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Common Ground Film Festival- 2004

  • Jun 10, 2010
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All of these films are worth viewing. They are all powerful and send a deep message that we can all learn from. Just pop them in the DVD player (or stream them online) for your viewing pleasure!

The power of the media – and of film – can be used to develop greater understanding and tolerance, and can contribute to defusing conflict rather than inflaming it. Films can demonstrate, in informative and entertaining ways, that workable solutions can be found to contentious problems.

Our goals in sponsoring the Series are to:
- Showcase films that contribute to preventing and reducing conflict
- Honor filmmakers who work within this framework
- Encourage future productions that promote understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence
- Popularize this kind of filmmaking
- Move audiences from viewing to dialogue to action

Source: http://www.sfcg.org/programmes/filmfestival/programmes_filmseries.html
1
Peace by Peace: Women on the Frontlines- Directed by Lisa Hepner
Narrated by actress Jessica Lange, PEACE BY PEACE: Women on the Frontlines profiles women in Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, and the United States who are building the foundations for sustainable peace out of conflict and crisis. Focusing on two women in each country, PEACE BY PEACE: Women on the Frontlines celebrates these women in a breakthrough documentary of their unheralded work.
2
The Friendship Village- Directed by Michelle Mason
The film documents an international group of veterans who are building a village in Vietnam for children with Agent Orange-related deformities. Built on a former rice paddy near Hanoi, the Vietnam Village of Friendship stands not only as a symbol of peace and reconciliation, but as a testament to the potential for all people to come to terms with the past, heal the wounds of war, and create a better world.

The Village brought together American veteran George Mizo and Lt. Gen. Tran Van Quang, who led the battle in which George was wounded and his entire platoon killed. The two worked together to build Friendship Village until George's death from Agent Orange-related complications.
3
Dinner for Two- Directed by Janet Pearlman
Peace in the rain forest is disrupted when two chameleons get "stuck" in a conflict, with catastrophic results. As they battle over "territory," these two small animals realize that their conflict affects not just them, but their whole environment. Luckily for the lizards, a frog observing the fracas turns into exactly what they need…a mediator.

Dinner for Two tackles conflict in a lively and humorous way. It shows that amidst the chaos that differences can create, there are still paths to reconciliation. This award-winning animated film is designed as a flexible tool to explore conflict resolution - from teaching toddlers to share toys to encouraging national leaders to peacefully settle border disputes, the film has messages for a wide range of audiences.
4
Improbable Pairs- Directed by Paul Andrews
We know all too well what war looks like, but rarely do we see images of what peace looks like. In these short film pieces, we see people who, because of their history, might well have become implacable enemies, but are instead working for peace. These images are powerful reminders that people can reach across even profound barriers to create new hope.
5
Crucible of War- Directed by Leon Gerskovic
What happens to ordinary people after the war is over and the news cameras and aid workers have moved on to new hotspots? Is the fear gone, or has it been buried so deep that people aren't even aware of its existence? This is what Leon Gerskovic was determined to find out when he returned to his homeland -- what was once Yugoslavia. His journey took him and his team to Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia. There he met invisible refugees of a forgotten war, veterans questioning what they fought for, a woman trying to maintain the middle class life she once took for granted, and men who have turned to music for rehabilitation and reconciliation. People dealing with their own fears, prejudices, and hopes for the future. People who once believed it could never happen to them. As Gerskovic witnessed the physical and psychological displacement years after the fighting ended, he also had to re-live his own painful history.
6
In Rwanda We Say… The Family That Does Not Speak Dies - Produced by Laurent Bocahut and Anne Aghion
IN RWANDA WE SAY… focuses on the release of one suspect, and the effect of his return on a rural village. While the government's message of a "united Rwandan family" infiltrates the language of the community, reactions to this imposed co-existence range from numb acceptance to repressed rage. Violence seems to lurk just below the surface. What unfolds, however, is an astonishing testament to the liberating power of speech: little by little, people begin to talk in a profound and articulate way - first to the camera, and then to each other - as these neighbors negotiate the emotional task of resuming life together.
7
The Junction- Produced by Ilan Ziv, Serge Gordey, and Amit Breuer
Although they may have had little in common in life, Fahmi Abou Ammouneh and David Biri are linked in death, their fates tied to Netzarim Junction, an obscure crossroads between the Israeli settlement of Netzarim and the Palestinian refugee camp of Nusseirat.

Once a busy intersection and a teeming neighborhood, the area is now a militarized desert. The Palestinian homes, orange groves, and greenhouses that surrounded the crossroads have been reduced to rubble and sand, a metaphor for the trap that has imprisoned both Palestinians and Israelis.

It was there that David and Fahmi died - the first Israeli soldier and the first resident of Nuseirat to lose their lives in conflict that has since seen nearly 1,000 Israeli and 3,000 Palestinians killed. Using home videos and memories of family and friends, THE JUNCTION tracks their parallel lives and deaths.
8
Seeds- Directed by Marjan Safinia and Joseph Boyle
Imagine spending three weeks living with someone you've always considered your enemy. In Seeds, a feature documentary, we meet ten extraordinary teenagers who undertake that challenge. Every summer, these kids from war-torn countries gather together at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine. For three life-changing weeks, they learn to share their dreams and fears, to listen to opposing views, to see beyond prejudices, and eventually to respect each other as individuals as the attempt to build the one thing they all strive for: a future.

Seeds is a message of hope in a time of need. Caught in-between their own worlds, these teenagers are still young enough to believe in a dream, yet mature enough to know how hard they must work to keep it alive. In the words of one of the Seeds… "In order to make peace with your enemy, you have to go to war with yourself."

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Stacie ()
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I'mStacie, and i'm an intern at a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. for the 2010 Summer. I'm from Maryland and i'll be a senior in college in the fall. I want to go to grad school … more
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