Blue Nile Film Screenings and Q and A with Filmmakers
Thursday 19th June 2014 , 6pm
Committee Room 2, House of Lords
LOCATION DETAILS: Please enter the Houses of Parliament through Cromwell Green Entrance – this is the main visitors entrance and is a 5 minute walk from Westminster tube station. When you arrive, explain that you are coming to a meeting hosted by Baroness Cox in Committee Room 2.
Please leave at least 20 minutes to get through security.
“While filming BLUE DENIAL the confusion and frustration of people regarding their current turmoil was palpable. They desperately hoped for people to know about their situation.”
In Sudan’s Blue Nile extreme conditions persist. The fear and devastation wrought by aerial bombardment continues. Most of the region’s population have fled to neighbouring countries.
Yet, while other crises are in the headlines, the war in Blue Nile receives little attention. Along with other conflicts in Sudan, the fighting in and suffering in Blue Nile has been successfully veiled from view by the government of Sudan, rendering it distant from the psyche of those that might intervene. Death in Sudan’s conflicts often lacks the explosive shock and awe of situations such as in Syria. There is little spectacular to the struggle in Blue Nile, except the will and determination of the people to survive. With stoic perseverance people endure the agony of hunger, disease and forced displacement – caused largely by the terror of aerial bombardment.
Captivated by the people and the place, filmmakers Matthew LeRiche and Viktor Pesenti have produced two documentaries and a multimedia report about the conflict.
Their films show some of the most vivid images to date of how civilians are suffering from Khartoum’s ongoing indiscriminate bombardment, including women and children hiding in hand-dug trenches.
A combination of direct footage and eyewitness accounts present a unique glimpse into the heart of the conflict, and bear witness to its devastating humanitarian impact.
One of the films, Blue Denial, is the true story of a young man’s personal struggle in Sudan’s war-torn Blue Nile State. Mohammed, the protagonist of the film, as with many, continues to have faith that once more people in the world are aware of their situation, support and help will come. So, in many ways discovered by chance, the story of the film, Mohammed’s story, is part reflection on explanations for the situation and suffering of his people; part story of one young man’s determination to find a path forward. Fundamentally it is about the decision whether or not to fight.
We will be screening the two short films in the House of Lords, and will present the most recent information from Blue Nile state. This will be followed by a Q and A session with the two filmmakers and authors of the report, who will discuss their experiences of reporting from one of the world’s most closed regions.
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