Other Worlds Are Breathing 2005: The Films

About WSF

Rumble in Mumbai

(58 minutes, 2004, Filmed in India)

The film documents the last World Social Forum held in Mumbai, India, in January 2004. Over 100,000 people attended, all looking to build solidarity and a better world. In keeping with the spirit of the forum, the film provides a platform for marginalised voices to air their grievances. It is also full of high-calibre critiques of neo-liberalism and damning indictments of the ill effects of globalisation.

Director: Jawad Metni
Producer: Jawad Metni, Pinhole Pictures, USA, jawad@pinholepictures.com, www.pinhole.com

Work in Progress: At the WSF 2004

(59 minutes, 2004, Filmed in India)

This film has made its journey from being a document of an event to becoming an impression of a worldwide movement for economic, political and cultural justice and a travelogue of ideas for change.

The World Social Forum began in Brazil in the year 2000 as a space for defining alternatives to globalisation, economic imperialism, war and discrimination. In 2004, it’s fourth year, it came to Bombay and widened its horizons to include issues of gender, indigenous people’s rights, alternative sexuality, women and war, caste and racism. For 5 days people protested and analysed existing economic, political and social injustice; celebrated alternatives and resistance through speeches, processions, music, debate, performance, conversation; and sharpened their imagination of a better world with diversity and justice at its heart, under a common slogan: Another World Is Possible.

This film has been created from video material gathered by student crews to document this 5-day event.

Director: Paromita Vohra, parodevi@mtnl.net.in
Producer: WSF India


Peace One Day

(80 minutes, 2004, Filmed all over the world)

It is the story of one man’s attempt to persuade the global community via the United Nations to officially sanction a global ceasefire day. This film charts a remarkable 5-year journey, showing the viewer how an individual genuinely can make a difference.

Director: Jeremy Gilley
Producer: Jeremy Gilley, A Peace One Day production in association with the BBC and Passion Pictures, UK. info@peaceoneday.org, www.peaceoneday.org

Travels by Tricycle

(39 minutes, 2004, Filmed in China)

The film tells the story of a 74-year-old Chinese man and his mother who has never left the North Eastern part of China where she lives. Now that she is about to be 100 years old, she wants to see her country. Her son decides to take her on a hand-made tricycle ride across the vast regions of China.

Director: Wang Dongdong

Producer: Wang Dongdong, Hei Long Jiang Television Station, China P.R., lianhong93@yahoo.com.cn, www.hljtv.com

Voices from the Edge – The Favela goes to the World Social Forum

(70 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Brazil)

A group of 23 community activists from the Rio favelas struggle to participate in the third World Social Forum. They want their voices to be heard. Through their perspective, the film narrates the most important international event organised by civil society to discuss social justice, and reveals the challenges that corporate-driven globalisation presents not only to Rio, but also to the world political agenda.

Directors: Daniela Broitman and Fernando Salis
Producers: Daniela Broitman and Fernando Salis, VideoForum, Brazil, daniela@videoforum.tv, www.videoforum.tv

Women Power


(31 minutes, 2001, Filmed in Burkina Faso)

Mother of three children in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, Bintou decides one day to send her daughter to school against her husband’s will. Bintou is a modern and humoristic tale that deals with the issue of women’s right to education and work.

Director: Fanta Régina Nacro, fanta.regina.nacro@wanadoo.fr, www.fanta-nacro.com
Producer: Claire-Agnès Lajoumard, Acrobates Films, France / Burkina, acrobatesfilms@wanadoo.fr

The Lijjat Sisterhood

(30 minutes, 2003, Filmed in India)

More than four decades ago, seven women in a lower middle class suburb of Mumbai began a journey towards self-reliance. Today, more than 42,000 others have joined them in this 3,000 million rupee grassroots level movement called the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog’ Lijjat Papad. The film looks at what it means to be part of this sisterhood through the eyes of four protagonists, their colleagues and families.

Directors: Kadambari Chintamani and Ajit Oomen
Producer: Public Service Broadcasting Trust, India. psbt@vsnl.com, www.psbt.org

Singing Freedom

A Night of Prophecy

(77 minutes, 2002, Filmed in India)

It is a simple film about poetry and witnessing the passage of time. Through poetry emerges the possibility of understanding the past, the severity of conflict and the cycles of change. Through poetry you suddenly see where each and all the territories are heading to, where you belong and where to intervene, if you want to.

