The War of North Dakota (Rough Cut)

The War of North Dakota (Rough Cut)
20 Oct 2017 Friday
20 Oct 2017 Friday

The War of North Dakota (Rough Cut)

Pawtucket, RI
Blackstone Valley Visitors Center

Title of film: “The War of North Dakota” (Rough cut)
Running time: 80 min
Genre: Documentary, Environmentalism
Who is presenting the film at the festival: Rod Webber

The film highlights the actions on the Backwater Bridge and nearby locations at the Standing Rock Reservation leading up to a brutal night in which the Morton County Sheriff’s department unleashed rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas and freezing water-cannons on the people of Standing Rock and their environmentalist allies, resulting in 300 injuries. There was widespread hypothermia, the loss of eye-sight (with Sioux-Z Dundon), and a woman (Sophia Wilansky), who lost the use of her arm– both were injured by explosives launched at the crowd by the police.

Short bio of filmmaker/presenter:
Rod Webber is an artist, musician and author. During the nineties, law enforcement, (a common theme in his work), took note of his handiwork, which at that time mostly consisted of stenciling and public installation-pranks. Transitioning into a solo-musician, he began charting on college radio, often performing at NYC’s Sidewalk Cafe, in the Folk-Punk scene, sharing bills with Kimya Dawson and Daniel Johnston. In the 2000s, he became a DJ for one of Boston’s largest radio-stations, WFNX. He left the show to tour, and has released 20 recordings to date, with his Vine channel (full of his songs), topping out at 17 million plays.

In the mid 2000s, he began making films, including projects with Greta Gerwig, (Frances Ha), and a handful with former WWE wrestler/ politician, Tiny The Terrible, who became a frequent comedic partner. In 2013, he authored “Poetry of the Malfunctioning Engine” a voice-to-text, stream of consciousness novel dictated with all the technological errors purposefully left in, to create a disorienting effect for the book, which is meant to be listened to via text-to-voice, more so than it is to be read.

In 2014, Webber spent a year passing out flowers to strangers in public as performance art. During the 2016 presidential campaign, (while being vehemently against GOP policy), Webber joined Jeb Bush in a prayer for peace on multiple occasions, spreading to similar events with Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and First Lady Barbara Bush. The strange meeting of minds became so popular among the candidates, that Governor John Kasich began having Webber play Beatles and David Bowie songs at his shows. Webber famously used the occasion and “Here Comes the Sun” to criticize Kasich’s fact-free diatribe on solar panels. Later, Webber and performance artist Vermin Supreme sang “Born to Run” to lightly make fun of Governor Chris Christie who was afraid to get off of his tour bus in their presence.

During the making of his documentary “Flowers For Peace,” Webber attended forty Donald Trump-related events, which includes a number of exchanges between Webber and the future President of The United States. Webber. Trump notably asked Webber to quote scripture, resulting in Webber reciting a verse which was critical of a man like Trump “seeking the office of Overseer.” Webber almost immediately got roughed up. He was also beaten up and arrested on a number of other occasions, mostly for the “crime” of asking questions as a journalist. During the RNC, he was raided by the FBI who conducted a guns-out warrantless entry assisted by ICE Agents, Homeland Security and the local police. All told, around 20 agents (some with AR15s) were involved, primarily because InfoWars’ Alex Jones made inflammatory remarks the previous day. Ironically, Webber later defended InfoWars’ right to be present at the the Milo Yiannopolis protests in Berkeley, (despite disagreeing with them). At Trump’s inauguration, Webber was stopped for “having an explosive device” because of claims made by “unknown” accusers, and was subsequently detained by Capitol City Police. The claim was unequivocally and demonstrably false.

When not posing for Elle Magazine, or sitting in jail, Rod is now visited by the FBI on a yearly basis. During the filming of “The War of North Dakota,” Rod was kidnapped by a mercenary group comprised of former government military contractors called “TigerSwan,” who included Webber as a person of interest in documents leaked by The Intercept.

In 2017, Webber was on the receiving end of a campaign to portray Webber as a “terrorist” by 4Chan and neo-nazi website StormFront after having interviewed the organizer of the Boston “Free Speech” rally. Webber was later a part of a sit-down between “the left and the right” that included Joey Gibson and Kyle Chapman (AKA “Based Stickman,”) both associated with the often-violent extremist group loosely called “The Alt Right.”

Webber’s latest CD, “Flowers For Peace” is available on BandCamp, and his latest artwork is available at SweeTree Ink in Boston. “Vermin 2016” about Vermin Supreme’s presidential bid is currently in post-production.