From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
A film casting Mormons in a negative light for their role in an 1857 massacre in Utah, known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, is due out on Aug. 24th. The timing and content of the movie, September Dawn, starring Jon Voight, is something the Chicago Sun-Times today wrote has the Romney campaign outraged. The Romney campaign, however, refuted the report, saying no one from the paper contacted the campaign and questioned who the paper's "unnamed" Romney adviser is.
"Voters don't use movies made in Hollywood to inform their voting choices on issues," the Romney campaign said in an e-mail. "I don't expect a movie about something that happened in the late 1800s to have any bearing on people in 2008 voting about national security, the economy and health care."
First Read contacted one of the film's executive producers, Patrick Imeson, who said there is no political motivation to the film or its release date. First Read found Imeson, a managing director at a private equity firm in Aspen, Colo., has given $4,050 to the Republican National Committee and the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee since 2003, according to campaign finance data. Imeson said he has not made up his mind on which candidate to support and he would even consider supporting Romney.
"What we found really compelling [about the movie] is the relationship between what is happening in the world today -- religious fanaticism," Imeson said. "I thought there was an application to today. It didn't happen over the ocean; it happened here.
"Mormon didn't factor in. We began making it two years ago and didn't know who was running at that time. This is an event that took place 150 years ago. We don't think it's about the Mormon religion today. It's about the fanaticism that can take place."