Director: Amar Kanwar
Producer: Amar Kanwar, A.K. Productions, India, amarvg@vsnl.com

The Legends of Madiba

(45 minutes, 2003, Filmed in South Africa)

The experiences of Nelson Mandela’s favourite performers demonstrate the vital role that music plays in the face of racism and oppression. The magnetic Canadian/South African performer Lorraine Klaasen indroduces us to five remarkable ladies including her mother, Tandie Klaasen. We learn about their music and their experiences during the disruptive years of apartheid. We see how important music is in the life of South Africa and how correct Mandela was when he said the legends have a real “hunger to sing”.

Director: Helen Henshaw
Producer: Henshaw Productions, Canada, hhenshaw@videotron.ca

The Rockstar and the Mullahs

(50 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Pakistan)

“Why can’t spirituality be expressed in a pop song?” asks Salman Ahmad, Pakistan’s most famous pop musician and the lead singer of Junoon. Salman is Muslim and very concerned about Pakistan’s growing religious intolerance that condemns music as obscene. His quest takes him across Pakistan into the Islamic schools, and eventually to Peshawar, where the local government has banned the playing of music in public.

Directors: Ruhi Hamid & Angus Macqueen
Producer: Rebecca Morris, October Films, UK. rebecca.morris@octoberfilms.co.uk, www.octoberfilms.co.uk

Poetry of the Inert

Traje: Women and Weaving in Guatemala

(10 minutes, 2004, Filmed in Guatemala)

Traje looks at the transmission of culture and identity via weaving and the wearing of traje in Guatemala. Traje refers to the customary clothing of the 28 existing Mayan language groups strewn across Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. It is made and worn almost exclusively by women, who are the guardians of the tradition. Today, the pressures of changing values, global economies, and racial discrimination are threatening the Mayan weaving practice, but there is resistance.

Director: Phoebe Hart
Producer: Phoebe Hart, Hartflicker, Guatemala / Australia, phoebehart@hotmail.com, www.hartflicker.com

Red Butterflies Where Two Springs Merge

(14 minutes, 2002, Filmed in Kyrgyzstan)

In the border mountain village of Achy-Kaindy, 64-year-old Janyl pursues the tradition of making felt carpets. She never relied on anyone, least of all on the government and modern industrial technologies. After the break-up of the Soviet-Union, Janyl became famous in Europe and the director of her own workshop. Yet she didn’t change her lifestyle or her independent anti-patriarchal views.

Directors: Gaukhar Sydykova and Dilia Ruzieva, ordo@elcat.kg
Producers: Soros Foundation, The Network Women’s Programme of the Open Society Institute, Kyrgystan, and the Institute of Social and Gender Policy, Russia. p.schreiner@soros.org

El Mundo del Malek

(11 minutes, 2004, Filmed in Ecuador)

The Paladines live and work as puppeteers in Ecuador. It is not easy to survive being an artist there. The film tells the story of Malek’s lucky break: His transformation into a dragon.

Directors and Producers: Natalie Muntermann and Andrea Schultens, Germany, natalie.muntermann@gmx.de, www.ladoc.de

The Art of Viye Diba – The Intelligent Hand

(52 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Senegal)

Viye Diba, a Senegalese artist living in Dakar, says that he is not an African artist, but a

modern artist living in Africa. His work has evolved from small format paintings to increasingly large metaphorical installations. Whether exploring the mysteries of communication, or in the use of raw and recycled materials, his work raises environmental and socio-political questions and also explores the vital role of Art.

Director: Claudine Pommier
Producer: Claudine Pommier, Arts in Action Society, Canada / Senegal, steinpom@shaw.ca, www.geocities.com/SoHo/4808/


Arna’s Children

(84 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Palestine)

Yussef committed a suicide bomb attack in 2001. Ashraf was killed by the Israeli army in 2002. Alla led a group of resistance fighters to their death in 2003. The director, Juliano Mer Khamis, who documented them all as promising child actors in a theatre group he founded with his mother Arna, returns to Jenin Refugee Camp in April 2002, to see what happened to the children he knew and loved.

