Where is the love?

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
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Dave Watterson

Where is the love?

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun May 07, 2006 1:09 pm

If you have not already done so - check out "Where is the Love?" on
http://www.theiac.org.uk/resources/online.html#love
This is touching, powerful ... and to me at least it doesn't matter that
it consists of still images.
I cried.

Dave

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Mon May 08, 2006 12:40 am

Some weeks ago a young man, called Joe, was stabbed 5 times in the Central
Station of Brussels at noon. Passers-by didn't do anything to help the boy.
They ran away. A few hours later Joe died in hospital. He had been stabbed
because the killer wanted his Mpeg3. The killer, who was only 17, was caught
in Poland thanks to some cameras hanging in the Central Station and also
thanks to the fact that the killer always tried to communicate with his brother
after the murder using his mobile phone. On TV some Polish told us with a
smile on their faces that they were happy that the killer was a gipsy and
not a real Polish citizen... At first the police thought that a young Maroccon
had killed the boy. The Maroccon society in Belgium felt ashamed for some
time. Afterwards the police found out that the killer was from Poland, not
from Marocco. Times have changed completely in Belgium. We now live in a
multi-cultural society but the cement between all those groups is not strong
enough. There are tensions every day a. We should love each other.

Joe was a good boy. He always "fought for peace" on his guitar. The Sunday
after the killing 80,000 people : a mixture of Belgians, Maroccans, Turks,
Congolese, etc... demonstrated together through the streets of Brussels against
senseless violence. What's the value of life in these days and where's the
love for our fellow-men in these hard times they asked. They didn't want
any politicians in the demonstration. Perhaps you've seen that march through
Brussels on TV.

This film "Where is the Love ?" also reminded me of poor Joe and violence
in the streets of Brussels and in other big towns. On TV Joe's father was
interviewed. He felt sorry for the parents of the killer ! A great man in
his grief ! In fact I should have made a film about all this : the news on
TV and in the papers and magazines. Laying flowers on the place where Joe
was killed. Interviews with people who always pass the place where Joe was
killed. The funeral. An interview with Joe's friends who collected petitions
with 25,000 signatures. These were given to our Prime Minister, etc... But
that's more a job for professional TV film makers,don't you think so ?

A frightening thing in the world is the fact that 5 to 10 politicians can
take any decisions without thinking of the consequencies : hundreds or thousands
of innocent women, children and other citizens like you and me being killed.
Iraq was a disaster, but what will be the next step ? Iran ... I'm shivering
!

Michael Slowe

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Michael Slowe » Mon May 08, 2006 10:21 pm

This film "Where is the Love ?" also reminded me of poor Joe and violence
in the streets of Brussels and in other big towns. On TV Joe's father was
interviewed. He felt sorry for the parents of the killer ! A great man in
his grief ! In fact I should have made a film about all this : the news
on
TV and in the papers and magazines. Laying flowers on the place where Joe
was killed. Interviews with people who always pass the place where Joe was
killed. The funeral. An interview with Joe's friends who collected petitions
with 25,000 signatures. These were given to our Prime Minister, etc...
But
that's more a job for professional TV film makers,don't you think so ?
Willy, that's a terrible story, I don't think it was reported at all over
here but we have similar events so I guess it would not be regarded as 'news'.

You are wrong in leaving the film to be made by the professionals, what makes
you think they would do it better than either you or me? How many times
have you seen a documentary and thought how much better you could have done
it? You would be just the chap do do such a film but it would have been
a bit of a rush for one person it is true. The interviews, especially, would
have had to be done that week and you would have had to have collected all
the newspapers. By the way is there a copyright issue with using newsprint
in a film - anyone know? Radio bulletins also would be effective as a sound
track but those are subject to copyright I do know. Willy I don't think
we can blame it all on the Iraq adventure (misadventure?) since wars like
this have been going on for millenia but they sure don't help!

Peter

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Peter » Tue May 09, 2006 8:51 am

This was a brilliant piece of work, which must have taken thousands of hours
to put together, and I applaud the powerful sentiment that this piece of
work conveys. (Did the maker have to get copyright permission for all of
those shots?)

Having said how good and professional the film was, I hesitate to say with
the greatest respect, that for me, maybe it did not quite work. In the end,
viewing so many totally devastating images, running for over four minutes,
can mean that one becomes a victim of image horror fatigue, which lessens
the effect. I am however, extremely grateful that someone feels the need
to get this message across, especially in today’s world where we (and particularly
our governments) are hell bent on the destruction of the human race. This
is particularly the case where the victims are not of the Western race, and
it is particularly pertinent in the case of Iraq and Iran, and also of course
in the Palestinian Territories, as recently highlighted in the BBC Reith
lectures by Daniel Baremboim. (Whatever one thinks about Baremboim as a musician,
and I personally have great admiration for his abilities, his collaboration
with the late Edward Said has been monumental, and the positive effect will,
I hope, reverberate for decades).

