By Holly Mosher
After living in Rio and working on Brazilian movies as an assistant editor and assistant sound editor in 1995-96, I came back to the United States and fell into producing films. It was a trajectory I never expected as I always thought I’d be working behind the scenes. I have to say that my time in Brazil, working with people who had lived in exile during the dictatorship or teaching English to a Chileno who had fled torture at the hands of Pinochet made me see how important democratic freedoms really are.
In 2000 I returned to Brasil to make a film, Hummingbird, about two groups that started their work helping street kids and women suffering domestic violence right after the dictatorship ended. I could see that they had both been empowered to start their work with their newfound freedom. Brazilians understand and appreciate the power of their voice because they know what it means to have been oppressed and lost that voice. That is a message I have taken into my future work producing documentaries for the last 15 years now. As a result, I make films that show the problems in the world, but also leave the audience with solutions.
Some of you will have seen Vanishing of the Bees, how the bees have been dying off due to the pesticides Big Ag is using, or Side Effects or Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety, about the manipulation by the pharmaceutical companies in their marketing practices. I also made Bonsai People about world visionary Muhammad Yunus’ work creating microcredit and social business in opposition to all the business models of capitalism as we know it. My latest film Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes, is one I am most proud of, as it gets to the heart of any of the problems I’ve addressed in previous films – the corrupting influence of money in politics.
This corruption has changed the US from the democracy it has been so proud of, into an oligarchy, run for the benefit of the few. I am hoping that people around the world see this film and help band together around the solutions we propose in the film. We include the idea of compulsory voting and free air-time for politicians because I saw first hand how this worked well in Brazil.
Our film Pay 2 Play also look for public financing of campaigns, full disclosure of political campaign contributions, non-partisan redistricting and a constitutional amendment that corporations are not people and money is not politics. It’s important for people around the world to help Americans wake up and see what is going wrong because America’s policies greatly affect the rest of the world. See you at the movies!
* Holly Mosher is a writer and a filmmaker with bachelor degree from New York University. She lives in Los Angeles and you can find out more about all of her great projects here: www.filmmakerforchange.com