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The Freedom to Create Documentary Film Week November 2, 2011

Posted by Andreas in Uncategorized.
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The Freedom to Create Documentary Week showcases some of the best international documentary films entered in the 2011 Freedom to Create Prize and will take place at The Labia Cinema on Orange Street in Cape Town, South Africa from the 14th to the 20th of November 2011.

Established in 2006, Freedom to Create is an international organisation that supports programmes and projects around the world that unleash people’s creativity and The Freedom to Create Prize celebrates the courage and creativity of artists who use their talents to build social foundations and inspire the human spirit. This year’s prize winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and concert at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens on 19 November 2011. As part of the celebrations, we will be screening a selection of films to celebrate this year’s best film entries.

Tickets can be reserved by calling The Labia at 021 424 5927. We strongly recommended that you reserve tickets to avoid disappointment.


The programme:


Son of Babylon

Monday 14 November

Northern Iraq, 2003. Two weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy begrudgingly follows in the shadow of his grandmother. On hearing news that prisoners of war have been found alive in the South, she is determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed’s father, who never returned from the Gulf war. From the mountains of Kurdistan to the sands of Babylon, they hitch rides from strangers and cross paths with fellow pilgrims on all too similar journeys. Struggling to understand his grandmother’s search, Ahmed follows in the forgotten footsteps of a father he never knew. This journey will lead the boy to come of age. Son of Babylon raises awareness about Iraq’s one million and more missing people who, having faced death at the hands of a murderous regime, were at risk of being forgotten by history. This film also carries deep and hopeful messages asking us to think about how to deal with our unresolved issues from the past in order to move forward towards true peace and reconciliation.


Strangers No More and Teta, Alf Marra

Tuesday 15 November

Strangers No More, winner of the 2011 Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar, tells the story of the remarkable Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, where the pupils include 750 immigrants and refugees from 48 countries and every known religion. The film follows three children who fled their homelands in Darfur, South Africa and Eritrea. Over the course of 15 months, the film portrays their struggle to forget the past and rebuild their lives in this very rare community, where truly no one is a ‘stranger no more’.

Teta, Al Marra is a poetic documentary about a feisty Beiruti grandmother, bringing together a grandfather, grandmother and grandson in a playful magic-realist film that aims to defy both a past death and a future one. It documents the larger-than-life character of Teta Kaabour, her tales of the Beirut of her past and her imaginings about what awaits her after death. The film documents this very personal and cultural heritage and presents a unique view of Lebanon’s norms, sensitivities and aspirations.


Enemies of the People

Wednesday 16 November

The Khmer Rouge ran what is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most brutal regimes. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain unexplained. Until now. In Enemies of the People the men and women who perpetrated the massacres – from the foot-soldiers who slit throats to the party’s ideological leader, Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two – break a 30-year silence to give testimony never before heard or seen. Unprecedented access from the top to the bottom of the Khmer Rouge has been achieved through a decade of work by one of Cambodia’s best investigative journalists, Thet Sambath. Sambath is on a personal quest: he lost his own family in the Killing Fields. The film is his journey to discover not how but why they died. In doing so, he hears and understands for the first time the real story of his country’s tragedy. After years of visits and trust-building, Sambath finally persuades Brother Number Two to admit (again, for the first time) in detail how he and Pol Pot (the two supreme powers in the Khmer Rouge state) decided to kill party members whom they considered ‘Enemies of the People’.


The Lost Girls of South Africa

Thursday 17 November

A child is raped in South Africa every three minutes. The Lost Girls of South Africa is a timely and revealing feature-length documentary that offers a privileged glimpse into what life is really like for young girls growing up in South Africa. It follows the stories of four girls, aged 11-13, who become victims of child rape, looking at the experience and its aftermath through their eyes and in their words. The girls involved in this film, along with their mothers, were all extensively consulted about the implications of taking part in this film, and being identified. It was explained to them that while the film would not be sold to South African television, it was still likely that their pictures would be accessible on the internet in SA. We were very clear about this, but they were equally clear that they had a right to tell their story, and wanted to, in order to try to reduce the likelihood of it happening to other girls.

All proceeds from the screening of The Lost Girls of South Africa will be donated to The Lost Girls Fund, set up by the makers of the film to provide viewers an opportunity to directly help the girls in the film. Find out more at http://www.lostgirlssa.org


I was Worth 50 Sheep

Friday 18 November

I Was Worth 50 Sheep is the story of a brave girl Sabere, and her struggle for life. When she was just ten years old she was sold to a man forty years her senior. After seven years of confinement and abuse, she escaped to find temporary refuge in a
women’s sanctuary. The camera picks up Sabere at the point where she has re-made contact with her family. This is the story of a courageous young Afghan girl, fighting hard for her fundamental rights. The film gives a voice to the voiceless – women who continue to suffer from violence, poverty and illiteracy in their country.


Kinshasa Symphony

Saturday 19 November

Kinshasa Symphony is a study of people in one of the world’s most chaotic cities, doing their best to maintain one of the most complex human endeavours – a symphony orchestra. It is a film about the Congo, the people of Kinshasa and the power of music. The film documents the story of people achieving great things under the most difficult of circumstances. It is a measured, funny and lyrical film which portrays issues in the DRC such as poverty, poor housing and healthcare, while reminding us that the problems in the country are certainly not caused by deficiencies in its people. The film’s portrayal of Africans as heroes rather than victims has had a hugely powerful impact on many.


War Don Don

Sunday 20 November

In the heart of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the “special court.” Inside, Issa Sesay awaits his trial. Prosecutors say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of heinous crimes against humanity. His defenders say he is a reluctant fighter who protected civilians and played a crucial role in bringing peace to Sierra Leone. With unprecedented access to prosecutors, defence attorneys, victims, and, from behind bars, Sesay himself, War Don Don puts international justice on trial for the world to see – finding that in some cases the past is not just painful, it is also opaque. The international court in Sierra Leone will be the first major war crimes tribunal to conclude cases since the Nuremberg trials. This film gives us an insight into the court, allows the opportunity for a dialogue to emerge, assessing the ways in which the system is currently run, and asks us to find ways to improve it.


All screenings will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion.


Tickets can be reserved by calling The Labia at 021 424 5927. We strongly recommended that you reserve tickets to avoid disappointment.


This event is presented by Freedom to Create, the Labia and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social, political and environmental messages to South African audiences.



Freedom to Create:

The Labia:
021 424 5927

While You Were Sleeping:
Andreas Späth
084 749 9470