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A short focus on current events

A short focus on current events

What’s going on in the world? What are the important themes and urgent issues that need to be highlighted? Every year we receive countless short films, each of which takes a look at current affairs in its own unique way. And we have to do something with that. That is why we are introducing the new program line ‘Current Issues’ this year. This program includes four programs that open eyes, offer reflection and show the current state of the world. 

Program: Human Rights Shorts

This year the Netherlands celebrates 75 years of freedom. What started as a wave of liberation in 1944, ended with the capitulation of Germany and liberation on 5 May 1945. And now we see the Netherlands as a free democratic state, in which freedom flourishes. But what does this actually mean for our concept of freedom? What is freedom and what does it mean to be free or not?

In this program, compiled in collaboration with Movies that Matter, we approach the concept of freedom from different perspectives. We are being brought back to the end of the war, we see the influence of war on children and we see what happens if the police do not take such close steps to guard freedom. But above all, this program shows that we should not take freedom for granted.

Disgraced (Raymon Hilkman, 2019):

Program: Stand Your Ground

In the annual review, the NRC wrote that in 2019 we demonstrated more than ever: “Worldwide, young and old people spoke out against climate change, corruption, and violence, or for autonomy and security.” In Hong Kong it has been restless for almost a year, in South America people in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina went on the barricade and in Lebanon there was a demonstration against the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. In Algeria and Sudan, there were demonstrations against the president and a fight for democracy.

But in the Netherlands people fight to be heard as well. Farmers and builders protested against the new rules on nitrogen emissions and teachers went on a strike multiple times. The Dam Square and Malieveld were filled with people demonstrating for the climate, and for ánd against Black Pete (Zwarte Piet). And all of these examples are just the tip of the melting iceberg.

But these are the people who have the courage to speak out, who stand firm and know that it is sometimes necessary to rebel to force change. For the program ‘Stand Your Ground’ we have selected films in which various forms of activism and social disobedience are shown. In this program, you see how people take action, sometimes out of love, sometimes out of passion, and sometimes out of necessity to change what needs to be changed.

1. #Ya; 2. Song Sparrow; 3. White Riot: London

Program: Mi casa es mi casa

What does your national identity mean to you? Do you feel Dutch and connected with Dutch culture and customs? And what does it do to you if a non-Dutch person, with a different cultural background, has an opinion about your culture or feels offended by something that you consider to be part of your culture? Is that person welcome or only on your terms? Is it good to love your country, and when does this nationalism turn into xenophobia?

We reflect on these concepts with four selected films. We see in which different forms these feelings and beliefs are expressed and where they (can) come from. In the films My Country So Beautiful (Grzegorz Paprzycki, 2019) and VIKINGS VERSUS NEO-NAZIS (Nicholas Ahlmark, 2019) you see the battle between the progressive left and the emerging nationalist right – both sides with good intentions and the conviction that they stand up for their own principles and values. With this program, we try to get a grip on what is becoming increasingly polarizing worldwide: a sense of injustice when the ‘other’ gets the upper hand.

My Country So Beautiful:

Program: Between the Rich and the Poor

The gap between rich and poor is hard to grasp. But whether you are optimistic or pessimistic about capitalism, the state of the world economy and the distribution of wealth, there is a lot of criticism about the behavior of the very rich. The world has urgent problems to solve – with the climate crisis as the most pressing – while 1% owns nearly half of the world’s wealth and seems to care little about these problems. In the first week of the year, social media messages circulated about how long the richest people in the Netherlands had to work for an annual income on a minimum wage. Many of them had already earned this in the first days of the year.

In this program, we zoom in on the boundaries between the poor, middle class and rich. In four films we try to show the emotions that the differences in income evoke. The anger described above is clearly addressed in Kill the Rich (Alexander Kereklidis Turpin, 2018), but the other films show a more layered spectrum from pride to shame. Sometimes within one film: To Each Your Sarah (Kim Deok-Geun, 2019) shows the entire scope from embarrassment to acceptance of the situation by mapping downward mobility. Being rich first and then becoming poor, or vice versa clearly reveals the human side of income inequality.