⚠️ DANGER — THE KICKOFF FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
Let's get this off the ground! ⚠️ Danger – a feature length documentary needs your help! An epic and risky quest in both the story and the capturing of it. It is an historic moment in time, perilous for one to follow her calling.
Your financial contribution is crucial in order to bring ⚠️DANGER to the screen. Because this extraordinary story was already unfolding, I began without production infrastructure and support. It has involved personal sacrifice and financial risk that I instruct my university production students to avoid. But, it is a critical moment in contemporary history that needs to be documented.
This is the first in a series of fundraising campaigns to meet the $1.2 million dollar budget.
Unlike many crowd sourcing campaigns, I am not going to give out a lot of useless "prizes." The biggest "thank you" I can offer is the tax-deductible status through our fiscal sponsor, the International Documentary Association for donors at every level of contribution. At other levels, I will offer credit in the film, copies both unsigned and signed of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, digital and DVD copies of the finished film as well as private screenings.
Although we are both professors at Yale University, I had never met Dr. Bandy Lee. On January 22, 2019, we had dinner. The previous weekend I had received an email from her asking if I would be interested in making a “talking-head” video version of her book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. She had seen my latest film THAT WAY MADNESS LIES... She liked that I understood the criteria of danger regarding the treatment or rather the refusal of treatment for the mentally ill. I told Dr. Lee, that I admired her courage and her work, but I didn't know how to make a movie about her book.
Then I asked her a question,”Why are you taking this on? It never ends well for the whistle-blower and you certainly don’t need to be doing this.” It was a “David and Goliath” story. A petite Korean American, albeit a world renown expert in violence, was defying her profession's powerful association, the American Psychiatric Association, but also taking on the most powerful man in the world while he sits in the Oval Office. It was her process, her zeal and commitment that fascinated me. I wanted to know what motivated her when it seemed clear to me that this was not a battle she needed to take on.She then told me about her spiritual awakening and divine inspiration. Having just met her, I was stunned by this unexpected answer to my question. The parallel to Joan of Arc was uncanny. I knew my job was to show how Dr. Bandy Lee’s seemingly polemic motivation and approach harmoniously coexist for her. The layers of this already challenging story were more than I could have imagined and things happened very fast. Two days later, I went with Dr. Lee to a conference about the 25th Amendment at the University of Akron Law School in Ohio where she spoke on a panel with John Feerick who drafted the Amendment 50 years ago.
The film is of contemporaneous relevance and will be of historic importance. The consequences and stakes for the president, all branches of government, the Constitution, the citizens of the USA and the world in the nuclear age, and for Dr. Bandy Lee, could not be higher or more immediate. Traditionally, history has been written by the “winners.” It is unknown at this time who exactly that will be in this story, or even if there will be any winners. With the access I have to the process in real time, this film will allow viewers insight into the strategy, obstacles, treachery, infighting and the danger of the goals set out by Dr. Lee.
Donald Trump is not the story, but rather the catalyst to the story.
We live in an ever increasing isolating and polemic world. We not only wonder, but also feel helpless in the face of its disenfranchising effects. We look back at World War II and wonder how could it have happened — why didn’t anyone speak up? How do we know that they did not? History is written by the winners and credit is singular. The truth is that because so much revolutionary activity must be clandestine, we rarely are exposed to the motivations and struggles of those in the trenches of a cause. Understanding how one woman takes action empowers the viewer to an individual’s agency as well as the obstacles that are inevitable. This film charitably gives the viewer access to what is normally hidden and shows one woman’s willingness to sacrifice personal safety because of a commitment and a conviction to her duty to warn.
So how will Dr. Bandy Lee’s quest end? We don’t yet know. One day, with or without Dr. Lee’s efforts, Donald Trump will be out of office.
And what about Dr. Bandy Lee?
She knows her career will be forever changed. She knows this mission -- every word she writes, every conference she organizes, every interview she gives, has consequences. Will she, like Joan of Arc, be discarded as a crazy with religiosity? Or will her devotion to religious purpose be a shield against partisan accusations? Will it cost her her life or does she enter monastic life when the quest has ended?
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
Your donation is tax deductible! ⚠️DANGER is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions in support of ⚠️DANGER are payable to IDA and are tax deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at checkout.