Anytown, a new 9/11 story, comes to theatres
“If he's listening, I just hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values of Americans” -- President Obama on Good Morning America, referring to the purported Koran/Quran burning on 9/11 by pastor Jones. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. In light of the ninth Anniversary, The Dish caught up with director/producer Dave Rodriguez of Anytown, the independent film that chronicles a teenage boy who is affected by 9/11 and becomes involved in a high school altercation that escalates into a hate crime. Anytown is your town. We asked Rodriguez how he thought this could happen, what he thinks of the building of the Mosque near ground zero, and the suggested burning of the Koran. “There's no question that kids are much more independent than they've ever been and parents seem to have lost touch with being 'parents.' Parents need to be held accountable or they will run the danger of their children spiraling out of control,” he said. Rodriguez doesn’t oppose the building of the Islamic Center near Ground Zero nor that it will incite violence. "I do understand both sides of the debate. I, like many New Yorkers, lost a few friends on 9/11 and I understand how disrespected those families must feel at the mere presence of something that may connect a religion and terrorism anywhere near Ground Zero. On the other hand, and in light of all that was happening with Catholic priests a few years ago, should we stop building Catholic churches close to elementary schools?" “Hate is a bi-product of ignorance. I remember very recently listening to someone close to my family saying that they hated the French. My question was, 'How many French people do you know?' They said 'none.' It's information and stereotypes like these that can easily be addressed with a little more education.” As for Pastor Jones, Rodriquez doesn’t mince words: “I believe it's ignorant, stupid and extreme. And it's people like that who endanger the lives of our soldiers, including my nephew who is a Marine fighting over in Afghanistan for his third tour.” “Hate still exists.....it's alive and healthy. I personally have tried to remove the word from my vocabulary completely,” he said.Anytown opens nationwide this winter.