Eduardo Galeano on who is to blame for having us forget critical political lessons from the past: “It’s not a person. It’s a system of power that is always deciding in the name of humanity who deserves to be remembered and who deserves to be forgotten … We are much more than we are told. We are much more beautiful.”
Monthly Archives: July 2013
I watched this interview with The Act of Killing director Joshua Oppenheimer over the weekend. He comes across as a man of massive integrity and cultural sensitivity. His film tackles the death squads who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of civil society defenders and others in the years leading up to the overthrow of Indonesia’s first president Sukarno in 1967.
Oppenheimer’s own coup is to have got some of the murderers to boast about and even to re-enact their killings, and to thread together the close relationship between these killers of the past and the politics of Indonesia today.
The fact that the killers remain at large, even that they continue to boast of their role in building modern-day Indonesia somehow as revered citizens, makes their stories stand apart from those of the 20th century’s most notorious mass murders.
As Oppenheimer explains:
“…it’s as though I am in Nazi Germany 40 years after the end of the Holocaust, and it’s still the Third Reich, the Nazis are still in power. So the official history says nothing about the killings. But, and yet, the aging SS officers have been allowed to boast about what they’ve done, even encouraged to do so, so that they’ve become these kind of feared proxies of the state in their communities, in their regions, and also perhaps that they can justify to themselves what they have done. And I realized at that point that this was a reality so grave, so important, that I would give it whatever it took of my life.”
This is no ancient history from some faraway country – it implicates not just today’s elites in Indonesia but also the foreign policies of both the United States, Britain and others of their Western allies.
I am definitely going to watch this film and to use it as inspiration for alternative approaches to truth seeking, the goal of any worthwhile journalism project done in service of society.
Frenchman François Manceaux, director of a documentary on the financial crisis in Portugal, explains what makes the annual Résistances film festival unique among its peers.
By placing questions of money and marketing behind overall content and coherence, the organisers produce an event that makes people think deeply about the realities of modern-day politics.
Manceaux’s film “Portugal, l’europe de l’incertitude” played during the 8-day event in a section dedicated to the exercise of power.
Franco-Greek Film director Yannis Youlountas talks about his film “Ne vivons plus comme des esclaves” (Let us be slaves no more), a rough cut of which was screened during the Résistances film festival in Foix, southwest France on July 10. The documentary, which will be free-to-download and view on the internet on September 25, 2013, explores how ordinary Greeks have coped with the crisis despite having lost all power over conventional politics in their country. Free food, free medical care, free workshops, clothes exchange stores, anti-fascist actions and more. Amidst the crisis – inspiring examples abound of social re-invention and rediscovery – a contrast to the usual doom presented by conventional mass media.
J’ai passé deux jours cette semaine au 17ème édition du festival de films Résistances à Foix en France. Ils se sont donné comme objectif le suivant:
…de promouvoir un cinéma rarement diffusé sur les écrans, pour créer un salutaire étonnement, faire connaître d’autres regards et d’autres cinéastes que ceux du prêt-à-penser habituel.
Alors bravo – ils l’ont bien reussi.
En voici une photo. Je vais télécharger plusieurs interviews vidéo avec des réalisateurs et organisatrices sur la theme l’exercice du pouvoir. Ils sortiront pendant les jours qui suivent via cette chaine Youtube