“One Man’s Terrorist” is Another Man’s Filmmaker: The Mind of David Kirk West

[UPDATE 7/17/12: David & crew have been working on preproduction of his next film, “The Smoking Gun,” a modern day Western-noir depicting the war on drugs. Click here to check out the trailer.]

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You wouldn’t guess it at first, just by looking at him. But then in conversation you’d perceive the cool intellect with which he navigates the world of ideas. Honesty behind a wry smile. Typically, young men who daily wear the same olive drab jacket, a small rotation of t-shirts, and sturdy Carhartt pants with a firearm perched on the hip aren’t the most thoroughly versed in state and federal law, or so creatively coherent. He’s a contrast of stereotypes, really. Most guys his age are more concerned with conquering the newest first person shooter video game, scoring a date, or being the life of the party this weekend. But he’s no mere consumer (although admittedly an avid film-viewer). Producing something is his calling, and little will get in his way.

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David Kirk West is a 22-year-old native of rural northern California, now residing in southern Oregon – all encompassed in what he still refers to as the State of Jefferson. His heart beats at the rhythm of liberty and individualistic survivalism. It takes far more than peer pressure or heated conversations to convince him of a perspective alternative to his own. Armed with a razor-sharp wit and analysis of the truth, West is a thoroughly independent thinker, embracing grim realism with the fortitude of a man several times his age.

[see more photos of David and the Brothers West]

Over the several months that I’ve known him, I’ve noticed two distinct characteristics about West: drive and consistency. Never once has he taken captive a conversation with friends to complain about the obstacles of his project, or even make any number of valid excuses to quit the film. Rather, he passionately shares his vision and renewed hope for each stage of the production process. He casts the same vision for his brothers and several friends in the film industry, as he assembles his production company under the name Buck The System. He organizes and dreams out of a small, yellow room in his family’s home, surrounded by overflowing bookshelves and a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. Many young people would do well to adopt his brand of faithfulness and a tireless work ethic.

With the upcoming release of his short film as a three-part web series, I posed some questions for West to dig just a little bit deeper into the mind behind “One Man’s Terrorist.”

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David Kirk West on Film, War and Liberty

For those who haven’t yet seen the trailer, what’s the film about?

The film tells the story of a family of Southern Oregon insurgents during a United Nations occupation of the region. It’s told primarily from the perspective of the youngest brother.

As a young, local southern Oregon filmmaker working on his first major project, what were the struggles you encountered during the writing and production process?

Writing was a breeze. It went from concept to completed script in less than two weeks. Filming was by far the most difficult part as that is when things go from a one man show to a real team effort. Working around the schedules of unpaid, easily distracted actors with varying levels of commitment to the project is the real challenge.

Coordinating schedules for a handful of actors and then getting them to actually follow through is a huge hurdle. Lots of people think it sounds really cool that you’re making a movie and say they’re down to help. That usually lasts right up until it’s actually time to start filming. Then they’re suddenly showing up to set five hours late or just ditching you entirely after deciding that they’d rather just go hang out with a girl.

Now that I think about it, women may actually indirectly be the biggest impediment to no-budget filmmaking.

What are your plans for releasing the film? Will it gain wider distribution?

I’m hoping to enter it in a few film festivals, but my main plan is simply to release it online.

We’re going to be releasing it as a three-episode web series initially, and eventually as a single 40 minute short film. We’re planning to make a limited number of DVDs and Blu-Rays as well which will be used primarily for fundraising purposes for future films.

What’s your intention with “One Man’s Terrorist” as the title of your film? 

All I really want to do is simply get people empathizing with the people that suffer under U.S. occupation. I wanted to put Americans into the shoes of insurgents and get them to realize that these people are not terrorists, and they don’t, “Hate us because of our freedoms.” I want people to realize that they would do the same thing if their home was occupied.

Why use a clip of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the trailer? What’s the clip from, and what does it contribute to your project?

Well, in part it’s because I’m a HUGE and unabashed supporter of Ron Paul. He’s the only candidate from any part of the political spectrum with a truly anti-war record. But the speech really does fit the theme of the movie perfectly.

