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Three young black South African men; Xola Putye, Mihlale and Lukhanyo are leaving a mark

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DIRECTOR Q&A and STATEMENT | FRED PEABODY

What attracted you to the story of your film?
Myra MacPherson’s great book “All Governments Lie” inspired me to make a film covering similar ground, telling the story of the late, great American journalist I. F. Stone, who fearlessly and meticulously documented government deception for 20 years in his tiny newsletter I. F. Stone’s Weekly. He always contended that “all governments lie” and it’s up to journalists to find out when they’re lying.

Why was it important to tell this story?
The documentary shows the importance of independent journalists holding governments and corporations accountable to citizens – and that’s important whether in my home country of Canada or in the United States, Russia, China, etc. At film festivals all over the world, people told me they wish they had more independent journalists like the ones we profile in the film.

What do you hope your documentary will achieve?
I hope the film will encourage young people all over the world to pursue careers as independent, investigative, adversarial journalists holding governments accountable. Societies cannot improve and solve social problems unless those problems are being identified, and that’s a role for journalists.

What should we know about your filmmaking process?
I started with a basic thesis, and tried to find ways to bring it to life by filming independent journalists today who are following in I. F. Stone’s footsteps, investigating and questioning government statements rather than acting as “stenographers to power” as mainstream media reporters in many countries often do.

Did you make any unexpected discoveries while shooting?
I was pleased to discover a promising new wave of independent, investigative, adversarial journalists working in America today who are inspired by the example of the late, great I. F. Stone.

Fred Peabody

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