Directors: Juliano Mer Khamis and Danniel Danniel
Producer: Osnat Trabelsi, Trabelsi Productions, Israel / Netherlands, info@pvhfilm.nl, www.pvhfilm.nl

Karen Education Surviving

(30 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Burma)

This film focuses upon the realities of Karen villagers who live internally displaced throughout the Karen state of Burma. It specifically examines how Karen people organize their schools even as they struggle to survive the Burmese military junta’s genocidal activities against them. This film has been created by Karen people and represents Karen perspectives on the socio-political context in which they find themselves.

Directors and Producers: Scott O’ Brien and Saw Eh Do Wah. sobrien1988@hotmail.com

Live Experiences

An Act of Faith

(24 minutes, 1999, Filmed in South Africa)

The film tells the story of the Phelophepa (Good Clean Health) train that travels to remote areas of South Africa bringing primary health care to impoverished rural people who do not yet have access to health facilities. For nine months each year the train brings doctors, dentists, opticians, community nurses, health care training and even a pharmacy to rural areas.

Director: Toni Strasburg, tonistraz@yahoo.co.uk
Producer: Steven Markovitz, Big World Cinema, South Africa. steven@bigworld.co.za, www.bigworld.co.za

Waterworks India: Four Engineers and a Manager

(22 minutes, 1998, Filmed in India)

This film talks about five unsung people, who have kept the intricate traditional science of water management alive from the modern onslaught. Four of them are engineers and one is a water manager. The documentary introduces the viewers to the techniques as well as the social management practices governing it.

Director: Pradip Saha
Producer: Pradip Saha, Centre for Science and Environment, India, psaha@cseindia.org, www.cseindia.org

An Evergreen Island

(45 minutes, 2000, Filmed in Papua New Guinea)

In 1989, the landowners of central Bougainville closed down one of the world’s largest copper mines that was destroying their land.

A military blockade was imposed around the island. A film about a pacific people who survived 9 years without assistance from outside.

Directors and Producers: Amanda King and Fabio Cavadini, Australia, cavadini@tpgi.com.au


Nazrah: A Muslim Woman’s Perspective

(55 minutes, 2003, Filmed in the USA)

Nazrah is an intimate look at a diverse group of Muslim women living in the Pacific Northwest in the USA. The women discuss their views on Islam, current political events and how they reflect on the image of Islam in the West. They also talk about the difficulty of achieving equality within the Muslim community while fighting stereotypical portrayals of Muslim women in the US media.

Director and Producer: Farah Nousheen, USA.
Distributor: Alex O. Williams, Arab Films Distribution, USA. alex@arabfilm.com, www.arabfilm.com

Cinderella of the Cape Flats

(58 minutes, 2004, Filmed in South Africa)

This uplifting documentary sweeps us along in the growing excitement of that one time in the year when Cape Town’s 86,000 textile workers are consumed by a joyous and innocent distraction: the annual 27th Spring Queen pageant.

Offset against the socio-economic reality of the worker’s lives, Cinderella of the Cape Flats is a kaleidoscope of fun and frivolity, masking a new economic reality in silk and sequins.

Director: Jane Kennedy
Producers: Penny Gaines and Jane Kennedy, Trinity Productions, South Africa, janeww@mweb.co.za

Juchitán Queer Paradise

(65 minutes, 2002, Filmed in Mexico)

Located near the border with Guatemala, the Mexican town of Juchitán is home to the Zapotec Indians, who have shown remarkable tolerance towards homosexuals. According to a legend, God gave Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of Juchitán, a bagful of queers. Everywhere he travelled – Colombia, Central America, Guatemala – he left behind a homosexual. In Juchitán, however, his bag came undone, and they all fell out at once…

Director: Patricio Henriquez
Producers: Robert Cornellier, Patricio Henriquez and Raymonde Provencher, Macumba International Inc, Canada. macumba@macumbainternational.com, www.macumbainternational.com

Recycling Life

Cardboard Days

(51 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Argentina)

The film casts disturbing light on the biggest economic and social crisis in Argentina’s history and the ways it impacts on broad sectors of the population. It focuses on the lives and labour of the so-called cartoneros, who scavenge the streets and rubbish tips of the richer districts of Buenos Aires in search of cardboard, to sell for a pittance. Cardboard Days also serves as a reflection on the remorseless Megalopolis, recycling, alternative lifestyles and economic inequity.