I believe that it originally came from Ron Paul’s weekly “Texas Straight Talk” update, a weekly three to four minute message you can hear by calling a “1-800” number every Monday.

The film seems to center around violence and force. Are all the guns, explosions and militant figures intended to provide the ‘entertainment factor’ or are they critical parts of the story?

They’re definitely part of the story. And in more specific ways than one may at first imagine. Certainly I try to keep things reasonably excited to keep the audience interested, but ultimately the violence in this film is a necessary vehicle for the message.

It’s really not intended to be entertaining because of its violence.  If it was simply meant to be entertaining you’d probably see a lot more violence and macho posturing. But I’m saving all that for my next film…

You’ve stated online that you’re a “Christian, Libertarian Revolutionary, and Anti-War Veteran.” How do those interact? How does your faith inform your political stances and efforts as a filmmaker (or vice-versa)?

One follows the other, really. As a Christian, I believe that we are to love our neighbors, treat them as we would like to be treated, and abstain from theft and violence. I believe that libertarianism is the logical political philosophy for someone with these moral beliefs as libertarianism is based on the non-aggression principle. Libertarianism views taxation as theft and laws against victimless crimes as an unjustified use of violence even when the intent of these actions is well-intended of social engineering. I believe that this is a consistent application of Christian morality as I can find nothing within the Bible that would justify theft or the non-defensive application of violence as anything other than what they are, even if it’s,” for a good cause.”

And, of course, as someone who is anti-aggression it only makes sense to be anti-war. Even wars that are fought in the name of an ostensibly just cause generally results in great damage to the life, liberty, and property of other people and must therefore be undertaken only in the most dire of circumstances. War in the name of preventing a theoretical future threat is COMPLETELY unjustified.

Based on your experience as an Army Ranger veteran who was deployed overseas, what one or two words would you use to describe the War in Iraq? The people in Iraq?

The war? Unnecessary. Senseless.

The people? Normal. Human.

You’ve held some limited pre-screenings of the film. What has been the response thus far? Are you seeing people react the way you anticipated?

Honestly… it’s been MUCH better than I anticipated. When you’re filming something as high-concept and low-budget as “One Man’s Terrorist,” there are often times where you really doubt the final project. Things aren’t going your way… you start experiencing setbacks…an actor doesn’t show up…you can’t get the shot you want right…

There were times in the first week or so of filming I didn’t even know if I would or should finish the project and if it would be any good if I did. But ever since I started showing it to people their response has been consistently VERY positive. Multiple people were like, “Oh… I didn’t realize you were making an ACTUAL movie! I thought you were just screwing around with a camera when you said you were making a movie!”

At one of the showings I even made a couple girls cry, so that was good (#contextisforweenies?). Probably the best compliment I’ve been paid so far was when someone said, “Thanks for showing me that. I feel really enlightened now.”

What do you hope “One Man’s Terrorist” accomplishes?  Are there specific actions you hope viewers will take after seeing it?

You mean, specific actions besides subscribing to our YouTube channel and “liking” us on Facebook?

Really, I just hope that people would take the message to heart. I hope the film is something that can change people’s minds about war. I’d love for people sympathetic to the message to share it with their war-apologist friends and family.

Of course, I also hope is starts helping me build a fan-base. I feel that film is my calling and that with my unique voice and experiences I could really offer something to the liberty movement by becoming a noteworthy filmmaker. Hopefully “One Man’s Terrorist” will help me start building a reputation in the liberty community as a filmmaker worth following and supporting.

Oh… and of course I hope that everyone registers Republican so that they can vote for Ron Paul in the primaries!

What are your projects in the hopper?  Should viewers expect more “liberty-themed” productions in the near future?

Absolutely. At this point, I’m dedicating myself completely to film making. I have a VERY ambitious slate of projects lined up. Buck The System‘s (my production company) next film is going to be an action-packed, pulse-pounding meditation on the merits of vigilante justice and non-governmental defense set against a backdrop of dingy back-alleys and sex trafficking. Like “Taken” if it was written by a survivalist and an anarchist philosopher. We’ll have more details in the next few weeks as “One Man’s Terrorist” releases online, but right now we’re shooting to have the film finished by the end of May so we can submit it to the Oregon Independent Film Festival in Eugene.

