On December 2, 2015

ABC News reporter Barrie Dunsmore introduces documentary “Best of Enemies” at Billings

Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. — WOODSTOCK — The 6th Annual Woodstock Vermont Film Series at the Billings Farm & Museum will feature the award-winning documentary “Best of Enemies” on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“Best of Enemies” is a documentary about the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. “Best of Enemies” delves into the entangled biographies of these two great thinkers and luxuriates in the language and the theater of their debates, begging the question, “What has television done to the way we discuss politics in our democracy today?” Sundance Film Festival awarded “Best of Enemies” Grand Jury Prize and Best Documentary nomination.

Special guest Barrie Dunsmore who covered foreign affairs for ABC News for 30 years will introduce the film. In 1968, Dunsmore was ABC News’s Mediterranean Bureau Chief, based in Rome. “As the network’s representative in Rome, I was to be the de-facto liaison between Vidal and ABC News. I was involved in the discussions of what was expected in these debates. Vidal and Buckley were to be given 15 uninterrupted minutes each night for 10 nights.

Vidal also agreed to doing occasional commentaries for the ABC Evening News in the weeks leading up to the conventions. “I was to be his producer and (gulp) editor.”

For more info, visit www.billingsfarm.org/filmfest or call 802-457-2355. Billings Farm & Museum is located one-half mile north of the Woodstock village green on Vermont Route 12.

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