Two films, two wars

Special screenings of "Patrol Base Jaker," about Marines in Afghanistan, and "Killing Kasztner," about a Jew during the Holocaust, to be shown in Newport-Mesa.

October 27, 2011|By Imran Vittachi

Two films dealing with war and politics in the tinderbox of the Middle East are coming to Newport-Mesa for one-night special screenings.

The city of Costa Mesa on Friday night will host a screening of "Patrol Base Jaker" at the Triangle Square Cinemas. The documentary, directed by David Scantling, follows the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Battalion, 5th Marines — otherwise known as the "1/5" — during a 2009-10 deployment to Afghanistan.

The group is the city's adopted military unit.

And on Wednesday night, the Chabad Jewish Center of Newport Beach will screen "Killing Kasztner," a historical documentary directed by Gaylen Ross.


Her film tells the story of a Hungarian Jew, Rezsö Kasztner, who became a controversial figure in Israeli politics in the 1950s, because of his World War II role in striking a deal with Adolf Eichmann and the Nazi high command in occupied Budapest to spare 1,684 Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.

After their films' respective screenings, the two filmmakers will appear separately for live discussions with local audiences.

Proceeds from the screening of "Patrol Base Jaker" will go to the 1/5 Support Group and Socks for Heroes, a program to send fresh pairs of socks to Marines.

Proceeds from Wednesday's screening at the Chabad Jewish Center will go to its Friendship Circle program, which reaches out to children and families with special needs in Orange County, said Rabbi Reuven Mintz, the center's director.

Both of the events are open to the public.


'Patrol Base Jaker'

Scantling is a relative newcomer to documentary filmmaking, but he largely self-financed the film and shot a lot of its in-field footage in Afghanistan on his own.

The 45-year-old married father of six previously worked for IBM and Hewlett-Packard, and now heads his own business, Scantling Technology Ventures LLC, based in Akron, Ohio. His only other film credit was as a co-executive producer with actor Gary Sinise on "Brothers at War."

That documentary about the war in Iraq, by Jake Rademacher, won the Best Documentary Feature Award at the 2008 G.I. Film Festival. Sinise is one of the founders of the festival, a nonprofit organization devoted to telling the wartime and peacetime stories of servicemen and women on film.

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