Michael Pack is the director behind the new documentary film titled, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words. During today’s interview, Michael Pack shares how Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas rose from poverty to prosperity and from bitterness to betterness.
WHAT: New faith-based documentary film coming to select theaters nationwide.
Starring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (who was once in seminary studying to be in ministry) went 10 years without saying a word in SCOTUS hearings, now—for the first time on film—opens up on faith, his unbelievable life journey from poverty to Justice, and standing up for what’s right.
WHEN: opens this Friday, January 31st in select theaters nationwide.
HOW: check out the Faith Trailer, then email me back to schedule an interview with Director Michael Pack.
Today we interview Michael pack, who was the man behind the created equal Clarence Thomas in his own words, documentary.
Judge Thomas. You solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God. Please be seated.
When I was six, I wandered the streets by myself. You were hungry and didn’t know it. You eat someplace in my life. The roads let off. I had gone to seminary. I had gone to all white school. I was never going to be a part of that world. I was never going to be white. The problem is [inaudible]
Never go back completely to the world I came from.
We’re supposed to be revolutionaries. We were for anybody who’s kind of in your face. I saw what I had become lashing out at every single thing and a nice ass God. And if you take anger out of my heart, I’ll never hate it again. And it was the beginning of the slow return to where Darren [inaudible], I want my candidacy to unify ARCA. I was under a Thompson attack. You’re not really black because you’re not doing what we expect black people to do. I will nominate judge Clarence Thomas for serve as associate justice of the United States Supreme court. That’s when all heck broke loose. Judge Thomas began to use work situations because this best set, we know exactly what’s going on. This is the wrong black guy. He has to be destroyed. You really didn’t matter what mattered was what they wanted. So you’d still like to serve on the Supreme court. I’d rather die than withdraw from the process. I want to be able to say, my lived up to my oath and did my time. Yes,
Let’s not forget, not only with his life took off, but he was in the segregated South. But these segregated public schools were run by these Irish nuns who, who loved the, the children there and gave them more hard work. You know, religious values and justice Thomas thrive
In that environment.
So much so that he wanted to be a priest, not something that a lot of people know about. Justice Thomas and actually entered the seminary and the seminar is at that point were just desegregated. He was one of the first African Americans there
In the seminary
He used to, he experienced some racism from the white seminarians reaching a peak in 1968 when they were watching TV and it was the day Martin Luther King jr was shot in a white seminary and said, I hope that dies. I’m going to shocking bang. I’m thinkable today, and shocking justice Thomas at the time he went and told his grandfather, his only real father figure that he was not going to be a priest. His grandfather said, if you could make decisions like a man that’ll live like a man and kicked him out of the hat,
Three two one and get ready to answer it, the thrive time show
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Yes, yes, yes. And yes. Thrive nation. On today’s show we are interviewing the man,
The myth and the legend Michael pack. Welcome onto the thrive time show. How are you?
I’m well, thank you for having me on the show.
Hey, when I first heard about this project that you worked on here, this, this documentary called the making of created equal the Clarence Thomas in his own words a story. I was immediately excited. But I wanted to ask you this. How did you first come in contact with Clarence Thomas? What was your history with a us Supreme court justice Clarence Thomas?
Well I first met him when I heard through mutual friends that justice Thomas was getting tired of having his story and his legacy to find by his enemies and people on the left generally. And he didn’t like he lies and untruths that were circulating about him. So I met with him and at that time I, I knew little more about him than I could remember from his very contentious confirmation hearings in 1991. But after meeting with him and doing research, I discovered that he had a great personal story, well beyond just the confirmation hearings. I meant to say well beyond his confirmation hearings. And I just was inspired to do the film. I really wanted to do the film and I, I quickly came or maybe not so quickly came to the idea that it should be Clarence Thomas in his own words. And that is the subtitle created equal Clarence Thomas in his own words, meaning justice Thomas was the ideal person to tell his story. So our format in our movie is he looks right at camera and tells viewers how, what it felt like. It goes through his life. Starting from the very beginning and coming up to today,
My understanding is that Clarence Thomas, judge, judge Clarence Thomas wandered the streets. I’m at the age of six. I mean, he had a rough life growing up, but then you know, were, it was a very tenacious person. He’s a hardworking person, but yet the media, the story that, you know, you heard if you watch to CNN ever or you watched most mainstream media was a very about a D very different. It was very, very different. What kind of lies and untrue stories were floating around Clarence Thomas. And could you contrast that to how he actually grew up?
