Out of the Reading His "The Truth of El Mozote", Came an Interest in Interviewing Writer Mark Danner by Valeria Herrador

This past weekend I drove up to Berkeley to interview author Mark Danner for my documentary, Luchando Por Paz (Fighting For Peace). 

Mr. Danner is a Harvard graduate, MacArthur Fellow, published writer, and currently a professor at the school of journalism at UC Berkeley. I emailed him asking if he would let me interview him after reading his article from the New Yorker, "The Truth Of El Mozote." 

I followed up by reading the book he wrote 'The Massacre at El Mozote,' which went deeper into the story of the biggest Massacre in El Salvador's history. I was very excited to schedule an interview with Mr. Danner because so far all my interviews have been with El Salvadoran natives and therefore in Spanish. Never have I felt more self-conscious about my Spanish speaking skills.

My documentary focuses on people's personal stories from the war. I aim to connect their stories to historical events to provide a different kind of perspective of a country ravaged by political ideology (The Cold War), and to hopefully alert my generation that our country is capable of still making the same mistakes it made back then. 

In any given American high school history class, you will never hear about what happened in El Salvador. Considering how much aid the United States gave to the country in those times, it is a little insulting for people to overlook the tiny third world country that almost killed itself because of Reagan's fear of a defeat at the hands of Communism.

I plan to make a trip to El Salvador later this year to continue shooting interviews as well as get footage of all the places where the atrocities occurred. I will be starting a Kickstarter campaign within the next month to hopefully fund the trip.

Mr. Danner lives in Grizzly Peak, Berkeley at the former home of late poet Czesla Milosz. The house has an amazing view of the bay and sits right below Tilden Park. We actually caught him while he was finishing up his newest book on the US's policy of torturing political prisoners. Our interview lasted about an hour and I definitely got a lot of really great things from it. 

I finally have enough footage to really cut a trailer so that's the next step. I just hope people want to hear this story, because it is an important one.

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