Thursday, September 20, 2007

Part 6 - Interview with Carole Whang Schutter, screenwriter of SEPTEMBER DAWN

Dianne: Have you heard from any descendants of the participants on the Mormon side? If yes, what have they said? How have they reacted?

Dianne: Before I post Ms. Schutter's answer to this question, here is a statement I received separately written by Wayne Atilio Capurro, a descendant of one of the Mormons involved:

I commend Mr. Cain, Jon Voight, Carole Schutter and anyone associated with the making of September Dawn. My ancestor, portrayed by Mr. Voight in the film, was a participant in the Mountain Meadows Massacre and one of three men assigned to deliver valuables taken from the murdered immigrants personally to Brigham Young. The leadership of the LDS religion has a 150 year history of blaming the Indians, blaming the victims and scapegoating their members while denying all responsibility for a crime that disgraced humanity. They continue to do so in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


Wayne Atilio Capurro, Author of White Flag and the great great grandson of Philip Klingensmith, the Mormon Bishop of Cedar City, Utah in 1857.

CWS: Wayne has been such a great supporter, although I never met him.

I also had a phone call from one of Jacob Hamblin's descendants who told me got the shivers listening to the actors speak because it sounded exactly like his grandfather. He said his great great grandfather would have killed one of his wives if Brigham Young told him to. Such was the blind loyalty of the Mormons back then.

The ones who have contacted me are extremely supportive. All have left the Mormon church.

Wayne said his ancestor died a broken man, feeling betrayed by the church he had given his loyalty to. He told me no one would have done the massacre if they hadn't been ordered to do it by their religious leaders, i.e. Brigham Young. He also said that he learned what it was like to be a Christian by reading my book and that he thought I honored not only the victims, but people like him. I consider that the highest compliment.

You see, I wanted people to see the real Jesus. Reviewers have accused me of practically putting halos on the Christians. I'm sorry, but the only Jesus some people will ever see is on the silver screen. Keeping this in mind, the pastor of the wagon train was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ.

Coming next: Tell us about the book you also released by the same title, September Dawn.


Michael De Groote said...

What is the lesson we can learn from the movie September Dawn? Isn't it the danger of an "Us versus Them" mentality? It is about the breakdown of basic human kindness and the abandonment of the pure love of Christ. It is about when one group of people, because of fear or retribution, use their power to attack another group of people. It is about when past wrongs are used as a justification for carrying out another wrong. It is about people who view themselves as being righteous and close to God end up in their zeal doing a very
unrighteous thing. It is about lack of understanding and ignorance triumphing over compassion and sharing. It is about judgment being clouded by gross prejudice. It serves as a cautionary tale to all that claim to follow the Christ.

The ironic thing is that I am NOT talking about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I am talking about the making of the film itself.

Do you seriously believe that this film is an act of love or is an act of vengeance?

An act of love would strive for healing, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.

An act of vengeance would paint perpetrators in the worst possible light, it would question every motive, discount every good intent as fakery, and ignore any evidence that might lead to healing, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.

Perhaps, in writing this, I am guilty of some lack of love myself. I hope not--as I hope I am wrong about the motivations for making this

Smarter people than me will continue to debate the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I personally feel horrible about it. It is beyond my comprehension. But I believe that the seeds for such acts start when we demonize others and allow our prejudice, ignorance, and fears trump the Perfect Love that casteth out all fear.

Warm Personal Regards,
Michael De Groote

P.S. For those who are curious...

Mormon Leader Apologizes for Massacre (mp3 audio file):

Mormon account of the Massacre:

Marlene Depler said...

Very interesting to say the least!

Cheryl said...

Carole, you've written a great book and I look forward to watching the movie. I should get my hands on a copy of "White Flag" too.

Thanks for letting us highlight this interview Dianne.