WASHINGTON (July 15, 1999) -- In 1989, the brutal murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter shocked the world and proved to be a pivotal event in El Salvador's long civil war.
The broadcast documentary "Enemies of War" examines these unspeakable murders, the U.S. Congressional investigation they spurred, and the story of El Salvador's journey toward peace.
The U.S. Catholic Conference Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) will host a special preview screening of the documentary, Friday, July 16 at 8:00 p.m., for invited guests and participants in the National Catholic Gathering for Jubilee Justice in Los Angeles. The screening of the hour-long film, which was produced for broadcast on public television, will be held at the Northwest Auditorium in Sunset Village on the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. A reception will follow the screening.
"Enemies of War" focuses on the desire of Congressman Joe Moakley (D-Mass.), head of the U.S. investigation, to find the truth behind the murders and on his stubborn insistence that the United States act on the information uncovered. His persistence paid off, sparking an international process that led to the end of the war and the beginning of profound changes for El Salvador.
The CCC was among the first and one of the largest contributors to the "Enemies of War" project, providing $60,000 in grants.
"With the tenth anniversary of the Jesuit murders nearly upon us, we wanted to share this moving program with those who are gathering in Los Angeles to explore Catholic social justice and the coming Jubilee," said Pat Ryan Garcia, CCC Director of Distribution.
Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who was integrally involved in the Congressional investigation of the murders as a key aide to Congressman Moakley, will speak at the Los Angeles screening.
Esther Cassidy and Rob Kuhns, the independent producers who created "Enemies of War" said, "The documentary was produced to pay tribute to the Jesuits who were murdered and to all the people who worked and are working to make democracy in El Salvador possible."
In addition to commentary from Congressmen Moakley and McGovern, "Enemies of War" features interviews with two former U.S. Ambassadors to El Salvador, Jesuit Father Dean Brackley, who replaced one of the murdered Jesuits at the University of Central America, and Jesuit Fathers Jon Sobrino and Jon di Cortina, two other teachers at the university. The film also includes an interview with William Ford, whose sister Ita Ford was murdered in El Salvador along with three other American Church women in 1980, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, Salvadoran opposition political candidate Dr. Ruben Zamora, and Calderon Sol, the ARENA party candidate who was elected President of El Salvador in 1994.
"Enemies of War" is narrated by Martin Sheen, with English voice overs provided by Rosie Perez and Edward James Olmos. The documentary was produced by Esther Cassidy and executive-produced by Academy Award-winner Deborah Shaffer ("Witness to War: The Story of Dr. Charlie Clements"). South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) is presenting "Enemies of War"to public television stations.