Yeah, but well, so we don’t see it as so he tells his story the true way, the way he, or at least the way he experienced it. So that’s what you get. You get his subjective story in the film. And I, I think that the, the, what happened with justice Thomas is from the time he became a public figure up to today, people try to protect, say that he does, since he doesn’t speak a lot in oral argument, doesn’t give a lot of interviews. People are able to say that he doesn’t speak a lot. He’s missing thropic maybe he’s not smart. He’s an affirmative action hire. I think if you spend two hours simply listening to him and hearing his story, you cannot still think that way and no one has seen the movie. Whatever their politics comes away with those myths, still believing those myths.
And I believe people of all politics should see this movie. He’s has an amazing story and he’s a very important person and people should try to understand who he is and why he thinks the way he does. So, but what you said, clay is very accurate. He had a very, very difficult beginning and many struggles throughout his life. And he tells that whole story. I mean he was born in dire poverty in pinpoint Georgia, a gala speaking area just outside of Savannah on the coast. So English wasn’t really, his first language he spoke was Gullah dialect. His father left before he could remember. He kind of met him briefly when he was eight years old. So this left a very big hole in his life. And then his mother, when he was six, moved to Savannah and then in Savannah he, he went as he says, from rural poverty to urban squalor.
And that was the experience that you alluded to earlier. There his mother worked as a maid and he, she, he did not have enough to eat. He was cold in the winter. He didn’t have a real bed to sleep in. He had to sleep in a chair. She would bring him to school. And because no one really cared, he would just leave school. And as you just said, he’d wander the streets of Savannah, you know, alone lost. And that went on for several years until his mother realized she couldn’t really take care of him and his brother anymore and brought them to her father, her grandfather, her father, his grandfathered arrays. And that really turned his life around. His grandfather was really the seminal figure in his life.
I grew up hearing things about him that were so terrible. I hate to even speak about him because it, it I don’t wanna get any power to it, but I grew up being told that essentially he was only invited to be a U S Supreme court judge because they needed a black guy and that he didn’t like women. I mean that was the narrative that was painted out there. How does a narrative like that catch on? How does that happen for people to put the people who don’t understand the the media’s role in shaping how we perceive people? You know, you Michael pack how does that happen?
Well, that we do portray at some length in the film. And let me just say to the listeners of your podcast, if they want to see the film, they have to go to our website just as Thomas movie.com. It’s currently playing in 40 theaters around the country. But it won’t keep playing unless your listeners actually go to the theater and buy tickets or, or let’s put it this way, at least I have to buy tickets. So, and if it’s not, unless theater near them, there’s place on it, on the website to sign up. But if we get a big enough group of 40 or 50, we could make an event happen near where they are, but they’ve got to go. I mean it, even if it’s 30, 40 minutes away, I appealed to them to go, if you want to stories like this, to be in your local movie theater.
Now in terms of the myths about them. So you know, after he had a very difficult life, which we should talk about a little bit, he finally said, in order to understand where, where the mist came from, it’s important to have a little sense. What is his actual dimensions of his life were. So after he had this period after he was brought to his grandfather, his grandfather gave him tough love, hard work and sent them to parochial schools, then segregated, let’s not forget, not only with his life to call it, but he was in the segregated South. But the segregated parochial schools were run by these Irish nuns who loved the patrols in the air and gave them more hard work. You know, religious values and justice Thomas thrived in that environment. So much so that he wanted to be a priest, not something that a lot of people know about justice Thomas and actually entered the seminary.
