Fall 2004 Bruin Walk
to bottom: Winning the Peace,
War on Their Minds: Voices From
American Kids, Elegy and Outside.
Eli Akira Kaufman grew
up in a Marin County family straight out of central
casting. “We’re pretty nonmilitary, peace-loving,
tree huggers,” he says. But when the UCLA grad student
started work on a short film set amid the recent fighting in
Iraq, he was determined not to produce an anti-war polemic.
The result is the remarkably
even-handed Winning the Peace. The 18-minute film tells
the story of Sgt. Charlie Latif, an Iraqi-American marine whose
desire to do the right thing collides tragically with the bloody
reality of war. “It doesn’t tell you what to think,
and that was the whole idea,” says Kaufman, whose mom,
Tayeko, helped raise money for the $40,000 film by selling handmade
This fall, Showtime subscribers
will have the chance to see Kaufman’s film during an evening
of UCLA student shorts on war themes. Showtime, which provided
$125,000 in funding for Images of War in the 21st Century,
will air the works November 1 at 8 p.m. (PST).
Jenn Kao’s Outside is
a sci-fi drama set in a world devastated by war. The story focuses
on Devi, a young war survivor who is content to live alone in
an underground bunker until an “outsider” awakens
her to new possibilities.
Kao and her crew shot interior
scenes on a sound stage in Melnitz Hall, then hauled the set
to the Mojave Desert to film Devi’s encounter with the
outsider. “In sci-fi, you get to create an entire world
from scratch, which was something I really enjoyed doing,”
Showtime viewers can also check
out Jennifer Glos’ War on Their Minds: Voices of American
Kids, Kristina Malsberger’s Elegy, Angela
Mrema’s The Invisible Man, Dominance and Terror: A
Discussion with Noam Chomsky from Roberto Oregel M.A. ’97
and Attention from Brad Sample ’01.
by Anne Burke