Stanley Kubrick's brilliant 1962 black comedy about politics, power and technology is one of the greatest antiwar films ever made. And, now, forty years after it was released, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb seems like a satirical time bomb, more relevant in the age of "preemption" than ever before.
In light of the film's sadly enduring significance, a new group has emerged, Operation Strangelove, which as its first major action is orchestrating nationwide showings of Dr. Strangelove on Wednesday, May 14. Screenings throughout the US--in cinemas, living rooms, schools, offices and community centers--will be followed by panel discussions/benefits, many of which will raise money for activist groups and relief organizations working in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Operation Strangelove grew out of the Lysistrata Project, which inspired more than 1,000 staged readings worldwide of Aristophanes's bawdy antiwar play this past March. The readings also raised more than $100,000 for peace and humanitarian groups like RAWA, Madre and United for Peace and Justice. Organizers are looking to top that figure with the film showings on May 14.
The largest New York City screening will be held at 7:00pm at United Artists Battery Park overlooking Ground Zero. After the movie, author, critic and Nation contributing editor John Leonard will moderate a discussion featuring people from September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, actress Janeane Garofalo, cartoonist Art Spiegelman and many others. Click here for more info.
Part of the genius of Kubrick's film is that it's possible to laugh--and laugh hard--without trivializing the deadly serious message. So, thanks to him, these mass May 14 showings offer an opportunity to have fun and find community while helping build the networks of political (and cultural) dissent crucial to resisting the Bush agenda.