Really? Yes. I mean you asked about how important faith is in his life. So he entered the seminary. Now the seminar is at that point where I’m just disaggregating, he was one of the first African Americans there and in the seminary, he’s, he experienced some racism from the white seminarians reaching a peak in 1968 when they were watching TV. And it was the day Martin Luther King jr was shot and a white seminary instead. I hope that some of the guys, I mean, a shocking thing, I’m thinkable today and, and shocking it’s justice Thomas at the time. And he was already thinking that the church was not doing enough for civil rights. And so he just then flipped. He suddenly decided race and racism explained everything. He became what he calls an angry black man. He went and told his grandfather, his only real father figure that he was not going to be a priest.
And his grandfather said, if you can make decisions like a man, you’ve got to live like a man and kicked him out of the house, but area’s lost again. I mean lost again and sort of without direction, without faith. And so he has to go wherever. People will take them in. And he happens to have a full scholarship at Holy cross, a Jesuit school in Western Massachusetts. And he goes there, but he continues his radicalism. He helps warm the black student union. They invite a black Panther to speak. He supports everybody as he says, the more in your face, the better from Angela Davis to Malcolm X. And it’s, and it’s only by hitting. He kind of hits a kind of bottom eventually during this radical period he does to an antiwar rally in Cambridge nearby. And it turns into a riot and he gets caught up in the spirit of the mob, the violent spirit of the mob.
And he sees what he’s become and when he gets, gets back to Holy cross, well after midnight, everything is closed. But he, he kneels in front of the chapel. He had not prayed in a long time. He kneels in front of the chapel and says praise to God and says, if you will take anger out of my heart, I will never hate again. And that’s the beginning of his coming back to boat to faith. And then it takes many more years before he comes back, becomes conservative. He had he had, he experienced the failure of a lot of the social programs and ideas that he wants, support it, like affirmative action light busting in nearby Boston. And finally he comes, he goes to work for out he votes for Ronald Reagan. Finally in 1980, his first Republican and goes to work in the Reagan administration.
And to him, he’s come back to both the values and politically and also spiritually of his grandfather and the Irish nuns who raised him. But once he works for Ronald Reagan, this is perhaps a long answer to your question, clay, once he goes back to work for Ronald Reagan, then he’s a public figure and he’s identified as an African American who supports Reagan, a conservative black man. And as he said, you know, that’s not something you’re allowed to do. He was in, as he says, off the reservation and then he starts being attacked, you know, well before his confirmation hearing and those attacks start then and continue to this day. And they often involve racist stereotypes and imagery ones that you could not apply to someone on the other side of the political spectrum. And that’s where you get a lot of these, these misunderstandings. And you know, even beginning, even beginning before Dana Hill so that’s where it all begins. We could go into it in greater detail, but that’s where it starts.
Why do you feel like it? Cause you, you down and made this,
This documentary that everybody can see by going to justice Thomas, movie.com, justice Thomas, movie.com. You sat down with this man for a long time to interview him. Why is the notion of being a conservative black man so farfetched for most people?
That’s a, that is a very good question. It’s true that we interviewed them a long time. I was lucky that justice Thomas granted us 30 hours granted me a 30 hour interview over six months and I interviewed only justice Thomas and his wife Jenny. And they’re the only ones speaking cause it’s just as Thomas telling his story and no one has had that kind of access to a Supreme court justice. So it was a real privilege. I mean as far as why you’re attacked like that, let me give you, let me tell you the story of one notorious attack even in the 80s. So I’m hot Carter who’s a prominent Southern journalist and had a high position in the president. Jimmy Carter administration wrote an article in Playboy in the 80s, while justice Thomas was working in the Reagan administration and said, he is like, he calls him a chicken eating creature, gathering crumbs at the white man’s table, nakedly racist language that you could not apply to anyone else.
