Heroes, mercenaries and unwilling brides

Jan 12, 2007

The Global Issues Film Festival returns to Flint, showing us more of the world in which we live.

The human condition is examined through film, providing a fresh view of world without the filters of mass media, in the Winter 2007 Global Issues Film Festival Jan. 31 through Feb. 3. From conscientious objectors in Israel to challenging corporate power and the ethics of forced marriage, the festival, sponsored by Kettering University and Mott Community College, brings global issues to Flint.

Literally messages in a film can, these documentaries will educate and inspire viewers with their stories of courage and hope, warnings of potential danger and open analyses of hard truths. All films are free and open to the public.

The Winter half of the 2006-07 festival features five films, sponsored by the GM Sullivan Fellowship Program, the Greater Flint Arts Council, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mott Community College and Kettering University's Department of Liberal Studies.

The Winter 2007 films are:

Raised to be Heroes - Wednesday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m. (54 minutes)
A film by Jack Silberman and Tracey Friesen
They will fight for their country, they will die for their country, but not in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Raised to Be Heroes introduces the latest generation of Israeli soldiers to selectively object to military operations undertaken by their country. Capturing a moment in the ever-changing political landscape of the region, the film uses the unforgettable experiences of Refuseniks to inspire an essential dialogue about peace, democracy and personal responsibility.

McLibel: Two People Who Wouldn't Say Sorry - Thursday, Feb. 1, 6 p.m. (85 minutes)
A film by Franny Armstrong
McDonald's loved using the UK libel laws to suppress criticism. In the longest trial in English legal history, the "McLibel Two" (Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris) represented themselves against McDonald's #10 million legal team. McLibel is not about hamburgers. It is about the importance of freedom of speech now that multinational corporations are more powerful than countries.

Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan - Friday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m. (51 minutes)
A film by Petr Lom
The first film to document the custom of bride kidnapping, an ancient marriage tradition in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic in Central Asia. When a Kyrgyz man decides to marry, he often abducts the woman he has chosen. This film documents in harrowing detail four such abductions, from the violent seizures on city streets to the often tense negotiations between the respective families, and either the eventual acquiescence or continued refusal, and sometimes death, of the young women.

Shadow Company - Saturday, Feb. 3, 1 p.m. (86 minutes)
A film by Nick Bicanic, Jason Bourque and Remy Kozak
In the late 20th Century the distinction between soldier and mercenary became blurred. The recent use of private military companies (PMCs) in Iraq has been more extensive than at any time in modern history. Shadow Company explores the moral and ethical issues private military solutions create for PMC employees, for the Western governments who foot the bill for their salaries, and for everyday citizens like you. So what is really at risk?

Can't Do It In Europe - Saturday, Feb. 3, 3:30 p.m. (46 minutes)
A film by Charlotta Copcutt, Anna Weitz and Anna Klara ?hren
Looking for a truly unusual tourist spot? How about the silver mines of Potosi in Bolivia, where you can don helmets, gloves and overalls and descend into the dark, stiflingly hot, and polluted mines to watch real Bolivian miners at work? This new phenomenon is called 'reality tourism,' whereby bored American or European travelers seek out real-life experiences as exciting tourist "adventures," where you are witness to working conditions that should have gone out with the Middle Ages.

The annual Global Issues Film Festival sponsored by Kettering University and Mott Community College continues its tradition of bringing provocative films to Flint. This collaborative festival includes the work of independent filmmakers from around the globe, representing a variety of voices and viewpoints. The festival is sponsored by the GM Sullivan Fellowship Program, the Greater Flint Arts Council, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mott Community College and Kettering University's Department of Liberal Studies.

How to get to Kettering's McKinnon Theater:
The Theater is located in the Academic Building at the corner of Third and Chevrolet Avenues. Access is through a rear door off the parking lot behind the building, or through the door facing Third Avenue with the sign board outside. Students and/or signs will be placed throughout the building to guide patrons to the theater entrance.

For more information about the Global Issues Film Festival call 810-762-9865.

Written by Dawn Hibbard