Friday, May 26, 2006


I get emails every week from people around the world who have watched THIS DIVIDED STATE. I got 2 last week from Denmark where the film is just being released on DVD. But this email greatly impressed me and so I thought I would share excerpts from it. It's from a veteran who served in the Army in the 1970's.


As a Utahn who loves his home state, I have lived elsewhere for the majority of my adult life, your film, This Divided State, is so illustrative of where I am from, and while missing home and family in so many ways having lived in the Washington DC area for 16 years now, why I have not and can probably not live there full-time again. Still, there is so much more. It is one of the most important films ever made in and about the USA through the lenses of Utah.

Within and beyond Utah's borders, the messages of intolerance, blind following of political... now seen by so many of the blind for what they are and have been (both sides of the political, and I've voted and supported (dem/rep), your film is in my opinion one of the most important ever made given the critical times we now face, such division, "red, blue" BS.

One more thing. For all those flag waving "support the troops" with yellow ribbons; hats, shirts, everything imaginable made with the colors and patterns of the USA flag (something we were taught as kids not to do)..., where the hell were they in late 70's when I left for the Army, a tour overseas (NATO as an MP protecting against terrorism, the Soviet bloc...), where the hell were they then? As a different sort of "RM", I was never met at the bus station, or airport on the few times I could afford to come home by anyone (I made $17-18k total in three years, still we volunteered between GI Bills, got/get no veterans preference anywhere for jobs..., still can't buy a beer at a VFW... how many Americans know there is a generation of vets just like me, WHO ARE PROUD TO HAVE SERVED ANYWAY?).

We were told not to even wear our uniform in public because of the hassles and fights the public would put our way... and they did if you had a military haircut and a duffel, I was spit on in Denver Greyhound bus station in '79..., where were all those super-patriots then?

I'll end here with a true story to contrast what I just wrote: the VERY FIRST and only person to have ever asked me as a veteran to stand up and then thanked me, and encouraged the crowd to thank me for my service and that of my brother and sister veterans ... literally was Mr. Michael Moore in 2004 at a university in PA. It stopped me in my tracks. I could not believe it. Gave me a whole new level of respect for the man who I considered a true American patriot.

So, for those flag-waving folks who don't even take an few minutes to learn anything about Mr. Moore... and that what he is saying is not so much political... as American, I feel sorry for them and for the future of our country. I hope your film wakes at least some of them up to their own hypocrisy. I hope your film in a dozen years or so makes for a different and more tolerant Utah.

Your film, brought to me by Netflix yesterday and watched last night, was one of the more powerful I've seen. I put in an order on Amazon today so that I can show to my friends.


M. Whitney
Emmitsburg, MD

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