And now undefended defended them. It was, it was deemed he was deemed as he said, the wrong kind of black man. He had views you weren’t supposed to have. He opposed affirmative action and quotas. He didn’t believe in blessing. He he, he, he took as an originalist approach to the constitution. Even that, so these were not views you were supposed to have. And once you had those, you, everyone fell free to attack you. And the most vicious way possible. I mean, it is not an appealing aspect of, of American cultural life is in some ways hard to explain justice. Thomas doesn’t analyze it. He sort of explains how he lived through it. I mean, the film is really not analytical. It’s a story. It’s his story of his life as he experienced it. And viewers can draw their own conclusions about justice Thomas and about why things happened to him.
Can you, for the film, we have a lot of, I mean most people who listen to this show owned companies, they own businesses. That’s who, that’s who our audience is. For the listeners out there who are not familiar with what affirmative action is or what it was, could you kind of just on a high level, can a third grade level kind of explained to us what affirmative action was all about and what judge Thomas’s view was on affirmative action?
That’s a good question. And affirmative action is really can mean many, many things. Originally affirmative action med simply that if you wanted to hire, for instance, more African Americans, you in your job search went and looked harder for them. That’s the kind of a formative action that judge Thomas Justice Thomas supports. And he felt that, for instance, Holy cross did that, that they, that they sent recruiters out to parts of the country where there had not been recruiters looking for talented African-Americans. That’s one kind of affirmative action. But it quickly turned into quotas. And that’s the kind of affirmative action that justice Thomas does not believe in, where there’s at least numerical targets, you know, quotas are often deemed to be impermissible. So people look so, so institutions look for ways for things that are like quotas or just different standards for one group. And another suggest is how the film as a film is called created equal because the declaration of independence is very important to just as Thomas.
And it says, all men are credit equal. They are endowed by their creator, by God with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness but so created equal. And that is, that is finally in the constitution. In for instance, the equal protection clause. So just as Thomas would say that any kind of separate plan, separate standards for different based on race would be unconstitutional. And as he says in our film, even if he dis discrimination based on race is unconstitutional and wrong, whether you think it’s good or bad discrimination, it’s because who’s to say it’s good or bad as justice Thomas says originally, you know the, the separate but equal schools, segregated schools, those people who did, whites who did that claimed it was good for African Americans. They claimed it was good discrimination. So why don’t you allow discrimination based on race? There was no, even if you think you’re doing it for a good reason, there’s no way to control it. There’s no way to make sure it’s truly good. There is no standard for that. We live in a democracy governed by the constitution and laws and that’s not the right way to do it. So that’s, that’s more or less how he sees it.
Now, you mentioned that in the film, which all of our viewers can, can watch by going to justice Thomas, movie.com that we’ll, we’ll get to know that the character of a man who has an originalist who has originalist views of the constitution. Okay. Could you explain what that means? Because I think there’s a lot of people that don’t understand the power that the Supreme court now has. And it’s, it’s interesting how the, if you don’t have an originalist view, how you could change the narrative of the country very quickly. Can you please explain what it means to have an originalist view of the constitution?
Well, it’s just as Thomas says, when we quote one of his opinions where he defines it as it is to adhere to the public understanding of the constitution or the amendments at the time they were written, how do people really understand those words? And he would say that if you, if you don’t like that, you need to amend the constitution again. So you know, you, if you don’t have a standard, if you define it so loosely that anything that you think is good is constitutional and everything bad is unconstitutional. It’s as if you have no written law or constitution at all as justice Thomas says in the movie. And it’s quite true that good laws can be unconstitutional and bad laws can be constitutional. That’s, that’s the constitution is not there to determine what’s good or bad. The maker of good and bad laws is supposed to be the Congress.