We’re aiming for MUCH higher production values this time around. This one is going to be a real team effort, and we’re going to either be upgrading to a DSLR or getting a DP [Director of Photography] with his own camera. We’re trying to put together a real team so that we can eventually raise a serious six-figure budget and shoot a feature film. I have a modern-day western about the war on drugs that I’ve been working on for almost two years now. We’ll see when we get around to making it, but our goal is for it to be sooner rather than later. We’re not fooling around. We mean business, and we aim to misbehave.

Where can we learn more and follow your work?

Check out my blog at:  Buck-The-System.blogspot.com

And “like” us on Facebook at:  Facebook.com/BuckTheSystem

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Watch the three episodes of “One Man’s Terrorist” on February 15th, 22nd, and 29th on Youtube.

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11 responses to ““One Man’s Terrorist” is Another Man’s Filmmaker: The Mind of David Kirk West

  1. The U.S. has 8,500 nuclear weapons, numerous chemical and biological weapons, stealth bombers, stealth drones, stealth fighter/bombers, 12 carrier battle groups, numerous Marine task forces, cruise missiles, MOABS, and numerous other weaponry. Iran may one day in the future build a few small WW II era bombs of a few kilotons to detour Israeli aggression and some think that Iran is something to worry about?

  2. Thanks David. you and your fellow rangers have an important part to play in the coming UN Invasion of the USA. RLTW and Godspeed.

    Our Political Pandemic will consists of a variant of the manufactured H5N1 virus presented as a “Flu” in reality a bio-weapon. When the UN declares a pandemic emergency control of the US Military will be transferred to the UN. All these laws are in place thanks to our puppet congress (mostly, NOT Ron and Rand Paul, Dennis Kucinich and others) and puppet presidents.

    Every person in the US will be mandated to get a “vaccination” for the bio-weapon. Yeah! Some tens of millions of us are on to the game and will refuse. The US Citizens who refuse are to be rounded up and taken to FEMA camps, where IMO they will soon be dead, supposedly of the “Flu”.

    Please check this out. ALL the pieces are in place.

    rense.com/general86/manmd.htm

    healthyprotocols.com/2_pandemic_update.htm

  3. An interesting aside on the ‘render unto Ceaser’ episode. The coin used to pay the tax had the image of Ceaser Augustus and the motto ‘Son of God’ on the back. How ironic that the true Son of God was holding a coin that claimed son of deity for Augustus as the posthumously adopted son of Julius Ceaser. Insofar as Rome considered Julius Ceaser to be god, the title ‘son of god’ made Roman sense.
    Christ’s statement, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” was a clear statement that Ceaser and God were NOT THE SAME!

    Another question: How does one apply the concept of Just War (which was our Founders’ justification for the American Revolution) in an era in which even the potential of a first nuclear strike carries an overwhelming strategic advantage. Does Iran’s support of Assad, Hamas and Hezbollah provide sufficient justification for considering the Iranian regime to be an enemy? Allowing Iran to weaponize would give away the military high ground.
    To make the situation more compelling, is an understanding of the 12er’s eschatology. This counters the Mutuall Assured Deterence. The 12er’s believe that the Mahdi can be hastened by a cataclysmic war with the West. The Ayatollah’s would gladly have Iran share the fate of Valhalla in a glorious destruction which would bring forth the Mahdi. While few Iranian Shiites subscribe to this ideology, the present Iranian leadership does.

  4. Hmm, the anger with which you reply makes me think you must be a government worker. Before you take Jesus’ words out of context perhaps you should look into the back story of the passage.

    The question, “Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” was posed to Jesus by the Pharisees and the Herodians, two groups who were usually ideologically opposed but who were working together to try to bring down Jesus’ burgeoning threat to the establishment.

    The Pharisees, of course, were ardent Jewish nationalists, who opposed Roman rule and desired a reconstituted Jewish state. Had Jesus simply said, “Yes, you should pay taxes to Caesar,” the Pharisees would have used that answer to discredit him in the eyes of Jews who opposed Roman rule and thought the messiah was going to over throw the Roman Empire.

