Slate Magazine to Screen "The Situation" in New York City
Panel Discussion With Jacob Weisberg, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, and George Packer to Immediately Follow Movie
NEW YORK, January 30, 2007 – Slate Magazine, the source for fresh takes on news and information, and Shadow Distribution today announced the New York Premier of "The Situation," a movie based on a dispatch written by Wendell Steavenson for Slate in 2003. The film, directed by Philip Haas, will debut in New York City on Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30pm and a panel discussion, moderated by Jacob Weisberg, Editor of Slate, with Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and George Packer, author of Assassin's Gate, will immediately follow the screening. The film opens in New York on February 2 at the Lincoln Plaza and Angelika Film Center.
Between March 2003 and May 2004, Wendell Steavenson filed 27 dispatches from Iraq to Slate magazine. With datelines ranging from Kirkuk to Baghdad, Samarra to Sulaymaniyah, her method was to speak to as many people as possible and to report what she learned. As she put it, "There are always two sides to a story in Iraq and a big gap in the middle."
One of these narratives told the story of two Iraqi cousins who were stopped at a U.S. checkpoint around curfew. Steavenson wrote: "What happened next is disputed. But two things are clear: The truck they were driving was destroyed, and the two cousins went off a bridge into the Tigris and one of them drowned."
This incident—and many other experiences from her time in Iraq—was the inspiration for the screenplay for "The Situation," the first U.S. fiction film to deal with the occupation.
"We are always looking to cover different angles on the news to provide our readers with perspectives they might not get anywhere else. Wendell's dispatches to Slate from Iraq were an excellent example of bringing the untold stories to light," said Jacob Weisberg, Editor, Slate Magazine. "We are thrilled to introduce a movie that helps illustrate the human side of conflict, and to have the opportunity to discuss its themes with our panel afterward."
"The Situation" will premier at the Landmark E Street Theater in Washington, DC on February 5 at 7:00pm and open theatrically on February 9 in the same location. A panel discussion, moderated by Slate Washington Editor David Plotz, with Martha Raddatz, ABC News chief White House correspondent and author of "The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family," and Thomas Ricks, senior Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post and author of "Fiasco," will immediately follow the screening. For more information on the screenings, please visit www.myspace.com/thesituationmovie.
About The Situation:
Combining elements of thriller, romance, and war movie, THE SITUATION, set exclusively in Iraq, and the first U.S. feature film to deal with the occupation, dramatizes one of the countless human stories that lie behind the headlines of the current war.
When a group of American soldiers throw an Iraqi boy off a bridge in Samarra, the incident sets off a chain of events that exposes the deep rifts among the Iraqis in Samarra, and results in yet another cycle of violence between the insurgents and the corrupt Iraqi police.
Anna (Connie Nielsen -- GLADIATOR, BROTHERS) is an American journalist who decides to write a story about the assassination of an Iraqi leader whom she admires. At the same time, she is pulling away from a relationship with Dan (Damian Lewis -- KEANE, BAND OF BROTHERS), an American intelligence official, who thinks the war can be won with hearts and minds, and towards Zaid (Mido Hamada -- PATH TO 9/11), a young Iraqi photographer who shows her there are people, rather than sides, in the conflict. As she tries to make sense of the half-truths of Iraq, she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, and in the midst of a dangerous situation, set against a thick web of alliances, agendas, and reverses.
Scripted by Wendell Steavenson, who has reported from the thick of the conflict in Iraq, basing it on her own experiences, THE SITUATION is an unflinching, undiluted dramatization of the war in Iraq. The story isn't ripped from the headlines; rather, it's a chance to look deeper behind them.
The film is directed by Philip Haas (ANGELS & INSECTS).
The Situation opens nationally in February and March. For more information visit: www.thesituationmovie.com
About Slate Magazine:
Slate Magazine is an award-winning Web site that offers fresh angles on stories in the news and innovative entertainment coverage. Slate won the 2006 and 2005 EPpy awards for Best Internet News Service (over 1 million monthly visitors) and the 2005 EPpy award for Best Internet Entertainment Service (over 1 million monthly visitors). Slate can be found on the Web at www.slate.com and is owned by The Washington Post Company. Slate attracts over five million unique visitors each month.