They make the laws and they’re supposed to decide what is good and bad. The Supreme court is there to decide what’s constant constitutional or not for just like we just were talking about clay and the terms of affirmative action. Even good discrimination is wrong. It’s unconstitutional. It is wrong to discriminate based on race. It is wrong and it is unconstitutional even if you’re doing it for a good reason. So, so that’s why I think originalism is important. I mean, justice Thomas was also very close to Antonin Scalia who’s also closely connected to the originalist philosophy. And as Mrs. Thomas says in the film, Antonin Scalia called Clarence Thomas a bloodthirsty originalist, which he took as a compliment.
But the, and there are significant differences, even within originalism justice Thomas is willing to look towards the principles of the declaration of independence, whereas a justice Scalia wants to be solely defined by the bat, by the four corners of the constitution. But in general they adhere to this originalist interpretation. And, and I think that’s a very important movement in judicial philosophy.
1990 president George Bush nominated Thomas for a seat on the United States court of appeals for the district of Columbia circuit. Can you please explain why there was such outrage when he was asked to be a Supreme court judge? Just justice. Why, why there was just what, what did the other side fear? What, what was, why was there such outrage?
Well, it’s true. He had just been a an appellate court judge, just like, as you said. But there were, in fact, Joe Biden said when he was confirmed for the appeals court, but it’s, it’s five review the appeals court, but he should not think about going into the Supreme court and the controversy. I think the contrast relates to what we’ve been talking about earlier. He was, he had the wrong views on many things, but particularly once he was nominated by George W. Bush, a concerted campaign was mapped it to stop them. And I think the driving impulse of it was a feeling that he would be, have what the women’s groups especially thought would be the wrong views on abortion and my reverse Roe versus Wade and they, they started a very big program against them. They lobbied, they spread. There was an attempt to spread lots of rumors in the media.
He was accused of smoking marijuana being antisemitic and he had to bat back all those rumors. And then he had a very contentious five days of hearings before the Senate judiciary committee and there was a big effort, big, big focus on the abortion question. And then when that part of the hearing ended, the, the Senate judiciary committee voted. They remember this as a Senate controlled by the Democrats. The committee is chaired by Joe Biden and this committee split seven to seven with some Democrats voting for him. And they sent his name forward to the full Senate to vote. And it was at that moment that the Anita Hill charges were leaked to the press, the news day and NPR. And based on those leaks, the Senate decided to reconvene the judiciary committee. They could vote again. They had already voted to hold another set of hearings into her charges.
And as justice Thomas says, it’s like you finished a marathon and you’re laxed and suddenly you’re told you’ve got to run another marathon. And these charges were expressive at the time. It’s, it’s worth remembering in the context of today. I mean, we’re in the midst of the Weinstein trial that his, the charge it needed, his charges were not physical assault. She accused justice Thomas of inappropriate language in the workplace, talking about pornographic films and other things, things that definitely are sexual harassment, but they’re not in the physical touching category. But they was shocking at the time and it was shocking at the time to have those things discussed in the Senate. And that justice Thomas denied those charges. And he was, it was pressure on George H w Bush to ask him to withdraw. But George W. Bush did not batter that pressure. And there was pressure on justice Thomas to, you know, try to make nice to the Senate.
But he came back strongly denying the charges, fighting very hard for his reputation. He gave a very dramatic speech about calling the proceedings of high tech lynching against the advice of his handlers who said, you, you shouldn’t, you can’t attack senators if you want them to vote for you. But he felt it was a matter of honor. He felt he was protecting the values that his grandfather and the Irish Nanci loved instilled at him and, and their legacy. And he fought very hard. And at the end of that part of the hearing, they, the Senate voted to confirm him 52 to 48 and, but the country as a whole believed justice Thomas two to one, including African-Americans and including women. But as you were saying earlier, clay, the attacks on him did not cease. Once he got to the Supreme court, they continued as well as many efforts to tell his story of falsely and from the, from a perspective. And now I’d say they, the numbers reversed. I mean, within a year or two, the numbers had reversed.
