Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Survivor Stories" Film Series

As a complement to the Violence and Trauma Group Study, there will be a Tuesday Night Film Series shown this semester on campus (open to the Berkeley community). The films tell the stories of violence survivors in their own words, from their own unique perspectives.

The films correspond with several areas of focus which the group study will be researching over the semester, and viewing the films together will enrich the students' learning experiences. There will be time for debriefing and discussion after each film and resources for how people can get involved with solutions at a variety of levels.

Films will be shown on Tuesdays from 5-7pm at the Media Resource Center, in the basement of Moffitt library (Group Viewing Room B).

February 5
Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq
In a war that has left more than 25,000 wounded, Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq looks at a new generation of veterans. Executive Producer James Gandolfini interviews ten Soldiers and Marines who reveal their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and their devotion to America. The documentary surveys the physical and emotional cost of war through memories of their "alive day," the day they narrowly escaped death in Iraq.

February 12
Until The Violence Stops
Until the Violence Stops features playwright and activist Eve Ensler in a powerful film that documents how The Vagina Monologues grew into an international grassroots movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. In 2002, eight hundred cities around the world participated in V-Day by staging benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues. Until the Violence Stops shows women from Harlem to Ukiah, California; from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to the Philippines and Kenya, uniting and courageously revealing their intimate and deeply painful experiences with abuse ranging from rape to female circumcision.... More than just testimonies and performances, Until the Violence Stops is a film about empowerment and the importance of dialogue in the healing process. A celebration of women reclaiming their bodies and lives, this moving documentary leaves us with hope that change can happen.

February 25
Lost Boys of Sudan
Lost Boys of Sudan is a feature-length documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America. Orphaned as young boys in one of Africa's cruelest civil wars, Peter Dut and Santino Chuor survived lion attacks and militia gunfire to reach a refugee camp in Kenya along with thousands of other children. From there, remarkably, they were chosen to come to America. Safe at last from physical danger and hunger, a world away from home, they find themselves confronted with the abundance and alienation of contemporary American suburbia.

March 11
Ghosts of Rwanda
"Ghosts of Rwanda," a special two-hour Frontline documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide -- a state-sponsored massacre in which some 800,000 Rwandans were methodically hunted down and murdered by Hutu extremists as the U.S. and international community refused to intervene -- examines the social, political, and diplomatic failures that converged to enable the genocide to occur.... Through interviews with key government officials, diplomats, soldiers, and survivors of the slaughter, "Ghosts of Rwanda" presents groundbreaking, first-hand accounts of the genocide from those who lived it: the diplomats on the scene who thought they were building peace only to see their colleagues murdered; the Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family slaughtered by Hutu friends and co-workers; and the U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda who were ordered not to intervene in the massacre happening all around them. The documentary features interviews with Canadian Gen. Romeo Dallaire, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake as well as haunting interviews with the Hutu killers themselves, and a powerful interview with BBC journalist Fergal Keane who travelled through Rwanda as the genocide was drawing to a close

April 1
Grbavica: Land of My Dreams
This is a Bosnian film about the aftermath of sexual violence and war, even many years later. It won many film awards, including a Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival. The plot summary is: Sara (Luna Mijovic) is a young girl whose class plans to go on a school trip. Since children of fallen warriors in the last war are not suppose to pay, Sara thinks that she is one of them (because her mother told her that her father got killed in war). Esma (Mirjana Karanovic), her mother Esma has two things to deal with: the explanation to her only child that she was raped-- that Sara's father is not a fallen warrior, and she has to collect the money for her daughter to go to the school trip. Esma gets a job as a waitress at a nightclub and is confronted with memories and fears from the past as Sara becomes increasingly rebellious and demanding of information about her father.

April 15
Beyond the Call
In an Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men, former soldiers and modern-day knights travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors. Ed Artis, James Laws and Walt Ratterman inspire through deeds not words, in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful places on Earth, the front lines of war. Knightsbridge International is a unique humanitarian organization, whose motto is "High Adventure and Service to Humanity." They explain, "We're not there to change anybody's politics, we're not in the God business, and we pay our own way." They add simply, We do what we can, when we can, because we can.

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