09/05/2009 14:00

Democracy/Export-Import

This programme offers a choice of great documentaries, creative depictions of reality, appalling testimonies of human rights violations which is the thing Cinema City Festival wants to draw attention to.

The title of this programme is a result of a wish to point out the fact, by using simplified internet language, that today, in the century of rapid technological evolution and fast information flow, the term "democracy" has been simplified, has distanced from its essence and basic meaning, has become the subject of political export-import "trade", reason for wars and violations of human rights, the excuse and toy in the hands of powerful people.

The 21st century is full of cruelty, human ruthlessness, greediness, injustices, corrupt value system, environment pollution, fight for justice and truth. Films which show those topics, at the same time remind us of human kindness and contain messages of hope. They resist genre classification not only because of different aesthetic approaches, methodological frames and ideological streams of their authors, but mostly because in documentaries, the images carry their own truth, independent of preconditions and intentions during their filming.

This year's edition of Democracy/Export-Import programme focuses on actual conditions in Africa. Thus the films Blooming Business, by Ton van Zantvoort - a poetic documentary about Kenyan prisoners of enormously growing global flower industry, Flowers of Rwanda by David Muñoz - a film which strongly and directly raises many question about possibilities of coexistence of victims and murderers during genocide in Rwanda 14 years ago, as well as the film Rich Brother by Insa Onken - an exciting multi-layered portrait of a Cameroonian immigrant in Europe, whose only chance for survival, gaining minimal rights and assimilation is to become a boxer and win the title.

Among these films, there will be an equally top-quality documentary, named Burma VJReporting from a Closed Country by Anders Østergaard - an explicit document about violation of human rights in a dictatorship environment.

Together, the four films make human experience the essential part of Democracy/Export- Import programme. Human experience, which is based on fighting for survival in a world that should be fair and equal - but isn't, in a world in which everybody should feel free - but nobody does.

Dubravka Lakic