This week, Dennis interviews Shaleece Haas, Director of the new documentary REAL BOY (www.RealBoymovie.com). It is a film about “the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. As he navigates the ups and downs of young adulthood, he works to gain the love and support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. Along the way, Bennett forges a powerful friendship with his idol, Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician with his own demons to fight.”
Also, as a bonus, Chris Hedges on why he thinks Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart have destroyed satire.
About Shaleece Haas
Shaleece is a queer documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, CA. She is the co-producer of the 2013 documentary film, The Genius of Marian, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on POV in 2014. Her 2010 documentary short, Old People Driving, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival and was broadcast on the PBS News Hour as part of the Economist Film Project. In addition to her work as a director/producer, Shaleece is an instructor of video storytelling at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute, and the NY Press Association, and serves as the head of submissions for New Day Films. She is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) fellow and a 2010 Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging fellow. Prior to starting her work in documentary film, Shaleece worked as an editorial photographer and radio producer and was a founding staff member of the national oral history project, Story Corps. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
About Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges, whose column is published weekly on Truthdig, has written 11 books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.
Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.
In 2012, Hedges notably sued President Barack Obama after the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration appealed, and the decision was overturned. In 2014 the the Supreme Court denied to review Hedges v. Obama . The act still allows for presidential authority for indefinite detention without habeas corpus.