    The Herodians, on the other hand, were apologists of the Roman-sanctioned rule of the Herods. Had Jesus said, “No, you should not pay taxes to Caesar,” they would have reported him to the “authorities” and had him tried for treason.

    Obviously, Jesus specifically avoided giving them an upfront “yes” or “no” answer to avoid getting in trouble with either faction. The orthodox interpretation of Jesus’ answer is that, because the coin had Caesar’s face on it, he was actually saying that people should pay the taxes government’s demand on them. This interpretation bothers me for several reasons. For the purposes of this argument, lets assume that, “Caesar,” is referring to the territorial monopolies on the use of force commonly known as, “governments.”

    Firstly, even if you believe that Christians are morally obligated to pay taxes, I CHALLENGE you to find me a passage giving Christians the right to levy or enforce taxes. What logical separation is there between a burglar and a tax collector? Both take something that isn’t theirs with or without the consent of the property’s actual owner. In light of this, I believe the correct answer to my question is, “The size of their propaganda machines.” I’m sure you’ll stutter and stammer on with some fallacious argument about how I’m wrong – and maybe even come up with a halfway coherent social contract theory argument – but ultimately the involuntary taking of another’s property is THEFT. What difference does it make whether you are robbed by 1 man, 10 neighbors, or a massive bureaucracy with the relative consent of 51% of a continent-spanning nation? I’m sure you’ll agree that If you want some of your neighbors money, it would be wrong of you to just take it. I’m sure that you’d also agree that it would be wrong of you and ten other people on your street to get together and decide to take your neighbors money. So why is it OK for a government to do it? At what point does a group attain more rights than any of it’s individual members? Find me a logical line where “theft” becomes “taxes” and I’ll change my views.

    Secondly, I have no idea how so many Christians make the jump from, “Pay taxes to Caesar because his face is on the money,” to, “Render absolute obedience to Caesar because his face is on the money.” This passage get’s bandied about any time someone questions the legitimacy of a law, and I’ve always found that puzzling.

    Thirdly, Jesus response to the Pharisees and the Herodians begs a very important question; If we are to render unto to Caesar what is Caesar’s… just what IS Caesar’s? Is my land Caesar’s? Is my life Caesar’s? Is my home Caesar’s? Is my labor Caesars? An argument CAN be made that, as Caesar issues a currency that helps facilitate economic exchange, by using currency with his face on it you are entering into a contract with him and should there render taxes unto him as a part of that contract. Even if we ignore the fact that this argument is fatally flawed because Caesar is only the predominant issuer of currency because he violently monopolizes the market and shuts down competitors, the argument cannot be rationally applied to other forms of property. Caesar didn’t settle my land. He didn’t build my house. He doesn’t do my work. And he DEFINITELY didn’t create my body. So where does he get the authority to regulate and tax those things? What obligates me to pay rent on my own property (property tax) and give away part of my labor (income tax)?

    It’s a hard realization for most to face, and one that caused me much consternation when I first started to piece it together, but ultimately taxes are no different than a mafia protection racket. Indeed, the implication of property taxes is that the state owns your property and you are merely renting it, so the government is essentially just a feudal oligarchy.

  5. In an article “ONE MAN’S TERRORIST” IS ANOTHER MAN’S FILMMAKER: THE MIND OF DAVID KIRK WEST” HE WROTE, “As a Christian, I believe that we are to love our neighbors, treat them as we would like to be treated, and abstain from theft and violence… Libertarianism views taxation as theft and laws against victimless crimes as an unjustified use of violence even when the intent of these actions is well-intended of social engineering. I believe that this is a consistent application of Christian morality as I can find nothing within the Bible that would justify theft or the non-defensive application of violence as anything other than what they are, even if it’s,” for a good cause.”

    Jesus disagrees with Mr. West and I suspect that He is smarter than Mr. West, “ And Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were amazed at Him.”

    Also Mr. West said, “War in the name of preventing a theoretical future threat is COMPLETELY unjustified.”

    Thank God that Winston Churchill didn’t agree with this or we all may very well be speaking German or Japanese right now. Is Mr. West really serious, can people really be that dumb?

