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Q&A: OU alumnus returns to present film about anti-war movement

Witness a Peace Movement, a documentary about the protests against the Iraq War, premieres at 8 tonight at the Athena Cinema.

Director Roger Hill is a 2005 Ohio University alumnus and studied film, sociology and African-American studies. He will attend tonight's screening.

After organizing anti-war demonstrations in Athens and documenting dozens of protests in the U.S., Hill and his film collective Mental-Rev Productions created a feature length film.

The Post's Jessie Cadle spoke to Hill about the filming process and the influence his Ohio University experiences had on the project.

The Post: What was your inspiration for the film?

Roger Hill: I began Witness a Peace Movement in 2003 when I was a student at Ohio University. ... I went to dozens of protests ... but always coming back to Athens, and getting involved in the local organizing. ...It's been a long labor of love both filming it over that three-year period, and now after seven years, finally finishing the edit of the film. I really want to emphasize that there is a very strong Athens connection ... I'm really excited to premiere it in its hometown.

Post: What do you hope people take away from the film?

Hill: Well I'm confident that my film will have an impact on people regardless of what their opinions might be about the Iraq war. ... It's people talking very candidly about their feelings about the war, and you're sort of able to see a story that develops within this broad protest movement. ... I really want people to experience the film and listen to the testimonies and the heartfelt statements that are made in the film and apply it any way they see fit. It's a more cerebral and visceral type experience that I really want people to listen to through their hearts.

Post: How did your experience at Ohio University influence your film?

Hill: I was able to personally meet some really great people at the OU School of Film who met with me one-on-one and gave me a lot of good advice ... I learned a lot about filmmaking ... social justice and history, and really had a lot of influential professors across those three areas that taught me unique things that were able to be applied into my documentary filmmaking style...

3 Culture

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(PROVIDED)

If You Go

WHAT: Witness a Peace Movement: A Documentary from the Streets of the U.S. Anti-War Movement

WHEN: 8 tonight

WHEN: Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St.

ADMISSION: Free with OU I.D.

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