Published Wed, Sep 19, 2012 6:58 am Dateline
Athens welcomed a nationally-known author/screenwriter Monday evening for a film screening that spurred passionate reactions from audience members.
Peter Navarro screened his film DEATH BY CHINA at the Athena Cinema as a part of a film festival featuring the theme of sustainability.
DEATH BY CHINA is a documentary focusing on what the filmmaker calls the most important problem facing the United States: the country's trade relationship with China.
Navarro said he intends to use the movie to capture the attention of current lawmakers, voters and especially the 2012 presidential candidates.
"My goal is to elevate awareness and make jobs the most important issue in the election and have people understand that we're never going to get our jobs back in Ohio and in this country until we get our manufacturing base back, and we can't do that until we crack down on China's unfair trade practices," said Navarro.
He is taking his first screenwriting project to movie screens across the country, but he will spend most of his time in Ohio, which he calls the most important swing state in the election.
Navarro says the film is completely bipartisan, and isn't intended to sway voters' choice for president, but to make them aware of all the issues at stake.
"People who watch this movie and leave the theater, they're changed," Navarro said. "They can never ever go in and not think about buying a product made in China."
After the Athens screening, several of the audience members said they would pay more attention to the products they bought and the countries they came from.
Megan Chapman, an Ohio University graduate student, said the film inspired her to encourage others to refrain from buying products made in China.
"It's not just about the cheaper product; it's about the environmental degredation and the human rights violations," she said.
"It's hard to buy anything that's not made in China, so we need to work on getting the manufacturing base and fair trade," said Jon Schneider, a local engineer.
Two Chinese viewers agreed the movie was accurate, but say it portrayed the Chinese government and industry in bad light.
Other stops on Navarro's tour of Ohio include Portsmouth, Cincinnati, Beavercreek and Columbus.