Highlights 2016

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    Syria Shorts: Portraits From Dystopia

    They come in sinking boats. They hide in asphyxiating underbellies of trucks. Their lives are destroyed and their suffering left them with lack of means and choices. But along with the piece of land upon which they live, they have access to a camera, and some of them are making films.

    Through an hour of short films, this session will introduce the daily struggle to survive and to resist by ordinary Syrian civilians. Through a mix of documentary and poetic expressions, these films have been produced by people who dare to continue to hope, to love, and to stay alive. 

    Meet Um Wassim and her family in their daily struggle to continue to live and love under the siege in the film Love during the Siege.

    Listen to Abu Al Tayeb, in Sage, narrating this period of uncertainty where only the sage tea is left to the Palestinians as a rite of belonging.

    Go on a walk in the streets of Damascus with Azza through a camera hidden in her purse, in A Day and a Button.

    Follow the journey of the Syrian-Armenian opera singer Kevork from Armenia to Syria to Lebanon, in the film 1915.

    The films will be introduced by the Syrian Peace Action Centre (SPACE).

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    Among The Believers (2015, USA/Pakistan)

    Among The Believers

    2015, USA/Pakistan, 84 min

    Directors: Hemal Trivedi, Mohammed Naqvi

    In the vacuum that arises when the government fails there is room for extremism to thrive. The escalating spiral of violence in Pakistan since 2007 is a result of the strengthening of radical Islamism, spearheaded by The Red Mosque and its leader, notorious Maulana Aziz. Under his rule, tens of thousand children are indoctrinated to join in his jihad, with the final goal of imposing sharia law in Pakistan.

    The award-winning documentary Among The Believers has obtained a unique and close access to Aziz, as we also meet young students of the mosque, as well as one of the leaders of the civil society’s resistance to the radicalisation, Dr. Pervez Hoodboy.

    The film, for which the directors have received death threats, show the complex relationship between poverty, religion and failing authorities, which together lays the foundation for extremism.


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    This Kind of Love (2015, Myanmar/Thailand)

    This Kind of Love

    2015, Myanmar/Thailand, 43 min

    Director: Jeanne Hallacy 

    Myanmar started in 2011 a remarkable reform process. However, reforms have slowed down and there have been setbacks, but after the landslide victory for Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and her party in the historic elections last November hopes are high that there will be revitalizing of the process. 

    Many persistent activists have given years of their lives for the changes the people in Myanmar have experienced the last years. This Kind of Love follows the human rights educator and activist, Aung Myo Min, as he returns home after 24 years in exile. 

    The film tells us what drives people like Aung Myo Min, what they have sacrificed and achieved. Myo’s vision that human rights are for everyone - from children to transgender people to ethnic nationalities - makes This Kind of Love an offering of hope for the future.