You know, if you if, if you’re an, unless you’re living under a rock right now, you, I’m sure you’ve seen president Trump’s Twitter feed at some point and you’ve seen that when anybody attacks him, his a line he likes to say is, if you hit me once, I’ll punch you twice. Clarence Thomas has not said anything about this entire thing for I believe, over a decade. Why has he not said anything for over a decade? And how did you convince him to say a lot of things for 30 hours as you were making this documentary?
Well I think he’s very reluctant to give interviews to the media. He was really burned by the media during that, his confirmation battle. There were a lot of false stories told about he’s very distressful, the media for obvious reasons. And he also doesn’t speak in oral argument for, for reasons that he gives in the documentary. So there’s an impression that he doesn’t speak, but I, and I, and that has allowed other people to define him. And I think he just got tired of it. I mean, he did write a memoir about over 10 years ago, I think. Yeah. But I mean people that read that many books, sadly, so he’s been defined by other media. And I think that he, he had this feeling for a while that if he does his job as a Supreme court and he, he has an influence that way.
He has written over 600 opinions, 30% more, way more than any other city Supreme court justice. He’s very active in, right in the writing aspect of the court. He’s very active behind the scenes in the court. He’s a clearly a powerful figure on the court and even more so now. And he felt that was enough. But, but there were so many of these efforts to define him that it reached a peak. And at some point he was just willing to tell his story. I am very lucky that he was willing to let us do it. And I think this is the time, I mean, he’s been on the court since 1991 a long time. This is the right moment to tell his story. You know, the, I think that the cabinet hearing, which followed a very similar playbook to the justice Thomas, the hearing brought his own hearing back.
And I think it’s, it’s in a way that is often untrue. So this is the right time to both set the records, to set the record straight in one way. But I also feel that I, as a filmmaker, I want to tell his story because I think it’s bigger than just what’s the truth about justice Thomas. I think his story is a story of overcoming adversity, of resilience and the sight of many men face of many, many setbacks from his poverty and, and the Jim Crow discrimination of growing up to being on the Le being thrown out by his grandfather or losing his face and gaining his face. And I think it’s finally justice Thomas story is an inspiring story and especially for young people, but really for all people and for people of whatever political view.
Michael, I have two final questions I want to ask you and then I have a couple of people here with me that had some rapid fire questions for you. You, you, you make films and I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but you’re not supposed to make films like this as a film maker. I’m not sure if you’re aware of the, the rule, the rule. You’re supposed to write lefty films. I do lefty documentaries. Lefthanded you know, a documentary is only what is your background and when did you feel like you could actually make a movie that’s right-leaning
Well I grew up in New York city and after college I came back to New York city and took some film courses at NYU and went into the film business. But as soon as I, like chest is Thomas, I was on the left when I was growing up and it was, I only gradually became politically conservative. I’d say in the late seventies, like justice Thomas, I too voted for Ronald Reagan, but a lot of my friends and colleagues making documentaries were making left leaning documentaries. I mean at that time they were pro nuclear freeze, even pro Soviet bad environmental documentaries, et cetera, and a partner. And I wanted to make alternative documentaries and, and right away we started to do that. I formed my company manifold productions in 1977 and its purpose was to make these, make documentaries that would have another voice. You are right, the dominant, almost exclusive lies is on the left, not a healthy thing.