    • There must be some confusion about Winston Churchill. He saw German rearmament as an alarm to alert Britain to respond pre-emptively to restrain Herr Hitler. For this warning, Churchill was cast out of his party. With the German invasion of Poland, Churchill was vindicated and rose to leadership during England’s darkest hours.
      With regard to the anti-Israeli thinking, my current take on Obama is that he has shaped US foreign policy to instigate a war between Israel and Iran. America will support Israel, but with strings (chains) attached. As a taqiyya practicing Sunni operative, Obama’s actions are entirely consistent with an objective of establishing a Sunni Caliphate in the Middle East, under the Muslim Brotherhood.
      The barriers to a pan-Arab Sunni empire/caliphate are 1) Shiite Iran and 2) Israel 3) artificial nation states (Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.).
      By putting Israel in the cross hairs of Iran, while supporting Arab Spring in taking down the US friendly dictators needed to prop up the fabricated nation states created by the British and French following WWI & II, Obama is clearling the deck for Sunni pre-eminence in the region and a return to the preferred Islamic caliphate structure, which had been the governing structure under the Ottoman Empire for 400 years(1519-1919).
      We will support Israel only to keep a conventional war going, which will deplete both Israel and Iran. Should Israel survive, the Arab Caliphate will unite around a “march upon Jerusalem!”.
      I’ve followed Ron Paul on the Fed and economic issues since the 1980’s. I agree with him on these issues. I am concerned about the anti-semitic, anti-Israel fellow travelers that have influence within his campaign.
      In order to follow Dr. Paul’s foreign policy, one has to deny Iran’s nuclear weaponization program as well as their pronouncements of wiping Israel off the map. An understanding of the spiritual war between Amelek and Israel brings the present Iran/Israeli issue into clearer focus. Note that Iran’s name came from Aryan. The change from Persia was inspired by ‘master race’ pronouncements by Hitler.

      As a Christian, there is also the issue of God’s faithfulness. The Abramic Covenant is a unilateral, irrevocable, everlasting blood covenant sworn by God upon Himself. The covenant includes Promised Land. To stand by Israel, even in their unbelief and misdeeds, is to stand for God’s covenant promise. Satan is defeated, but not yet subdued! His final gasp is to prove God’s promises to Israel to be null and void by eliminating the recipients, the Jews. Accomplishing this gives Satan a legal claim on God’s right to rule over His creation.

      Mr. West’s testimony is compelling and sincere. I am looking forward to the conclusion of the short film, which might have been titled Red Dawn 2012! Thank you for your continuing service to our nation. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit may guide us to His truth and give us direction in these perilous times.

    • Bottom line Sal, most of what we are conditioned to believe is “Ceasar’s” is not “Caesar’s” to begin with. David just schooled you, I’d suggest you rethink things.

    • “Thank God that Winston Churchill didn’t agree with this or we all may very well be speaking German or Japanese right now. Is Mr. West really serious, can people really be that dumb?”

      Obama is just a puppet he establishes NO major policy foreign or other. Those who are in charge of Obama’s thinking are fomenting a great holy war, the most destructive event mankind has come up with, between 2.2 billion Christians and the Muslim world of 2 billion people in some 50 countries. How neat to involve more than half of the world in their war of attrition.

      With regards to WWII, our great patriotic war, WHO funded Hitler. Remember the treaty of Versailles STRIPPED Germany of all its money and anything that could be shipped out on a rail car which included ALL the machine tools needed to tool up for war. So where did Hitler get the money to rebuild from scratch? George Bush’s grandfather Senator Prescott Bush was fined 20 million dollars for trading with the enemy for shipping Hitler what he needed. So wall street and the bankers in charge of Wall Street supplied Hitler with the tools of war; just as the US Government is now installing Islamic governments in North Africa.

      ALL wars are instigated, planned and implemented by BANKERS. The BIG bankers are neither American, European nor Asian. One may make a good argument they also are not human. These bankers now almost totally control the USA. The US Military is not protecting America; just look at 9/11 they STOOD DOWN. The US Military is a Banker’s tool installing Rothschild Central Banks in the few countries who do not have one, keeping the price of oil high and setting the world up for WWIII.

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