Paul Freedman, the director of “Sand and Sorrow,” a documentary on the Darfur Crisis which airs Thursday night on HBO
Book I’m reading:
“The End of Poverty” by Jeffrey D. Sachs and “The Congo Cables,” a disturbing book from the 80’s by Madeleine Kalb, about how America meddled in the newly independent Congo’s internal affairs, forever screwing it up.
Total number of books I own:
I have no idea. I sort of hoard them…the good ones anyway.
Three books that mean a lot to me:
“A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” by Samantha Power
“We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our
”Families: Stories from Rwanda” by Philip Gourevitch
And on a lighter note, “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac. Each one has changed me in different ways.
What book would you like to see brought to the big screen?
“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov …it could be an amazing film!
Last film I saw:
“A Mighty Heart,” directed by Michael Winterbottom. Great docu style editing. Immediate and real. Angelina Jolie was very good and Winterbottom is a great director.
Three films that mean a lot to me:
“The Full Monty,” directed by Peter Cattaneo because I laughed ‘til I hurt. I love the whimsy of “Wings of Desire,” directed by Wim Wenders, and I still
will watch “Galaxy Quest,” directed by Dean Parisot because Alan Rickman and the others slay me.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
There is a portrait hanging in my cutting room of a Rwandan woman who survived the genocide there. Here name is Anastasia. She was almost sixty when I interviewed and photographed her in Rwanda. She witnessed the murder of her family and was herself raped and left for dead. She lives on the edge of extreme poverty today. She stares back at me from her portrait. It must be God I see in her eyes because she’s totally disappointed in us. If Anastasia can get up in the morning and get to it, then so can I.
Song currently playing in my iPod:
Since Luciano Pavarotti died, I’ve been listening over and over to U2’s live recording of “Miss Sarajevo” with Pavarotti. It makes me cry everytime.
Three songs that mean a lot to me:
“Father and Son,” Cat Stevens
“Counting Blue Cars,” Dishwalla
“Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat,” Bob Dylan
Concert that changed your life:
Little Feat at Winterland a long time ago!
* TV: Baseball
* Film: Docs at film festivals
* Reading material: Biographies
Best hangover remedy?
What’s the biggest upside of the Internet and what is its biggest downside?
That it’s uncensored. And that it’s uncensored.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?
First, don’t invest in your own documentaries. Second, break all the rules including the first one.
Do you have a dream project?:
Making a doc about major league baseball, warts and all.
What helps you get out of bed in the morning?:
See Anastasia above.
Are there any activities you do to make you feel un-famous?
I’m already completely unfamous!
Would you rather see a Lakers game next to Jack Nicholson or a Knicks game next to Spike Lee?
I’d rather see a Clipper’s game with my kids.