SUGGESTED VIEWING

Power And Terror:
Noam Chomsky In Our Times
dial H.I.S.T.O.R.Y.
Gaza Strip

Kedma
Bowling For Columbine
B-52
Rage
Salo
The Tramp And The Dictator
War Photographer
August
Blind Spot
After The War
Max
11'09"01 - September 11
Frontiers Of Dreams And Fears
Divine Intervention
Shadow Play
Voices Of(f) — Beirut
Jiyan (Life)
The Afghan Alphabet


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In 1967, folk singer, Phil Ochs wrote a song titled The War Is Over, for an anti-Vietnam War demonstration. The lyric went: "So do your duty, boys, and join with pride/ Serve your country in her suicide/Find a flag so you can wave goodbye/But just before the end, even treason might be worth a try/This country is too young to die/I declare the war is over."

As Ochs’ biographer, Michael Schumacher, wrote: "... as the Vietnam War dragged on and the US bombing of North Vietnam continued without letup, Phil had become more and more convinced that the only way to attack the war would be to ridicule it through absurdist politics. What would happen, he wondered, if everyone simply declared an end to the war? The action would be deliciously ironic, given the fact that Vietnam was an undeclared war to begin with, plus it would be an effective, positive protest against the powers that refused to recognise the people’s opposition to the war."

In 1969. John Lennon and Yoko Ono continued the absurdist protest by erecting a billboard during Christmas with this message: "War Is Over if you want it!" In 1998, Yoko repeated the message on another billboard. She said: "If one billion people would think peace - we’re gonna get it. You may think, ‘well, how are we going to get one billion people to think? Isn’t this something we should leave to politicians, who have te power to do those things?’ Well, politicians cannot do anything without your support. We are the power. Remember, you don’t have to do much. The power works in delicate and mysterious ways...just start thinking positive, that we are all together in this."

Many of the films in this year’s festival reflect on the current war footing that the world is in. For example, Anand Patwardhan’s War and Peace is a penetrating revelation that Gandhi’s death not only signified the end of non-violence in India but also the beginning of nuclear proliferation.

All we are saying is give peace a chance. — Philip Cheah



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