By Jason Apuzzo & Govindini Murty. Welcome to Libertas Film Magazine (LFM). LFM is a new on-line film magazine focusing on the idea of freedom as expressed in movies and popular culture. ‘Libertas’ takes its name from the Latin word for ‘liberty’ – which is the animating principle behind the films and artists we’ll be covering on this site.
LFM is a further development of the popular film blog Libertas (2005-2008), which was created by Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty in 2005 as the official blog of the Liberty Film Festival. Libertas was the first film site devoted entirely to conservative discussion of film. New York Times film critic A.O. Scott called the original Libertas “insightful as well as provocative,” and film columnist Patrick Goldstein wrote that “Libertas is one of the few websites that actually takes movies – and their cultural influence – seriously” in his 2006 LA Times feature on the site. In 2007, Libertas was voted one of the top three culture blogs on the internet during the 2007 Weblog Awards.
The new Libertas has a different emphasis from that of its predecessor, however. Whereas the prior Libertas spent most of its time critiquing the ideological content of Hollywood entertainment – much of which is still inimical to freedom – the new Libertas Film Magazine is focused on positively promoting films that celebrate freedom, democracy, and the dignity of the individual.
LFM aims to bring to people around the world the on-line experience that movie-goers interested in pro-freedom films could previously only have by attending the Liberty Film Festival in person in Los Angeles. Each day Libertas will feature short films, webisodes, movie clips and trailers, podcasts, as well as news and reviews of pro-freedom films that are currently in theaters or are available on DVD. The new Libertas site has also been designed so that movie lovers can have the option of watching films in high-definition whenever possible. Libertas’ goal is to show our readers movies they can enjoy – not just to warn them about movies to avoid. The editors of Libertas have also created an exciting on-line store with over seven hundred classic, contemporary, and foreign films with pro-freedom themes that are available for purchase on DVD or by video download – including dozens of films shown at the Liberty Film Festival.
LFM will also address other aspects of popular culture that are important to filmmaking – such as music, fashion, photography, theater, literature, art, and design – with a view to provoking a creative discussion across pop culture genres and forms.
LFM celebrates the democratizing of film. Talented, free-thinking artists from America and around the world are now using digital technology to make films that celebrate freedom and the individual. LFM will feature the best of these independent and foreign films – and occasionally even Hollywood films – that promote the ideas and values that are vital to the future of democratic civilization. The ongoing War on Terror – a war which is as much ideological as it is military – makes this task more urgent than ever.
Since 9-11, one thing has become obvious: if left to its own devices, Hollywood will entertain us out of a democracy. If this was not clear in 2004 when Michael Moore released his mendacious, agitprop documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, it become abundantly clear in 2009 when James Cameron released his stridently anti-American, anti-human epic, Avatar. Not since the Weimar era in Germany – and perhaps not even then – have such vast filmmaking resources been devoted to undermining Western democracy.
Against this onslaught of Hollywood-funded propaganda, a wave of independent filmmakers worldwide are mounting what amounts to a guerrilla campaign for freedom. Some of them are American filmmakers – yet an increasing number are filmmakers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, whose experiences with tyranny are even more immediate. Over time, we hope that LFM will become their home, as we promote their efforts relentlessly.
LFM is the new voice for freedom in movies and popular culture. Join us each day … and free your mind.
With our best wishes,
Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty
Co-Founders & Co-Editors
Libertas Film Magazine