In 1994 good friends Kathy and Jo, upon the recommendation of Kathy’s 19 year old son, watched the film ” Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” . After the long and mind-expanding evening, Kathy turned to Jo and said: ” everyone should see this film!”
And so, Awareness Video Night was born, screening monthly documentary films ” on topics normally disregarded by the mainstream media”. In the early days, finding topical, presentable films to meet this criteria was not so easy and attendance was sporadic. Then, in 2005, as VHS gave way to DVDs, and with the advent of documentaries as feature films (think: Michael Moore), the video night moved from the staff room at the Edward Milne Community School into the theatre and became Awareness Film Night.
On December 10th there will be a 20th birthday celebration for Awareness Film Night featuring cake, tea and a re-screening of the film “Manufacturing Consent”, still relevant and still being referred to by Chomsky, who will be 86 on December 7th and is still as sharp as a box of tacks. This award-winning film, by Mark Achbar (“The Corporation”) and Peter Wintonick is a film about the media and it’s methods of, well, manufacturing consent, which is a concise (and polite) way of saying “manipulating the public to all think the same way”. About everything; political agendas to consumer choices to what is possible and what is not. Chomsky, a world-renown linguist, intellectual and political activist, has no trepidations about going against that status quo in lectures, discussions and media encounters such as those included in this film, including his famous debate with uber-arrogant pundit William F. Buckley Jr. and his visit to Malaspina College in Nanaimo. The film is 3 hours long, so only one part of it will be screened. After the film maybe moviegoers can take a few minutes to collectively reflect if we are more aware than we were in 1994.
As usual, the film night will be held in the EMCS theatre from 7-9 p.m.. Admission is by donation.
The Awareness Film Night film library, featuring over 100 of the documentaries screened over the past 20 years, including “Manufacturing Consent”, should be moved into its new location by the end of November. Many thanks to Bryan Davis of the (late, great) Video to Go for converting the bulk of the old VHS films onto DVD and to Karen Stones of A Sea of Bloom on Otter Point Rd. for providing the library with a new home.