BOSTON/HARVARD - "Politics has failed, the UN has failed. Only law and you, the young generation, can stop war." Ben Ferencz announced to students at the start of the Cinema for Peace Screening Series in Harvard, where global leaders like Ban Ki-Moon, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have shaped their view of the world as students.
Ben Ferencz will turn one hundred in three years. He was awarded five battle stars in 1945 including for combat and landing in the Normandy. After World War II, he served his country at the age of 27 as Chief Prosecutor at the Nazi Einsatzgruppen trial in Nuremberg, during the so called "biggest murder trial in human history" and brought all of his cases to justice, "setting a record in pace and efficiency", as he often says. His life mission for half a century became the creation of an International Criminal Court. When this dream became reality after lobbying for decades and never giving up, Ben Ferencz served a second time as a prosecutor at the age of 92, alongside Luis Moreno Ocampo at its first historic verdict, when the ICC brought the first perpetrator to justice: the warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo from Congo.
Surprisingly, he has never been considered for the Nobel Peace Prize, but Ben Ferencz followed Nelson Mandela as a patron of Cinema for Peace and as a recipient of the Harvard Medal of Freedom, where he now started the Cinema for Peace Screening series. The first screening took place on the initiative of Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and fellow in Harvard. Ocampo launched the “Cinema for Peace Award for Justice” in 2008 in Berlin to value the most important films on justice. Cinema for Peace hosted Ocampos farewell and welcomed also the new Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, at the event in The Hague, while showing films about crimes against humanity in Syria.
Cinema for Peace founder Jaka Bizilj served Luis Moreno Ocampo as adviser to the UN Security Council in New York in a hearing on Sudan, whose President Omar Al-Bashir was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, whilst Sudan was also a member of the UN Security Council. Ocampo said afterwards at the press conference that all war criminals from former Yugoslavia have been arrested, and that it is only a question of time before all war perpetrators will be arrested, even if it may takes more than ten years. Nobody can run away from justice. In Germany Nazi-war criminals are being prosecuted even today.
A symbol of change and revolution - Mark I at Harvard University
The Harvard screening took place at the Science Center at Oxford Street in Cambridge - a bit confusing for first timers asking a driver at the airport to bring them to Harvard. Another surprise was Mark I in the hallway: the world’s first programmable computer dating back to 1944. Ben Ferencz said: "They call us crazy if we want to stop war? Don't let them fool you! We are not crazy, they are! In my lifetime I experienced the digital revolution with the computer, the end of slavery and segregation, women's equality! Today even men can marry men or women can marry women. This was unthinkable when I was young! Imagine, all of this happened in my lifetime!" Ben Ferencz started the Cinema for Peace screening series by calling on the young generation to abolish war in their lifetime.
Cinema for Peace with UN SG Ban Ki-Moon, Ben Frencz and Ambassador Bianca Jagger in Uganda, lobbying for 'war as a crime of aggression' on the eve of the Review Conference of the ICC member states.
Merkel visits refugee camp in Gaziantep
- Cinema for Peace screens 'Shaun the Sheep' to children
Refugee children enjoying 'Shaun the Sheep' in Reyhanli
BERLIN/GAZIANTEP - German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened a facility for children's relief in Gaziantep near the Syrian border. Together with the President of the Council of the European Union, Donald Tusk, the European Union Deputy Commissioner Frans Timmermans and the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Merkel visited the Nizip 1 camp where nearly 10.000 Syrian refugees are currently living.
“Cinema for Refugees” started in April 2016. Thanks to the support from the world sales company of the movie ‘Shaun the Sheep’ Cinema for Peace can provide a wonderful film without dialogue for free to every refugee camp and refugee center, in order to bring mental relief to children and offer them a moment of fearless childhood. The first screening took place in Reyhanli at a center of the organization 'Tulip for Syria Relief', where about 70 refugee children enjoyed the film and a creativity workshop afterwards. The next screenings will take place in a refugee camp near Istanbul followed by screenings in Berlin, Idomeni and Gaziantep.
European 'Donaldism': winning votes through fear of immigrants
- Cinema for Peace Screenings against Fear
VIENNA - Voters in Europe are moving further towards the extreme right-wing under a similar influence as US voters, who vote for Donald Trump: fear of immigrants. The candidate of the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), Norbert Hofer, received 36 percent of the votes in the Austrian election. The ongoing refugee crisis has been dominating the election campaigns, where Hofer stated, that the current strategy of the Austrian government was too soft. After Victor Orban and the unexpected success of the 'Alternative for Germany' in 4 state elections in Germany, the European Union is facing the challenge of a balancing act between the rising fear of the outcome of the refugee crisis and upholding European humanitarian values.
To promote European values of humanity and human rights, Cinema for Peace is hosting monthly screenings and discussions in Berlin, Hamburg, London and Vienna. On Thursday, Cinema for Peace presented 'Lampedusa in Winter' by Jakob Brossmann in cooperation with the Ludwig Bolzmann Institute and the University of Vienna. The film shows how the island of Lampedusa struggles between surviving the economic crisis and handling the amount of arriving refugees.
If you want to become a Cinema for Peace Partner and do screenings in your town or region, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a Cinema for Peace screening partner.