And the country like a democracy like ours. And my first major documentary for PBS, I have made over 15 documentaries in that period. All have been nationally broadcast by PBS. And the first one in 1987 was called Hollywood’s favorite heavy. And it was why Hollywood television, you know, movies and television. But we focused on television, always picked businessmen, is the villains. This was the heyday of Dallas and dynasty. But this has continued unabated to today. Why are, why in a country where capitalism has created so much wealth, why are businessmen the Villa? So we went to talk to the people in Hollywood who are making these, these television shows to get their views of business and to see why they picked businessmen as a villain. So that was right. That was way back in 87 and we’ve made a whole series of films that the question perhaps the, the, the, the prevailing liberal biases of my fellow documentary filmmakers that you outlined. And I encourage your listeners to go watch any of our films. They’re on our website, a different website manifold productions.com. How do you spell that? I’ll be purchased a M a N I F O L D productions with an s.com and they’re all listed, they’re all great, but the first one they should see is definitely the one that’s in movie theaters now. So it’s easier to see the, you know, created equal and so that they’ve got to go to the justice Thomas movie.com website.
My, my final question for you and then I’ll let dr Breck, the chiropractor hit you with a question here. My final question for you is, when are you and Michael Morgan a team up to do a Michael Moore vs Michael Pak documentary? Well, he does one about you. You do one about him and we have to go back and forth and watch it. What do you, what are you doing that,
That would be fun? I have to say Michael Moore. I mean, he, I think he is a very talented documentary filmmaker. His movies, he, I mean, he’s sort of doing the same thing now for many years, but they can be funny, but they’re so biased. I mean, I hope I do not make that kind of film. I don’t feel, I’m like the Michael Moore of the right. And I think his films are advocacy, you know, films of sorts.
You’re not saying this, but I’m saying this, I think that Michael Moore thinks that any film that is not far left is, is, is super far right. That’s my worldview of Michael Moore. I know you’re not saying that, but I would love to see you do one Michael Moore versus Michael pack.
Yeah. Now I’m happy to do that. Okay.
Okay. Dr Brooke, what questions do you have for Michael? Pack a pack about the upcoming film, a release of the film created equal Clarence Thomas in his own words. Well, Michael, one of my questions is about you know, the outlets that your movies are being shown in. How difficult has it been to get your documentaries into places that are typically really only servicing the left side of the, the you know, commentary?
Well, I’ve had a good relationship with PBS my whole career. I think, I think it is difficult and it is become more difficult. But I believe the people on the right can get their films on PBS. It’s hard, but I think it’s possible and I think they should do that. I think that it, I think the underlying, underlying your question I think is, is the right, correct assumption that it’s harder for right of center filmmakers to get their work out there. And that’s true. I mean, even looking for a distributor for our film, many, many of them turned us down because of politics, without even looking at the film. And there were film festivals that said, don’t bother to submit. As long as that’s your topic, you’ll never get into this film festival. Save your entry fee. You know, which is nice when people are honest, at least it saves trouble, but it, it, it reveals a strong bias.
And I think you’ll see that in the Academy awards tonight. I mean, the, you know, people get up and give speeches and their speeches often have a political, and the political tinge is only in one direction, right? I think it is hard. I think, however, it is really bad for people, conservatives, people, right, of center to simply forsake the cultural arena and leave it to the left. And I think it, it doesn’t have to be that way. But one thing, one reason it is that way is because the left cares about films and documentaries and arts in general, and they show up. So a parallel documentary to ours. The film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBJ was acute success in theaters and then was aired nationally by CNN. And I appealed to the listeners of this podcast to actually go, I mean, the ones that are sympathetic to suggest as Thomas’s point of view, including Anne was Warren, but surely the ones who are to actually buy tickets to show up, even if they have to drive a while to get there. And this day, Sunday is an important day. This, if it’s not on, doesn’t do well this weekend, it may not be in as many theaters next week.
Hmm. When concerns with justice Thomas, do you believe that he felt like time would resolve some of that as far as his silence for allowing his detractors to kind of be the voice or, or to set the narrative?
