Justice or peace?

Last night we went to a screening of the movie Storm (DK: Hannahs Valg) which tells the fictional story of a trial at the tribunal in The Hague and how the prosecutors struggle to ensure evidence, witnesses and at the same time make political bargains with the local government of the Balkans.

The conflict of the Balkans is not easy to understand – yet I think it is important that we try. This is a war that happened in our lifetime, right in the middle of Europe and with horrible war crimes of ethnic cleansing, genocide and rape camps.

I found the movie very interesting and it displays some of the dilemmas of trying to achieve justice for the atrocities while trying to rebuild the stability of the region and what one persons sacrifice mean in a bigger political game.

After the movie there was a panel debate with the former diplomat Charles Crawford, journalist Rajeshree Sisodia, Elena Wasylem from a rape victim help group and Lisa Gormley from Amnesty International. They all had some interesting inputs to the different themes of the film and put it into context. One of the things that they mentioned in the debate afterwards was that the bargaining and some of the actions of the barristers were quite unrealistic.

The film is a great example of European collaboration as it was created with funding from three countries and cast from at least eight.

Check out Ann’s blog post about the night as well 🙂

Update March 29th 2010: Charles Crawford wrote a nice piece on the film and the debate afterwards.

Invisible Children at UCL

Last night Ann and I went to a presentation and discussion about the child soldiers of Central Africa and Global Citizenship.

It started out as a civil war in Uganda but today, more than 20 years later, the conflict continues as a terror regime where the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continue to abduct children and mutilation and slaughter the local population. The LRA has caused the lives of thousands and dispalcement of millions of people in Uganda, DR. Congo and Sudan.

Invisible Children started out as a film project for three American guys and has turned into a grass-root organization trying to help the children affected by the conflict. It’s a conflict that hasn’t had much focus which is what the Invisible Children organization tries to do and one of the things discussed in the panel debate was how to bring attention to it.

The story is heartbreaking and what the organization is doing is really admirable in trying to give these kids a chance for an education and meaningful life. Until the conflict comes to an end it is worth reminding ourselves and our governments that we should not just stand by as this happens.

See the whole documentary Invisible Children: Rough cut.