Like, all the way.
Bette Dangerous is a reader-funded magazine. Thank you to all monthly, annual, and founding members. Thank you as well to all those who support my work with your generous coffee tips and who buy my ebooks. Some of you prefer making subsidizing donations via venmo, and it’s always greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone who pitches in with a monthly membership - each time they come in, it always feels like pennies from heaven. And to all of you who have upgraded to Founding Member, I am so humbled and grateful.
A private link to an annual membership discount for older adults, those on fixed incomes or drawing disability, as well as activists and members of the media is available upon request at email@example.com.
Our next Bette Dangerous ‘Speakeasy’ Zoom for paid members is Sunday, June 18, featuring David Pepper giving us a pep talk from his latest book, Saving Democracy; Paid members also receive invites to our weekly Bette’s Happy Hour, a wellness checkin every Tuesday. This Tuesday, our checkin is at noon PT.
“I say a silent prayer of thanksgiving as I walk upon the earth.”-Audrey Peterman.
“May the viral hope for truth and humanity wash away the chaos of these years.”-S.C., Bette community member
“Something Sacred never dies in almost all of us, who can hear the invitation of Truth…”-words from a Bette Dangerous community member
“Nothing but blue skies from now on…”-Irving Berlin
(Zarina and I closing out the night with nachos at midnight )
Bette Dangerous is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.