'Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories' documentary and talk here Wednesday

‘Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories’ documentary and talk here Wednesday

Independent filmmaker Mike Shiley will show his documentary, “Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories,” and speak at an 8 p.m. program Wednesday, March 7, in the Room 126 auditorium of John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts at the University of St. Thomas.

The program, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ University Lectures Committee. For more information, call Benjamin Nebo, chair of the committee, at (651) 962-6136.

Mike Shiley

In the spring of 2003, Shiley was sitting on his sofa, watching the latest news about the war, and wondering what was really going on in Iraq. An avid traveler, he decided to go to Iraq and produce a “behind-the-scenes” documentary.

Although he wasn’t a journalist, he convinced a television station in Portland, Oregon, to grant him permission to cover the Oregon National Guard in Iraq. He still needed press credentials, so he went to a local Kinko’s print shop and created a homemade press pass.

He then cashed in airline miles and with a single contact name written on a crumpled piece of paper, crossed into Iraq on a life-changing journey. Armed with a camera, local guide and rented bulletproof vest, Shiley traveled throughout Iraq for two months, filming stories about life there. His goal was to tell stories not usually covered by the national media.

Shiley says on his Web site that rather than pushing a political point of view, he “let his cameras roll, catching a multitude of real-life moments that tell it like it is.”

More information about Shiley and the film can be found here.