Well, I think he, he, he does think that time will help. But I think it got to a point where it was getting worse and worse. And I think now we have this film and I think the film will make an impact. And I think that beyond, it’s being in theaters or streaming, whatever it ends up doing, I really feel strongly both my wife and I, we are both together. Whether our film company feels strongly that the film needs to be shown in every high school during black history month, February this month, there’s a lot of curriculum like you might say, left-leaning curriculum targeting schools for black history month. There’s this New York times based 16, 19 project. Black lives matter have curriculum. It missed all this other curriculum. They need young people and especially young African American people need to hear this kind of story. A story of a conservative African-American and somebody who chooses not to define himself as a victim.
Jason, one question do you have for Michael pack? Well one, it was really awesome being able to sit in and listen to this entire story cause I’m, I may not sound like it, but I am an African American male. And so hearing the story of Clarence Thomas and you know, where he started all the trials and tribulations he went through and then to come forward and make a piece like this, like I checked it out on the website, this is playing in coil Springs. I’m going to see it. So it’s about an hour and a half drive. Don’t care. Want to check this movie out. But my question is so after having done this, do you guys have anything else in the pipeline far as making more like, you know, sociopolitical movies or like, like what’s the focus as far as like directing going forward?
That’s a good question and I do appreciate your driving it. Is that true? It’s, it’s at the AMC quail Springs mall in Oklahoma city. And I know that’s a long way from Tulsa. So that is that willingness to drive all that way is just without asking from the other listeners. I really appreciate that. You know, I think that’s great. Let me know what you think when you see it. W we hope to release next to film that we produced a few years ago. It was actually primarily funded from public broadcasting, but PBS elected not to air it the first time ever for us. And it’s about the bat, the biggest battles in the Iraq war, Fallujah and the Joffe in 2003. And it aims to tell the story from the battlefield point of view as if it were Gettysburg or [inaudible], not politics, but how the battles were fought and why.
Not just from the grind point of view, but not only all the way up to the sort of generals we’re running, including genital Madis. And, and I think if we ask our young men and women to go fight for this country and die for it, we have to at least try to understand how that, how that happened. And I think they come off as heroic, idealistic, young people. These battles are complex and they have good and bad aspects to them. And I think it’s important to understand. So we help to get that out next. We’ve had a lot of people in the military, especially the Marine Corps, who are very prominently featured in these battles waiting for us to release the film. So I hope to do that next.
My final question we have here for you, Michael is a Nathan. He owns a carpet cleaning business and he’s, he’s a listener to the thrive time show. Nathan, what’s, what final question do you have here for Michael pack? Oh, thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate it. Michael. my daughter has done film in high school for the last couple of years and I’ve helped her with a few projects. And so my question to you is, I read on the website that you and your wife, Virginia, work together to take the 30 hours and turn it into a movie that had to be quite the process. So what did you go through? Like what was the process to get 30 hours information condensed down into the movie that you created?
That is a good question. I mean, so class Thomas, his wife’s name is Virginia. My wife’s name is Gina. Claire’s Tom’s wife goes by Jenny and my eye goes by cheetah so they could be confused, but they’re very different. Both great women. Well we did have 30 hours, I have to say. I look, the documentaries are a collaborative process and I worked with a great editor, faith Jones and we work over a year editing the movie a long time. Wow. It was very hard to boil it down to two hours. My wife, since you bring her up, actually always thought it. The film should be 90 minutes, which is a much better length for film and, and especially a documentary, but it was hard to get it down to two hours. He has a very complex story as you can, you can get a sense of from, from this I talk it was a hard process. It was complicated, difficult process. We did a lot of times where we showed it to little groups, to groups of people to get their response and it’s not easy. So you have to really be committed to making it work. Whatever it takes and however long it takes and however difficult it takes. I mean, it’s a struggle to make every documentary film and you have to struggle and struggle until you’re, you’ve done it.
Michael, I appreciate you so much for creating this, this, this film that all of our listeners can check out again at justice Thomas, movie.com, justice Thomas, movie.com. And thank you for lending us a little bit of your time on this on this morning. And again, we appreciate you so much and I hope you have a great day.
It was fun talking to you
And now without need further, ed, do.