Director: Verónica Souto
Producer: Justo Daract, Argentina, diasdecarton@yahoo.co.uk

Surplus: Terrorized into being consumers

(52 minutes, 2003, Filmed in US, India, China, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Cuba)

How come the privilege of buying goods does not automatically lead to happiness? Why all this emptiness despite our wealth? The film’s approach is to portray this issue from an emotional rather than a factual perspective. Shot in many countries over three years, the film is the result of a complicated editing process by talented music composer, editor and percussionist Johan Söderberg.

Director: Erik Gandini
Producer: Atmo, Sweden, gandini@atmo.se, www.atmo.se

Pretty Dyana

(45 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Serbia)

An intimate look at Gypsy refugees in a Belgrade suburb who make a living by transforming Citroen 2CV and Dyana cars into Mad Max-like recycling vehicles, which they use to collect cardboard, bottles and scrap metal. These modern horses mean freedom, hope and style for their crafty owners. Even the car batteries are used as power generators in order to get some light, watch TV and recharge mobiles! Almost an alchemist’s dream come true! But the police do not always find these strange vehicles so funny.

Director: Boris Mitic
Producer: Boris Mitic, Dribbling Pictures, Serbia, borismitic@hotmail.com, www.dribblingpictures.com

We, the People


(65 minutes, 2003, Filmed in Turkey, Argentina, USA)

Two years ago, thousands of people in Turkey and Argentina took to the streets and attacked banks when their life savings evaporated overnight. How could these relatively wealthy countries go bankrupt in less than a decade? Isitan takes us to Turkey, Argentina and the US portraying citizens who have lost everything, and how people initiated credit and barter systems, developing local parallel economies.

Director: Isaac Isitan
Producers: Carole Poliquin and Isaac Isitan, Les productions ISCA, Canada, isca@lesproductionsisca.ca, www.lesproductionsisca.ca


(62 minutes, 2004, Filmed in Bolivia, India and the US)

Is water a basic human right for all people? Or is it a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded in the global marketplace? ‘Thirst’ tells the stories of communities in Bolivia, India, and the United States that are asking these fundamental questions culminating in the events that took place at the 2003 Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan.

Directors: Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman
Producer: Snitow-Kaufman Productions, USA, amsnitow@igc.org

The Take

(87 minutes, 2004, Filmed in Argentina)

In suburban Buenos Aires, Argentina, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act -The Take – has the power to turn the globalisation debate on its head. What shines through in the film is the workers’ demand for dignity and the searing injustice of dignity denied.

Director: Avi Lewis
Producer: Naomi Klein, Klein Lewis Productions, Canada, klp1@sympatico.ca, www.nfb.ca/thetake/

Venezuela Bolivariana: People and Struggle of the Fourth World War

(76 minutes, 2004, Filmed in Venezuela)

The film examines the Bolivarian revolution of Venezuela from the Caracazo riots of 1989 to the massive actions that brought revolutionary president Hugo Chávez back to power, 48 hours after a US-led military coup in 2002. It also shows how the people exercise what is called in the popular movement ‘Revolution within the Revolution’. The film focuses on how the Bolivarian revolution transcends the national frontiers of Venezuela and contributes to the fight against neoliberal capitalism.

Director: Marcelo Andrade Arreaza. marcelo@calleymedia.org
Producer: Jose Lino Andrade, Calle y Media, Venezuela, Mexico and USA, lino@calleymedia.org, www.calleymedia.org

About Baghdad

(90 minutes, 2004, Filmed in Iraq)

In July of 2003, exiled writer and poet Sinan Antoon returned to his native Baghdad with a team of independent filmmakers, artists and poets to document the effects that decades of oppression, war, sanctions and occupation have had on his city. The result is a fascinating mosaic of opinions, perspectives, desires and memories that offers a picture far more complex than the limited one presented by mainstream US media.

Directors: Sinan Antoon, Bassam Haddad, Maya Mikdashi, Suzy Salamy and Adam Shapiro
Producer: InCounter Productions, USA/Iraq
Distributor: Alex O. Williams, Arab Films Distribution alex@arabfilm.com, www.arabfilm.com

Comments are closed