chest_nut_roasting (aurens) wrote in uw,

amnesty international (SU chapter) film festival

i just have to write about what i saw today with Kate. the images will haunt me for the rest of my existence.

the first one we watched today was call "soldier child," which is about Kony who "leads" the Lord's Resistance Army kidnapping children from Uganda to neighboring Sudan to train them to kill their own families, friends, and fellow countrymen. These children are brutally tortured and killed if they try to run away and go home.  Even at home, sometimes their parents reject them because they cannot understand why their children commit these atrocious acts. some survivors have re-occuring nightmares about spirits of those they've killed reprimanding them. The Lord's Resistance Army also cut off people's feet when caught riding a bicycle, burn hands. i saw this beautiful little girl with burned stubs for hands and i cried.

then we watched "the true story." though the protagonists were fictitious, their stories were based on the period in Argentine history when countless number of people disappeared, abducted at night by the authoritarian gov't.  the greatest tragedy of all is the sale of babies born the prisons by kidnapped mothers.

the next one was filmed by terri hathaway from uw who traveled to cameroon and chad to learn about the World Bank pipeline.  Funded by World Bank and International Monetary Fund and build by a consortium of petroleum companies such as exxon mobil, chevron..starting from oil reserve in chad to cameroon where the oil will be loaded onto oil tankers across the atlantic to refineries in us and other developed countries.  the project is planned to last thirty years, and chad will receive approximately $2 billion dollars and cameroon will get $500 million for the next 30 years.  although the companies promise that the pipeline will bring jobs, so far the only jobs the people have seen are three day contracts to dig the ditch in their village and then the companies move to the next village. the various non-governmental organizations or NGOs are concerned that the villagers do not understand and do not have a voice in the decision making process. they are particularly concerned about the environmental damages from the pipeline. so the NGOs traveled to Nigeria, where there was a similar condition. in addition to extreme poverty, tremendous environmental damage, the pipeline also encouraged fighting over the right to the oil.

let's see, what did i see yesterday...ah "Pon di Corner" and "Bridges to Bagdad." "Pon di Corner," filmed by Micheal Fox from PLU in Jamaica about how men discover and define their masculinity upon the corner, where men would hang out because there are no employment opportunities. interesting topic but i think he spent a little too much time on music between conversations and later on in the film, the conversations repeat themselves.

the most interesting one i saw yesterday was "Bridges to Bagdad."  part one of the film was a conversation between six college students from new york and seven iraqi university students from bagdad two or three weeks before the invasion in march. part one was short and not as memorable as part two, the follow up after the war when the american kids were worried about the safety of their counterparts.(irony here, if they cared then they should've voiced their opposition in the beginning. well, at least they care.) the camera followed the iraqi students to destroyed schools and libraries which used to house english masterpieces collected under censor; to families who lost loved ones by undiscrimating bombs; to people jailed for stealing some food to eat; to people on the street and crowd of doctors frustrated by lack of progress in rebuilding the infrastructure to provide basics like electricity and water to operate the hospitals...

for those who dismiss documentaries as boring, watch bridges to bagdad, there is death, destruction, war, travel, romance, has it all. i'll explain the romance. lol. one of the iraqi girls showed the camera crew the long lines waiting for gasoline. when she went to the police station, this american soldiers (i swear) seem to flirt with her. the following is a basic paraphrase of what he said.

i am lieutenant colonel so and so. i lead four platoons, would you like to see my tank? (then he "helps" her to climb on top of a tank.) this is a machine gun. (talk about the extension of the penis and male ego.)

we also had the pleasure of listening to a iraqi grunge band, on a rooftop with sounds of machine guns in the background. lol

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