Vive la film revolution at UNE

Published 01 May 2014

Lage Raho MunnabhaiThe University of New England is bringing five remarkable stories of revolution to Armidale, as the 2014 Nonviolence Film Festival screens over five days from May 12.

From the true story of a Palestinian widow, who took the Israeli Defence Minister to court to save her lemon orchard, to the inspiring story behind the American civil rights movement soundtrack, members of the public are invited to enjoy five acclaimed short films in Armidale.

UNE Senior Lecturer in Peace Studies, Dr Marty Branagan explained this is the fifth annual festival event of its kind at UNE, designed to be both entertaining and informative.

“Art has long been an evocative form of social commentary and can have great impact as non-violent protest to influence cultural change,” Dr Branagan said.

“Through this selection of short films, viewers will have the opportunity to open their eyes to a wide world of cultural change and non-violent protest in significant national liberation movements around the world.”

The festival begins with How to Start a Revolution, a documentary about unassuming but highly influential scholar Dr Gene Sharp, whose writings have helped millions of people achieve freedom in the face of oppression and tyranny.

Soundtrack for a Revolution tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music, with new performances of the historic songs by artists including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots.

Lemon Tree tells the true story of how Palestinian widow Salma Zidane’s life is changed abruptly when the Israeli Defence Minister and his wife move next door, necessitating, for security reasons, the removal of the lemon grove that is her inheritance from her father and provides her modest income.

Acting Together on the World Stage, shows courageous artists working in conflict regions in Serbia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Israel, Palestine, Argentina, Peru, India, Cambodia and Australia, and describes peace-building performances and tools for the creative transformation of violence.

The festival concludes on a lighter note with the Indian comedy blockbuster Lage Raho Munnabhai, about a Mumbai (Bombay) underworld figure who is the only person who can see the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi.

Starting from 12 May, the fifth annual Nonviolence Film Festival presents a series of free lunchtime films at UNE’s Di Watson Lecture Theatre (near the Northern carpark), screenings begin at 12 noon daily.