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animal rights | arts and culture

Showing of 'The Witness' , an award-winning documentary

How does a construction contractor from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood become an impassioned animal activist?

In the award-winning documentary The Witness, Eddie Lama explains how he feared and avoided animals for most of his life, until the love of a kitten opened his heart, inspiring him to rescue abandoned animals, become a vegetarian, and ultimately, to bring his message of compassion to the streets of New York.

With humor and sincerity, Eddie tells the story of his remarkable change in consciousness, sharing along the way some of the shocking realities of the meat and fur industries.

Featuring the song "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan, this is a story of beauty and transcendence in the face of tragedy and despair.

Tuesday, Feb 17th, from 7-9 pm
Hollywood Theatre
4122 NE Sandy
We're asking a minimum donation of $5.00.
ALL money raised is going to a great cause, the Oasis farm sanctuary.
Artist Peter Max says, "A short film with a big heart" LOS ANGELES TIMES heralds "unique, indelible 43-minute documentary"

Food Fight! Vegan Grocery and Herbivore Magazine announce a complimentary screening for movie-goers of the multiple award-winning documentary, The Witness, on Tuesday, February 17, at 7 p. m. at The Hollywood Theatre in Portland. This screening will benefit Oasis Sanctuary.  A $5 donation is suggested.

The Witness has received strong support from the independent film community; it has been an official selection at 23 film festivals, garnering 10 awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the Brooklyn Film Festival, Best Documentary Award at the New Jersey International Film Festival, and Outstanding Breakthrough Documentary Award at CineWomen New York. It has had PBS broadcasts in Denver and Miami, and Lama's life has been chronicled in TV talk show host Montel Williams' book entitled A Dozen Ways to Sunday: Stories of Hope and Courage.

The Witness tells the inspiring and life-affirming story of Eddie Lama, a tough construction contractor from Brooklyn whose life went from one of despair and hopelessness to one of compassion and activism after a chance encounter with a kitten. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of the Los Angeles Times, Howard Rosenberg, said: "The Witness is one man's truth that cries out for mass exposure," which accounts for its extraordinary support from everyday people who have thus far held more than 150 community screenings in 42 states, in venues ranging from libraries and churches to college campuses and movie theatres, often with theatre owners donating the space for the events.

Lama is a 2001 recipient of the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award. Past honorees have included Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. Peace Abbey award presenter Mary Margaret Earl stated, "Eddie is a living miracle. A regular guy from Brooklyn -- who works construction and [babysat] his first cat to get a date -- has become a hero for the two-footed as well as the four-footed. He is inspiring others to follow their own conscience and change the world too."

Lama's remarkable change in consciousness is the basis of the film's ability to touch people of all ages and backgrounds. "In my lifetime, I have been both the oppressor and the oppressed, both the fomenter of discord and the advocate for peace, both the perpetrator and the victim," said Lama, as he accepted the Courage of Conscience Award. "But most significantly, I have been both the silence and the voice. It is the human voice that is the primary tool for change."

The Witness was produced by James LaVeck and directed by Jenny Stein, Co-founders of Tribe of Heart. Based in Ithaca, NY, Tribe of Heart is a non-profit organization that produces films and educational programs that empower the efforts of people who wish to teach compassion in their communities. The Witness is the first completed documentary of four in an anthology titled "Animal People."

For more information about The Witness, visit:
For more information about Eddie Lama, visit
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