I applaud this film for many reasons, and particularly because it subtly
shows images of two of the worst anti-humanists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
I don’t think I need to say more about who these people are, it is obvious
to us all, I hope.

Film-makers of all persuasions, both amateur (or non money-making creative
artists, with deference to Michael Slowe!!) and professional, should get
involved in these difficult and controversial projects, even if we face the
prospect of Apartheid and then possible imprisonment, should the present
regimes move society towards the even greater risks of a police state.

Certainly we should not leave it to the professional media organisations,
as they have too many constraints imposed, not least of all, the profit motive.
We, on the other hand, do not seek profit, but wish only to get a pertinent
message across. We now have the tools to do this, as we have never had before.

Dave Watterson

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue May 09, 2006 11:35 am

I sympathise with the view that "Where is the Love" is a shade too long -
I guess the author did not wish to edit the music track. On the other hand
it does emphasise what Michael noted ... these things keep on happening.

The very moving exhibition called "In Flanders Field" in Ypres shows conditions
in the trenches during WW1 and ends with a room devoted to the Red Cross
... in which they make the point that far from being "the war to end all
wars" there had been at least one major war somewhere in the world in every
year since.

It is surprising how few British non-commercial film makers tackle that notion.

Dave

Willy van der Linden

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Willy van der Linden » Tue May 09, 2006 1:12 pm

Together we must "fight" against racists/fascists. We can do this by talking (on this forum for instance)
and by making films. I am worried. I am very worried about the situation
in Belgium, Holland, ... and also in Britain. What's happening in my country
may also happen in Britian in the future. The local elections have shown
this. I hope that the democratic parties will remain strong enough to build
a strong wall against fascist-like political groups. But sorry, this is not
a forum to talk about politics. We make films, but we can also make films
about the ideology we advocate. Perhaps this is a bit delicate. I am only
for an ideology with love for all our fellow human beings. Only this kind
of ideology is accepted in films.

A few years ago a Flemish filmmaker made a film about a new and special "container"
to dump newborn unwanted babies of desperate mothers. It was propagated by
the Flemish National Front Party that won about 34 % of the votes in the
City of Antwerp. In my opinion this film was horrible. Believe me or not
: the filmmaker was very successful with this film. He received a special
award for a "good documentary" in our regional competition. I felt distressed
and ashamed. Would this be possible in Britain ?

Living together : black and white people, christians, muslims and atheists.
Helping each other ! That's love ! The more films we make about living together
in harmony (=love) the better ! Think of Michael's football team. He's an
Arsenal fan. It's a group of black and white players. The coach Arsène Wenger
is a Frenchman. The best player, who made a hatrick the very last day on
Highbury, Henry, is black and also a Frenchman. And don't forget our Dutchman
Bergkamp... The British together with other players of different nationalities
and races... They form a harmonious group. That's great, isn't it ? I wish
them all good luck in the Champion's league Final, though I am a Spurs fan
and I also sympathize with Manchester United. I was about ten years old when
I started to read newspapers and I will never forget the articles about the
Munich air crash and tragedy with the Busby Babes, the Manchester dream team...
But now, stop, Will, this has nothing to do with filmmaking.

Many thanks for your kind words about making a film on the tragedy in Brussels
Central Station, Michael. The problem is also time ! Now I'm making a film
about a Belgian concentration camp. One moment I thought that it was better
to stop making major films, but now I've decided to make a film about Guernsey.
Not with the intention to win a Guernsey Lily. Not at all ! Only to enjoy
the beauty of the islands of Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney, to be creative
and to show the new film in a few years, but out of competition. Spring is
in the air. I'm motivated again !

Peter

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Peter » Tue May 09, 2006 3:22 pm

Willy, your very upbeat and positive response is just what we need.

Yes, things are as bad if not worse hre in Britain, but we must fight. The
Arts here are under threat, from a government who only cares about killing
Muslims, and dealing with money, and obtaining money and power by using bribery
and corruption. It is the worst government this country has ever had, even
worse than Thatcher. The so called Labour government (which is National Socialist/Fundamentalist/Neo
Conservative) has probably (deliberately) helped the British National Party
by drawing attention to them, just before our local elections. We now live
under the most drastic laws against free speech that this country has known,
at least in the last 100 years. I can be arrested simply for reading out
the names of those murdered in Iraq, and even for a list of our war dead,
within one mile of our so called Parliament. This is no longer a free democracy,
but a police state.

Yes, we must make films that show this, and spread the message.

The Neo Cons have succeeded in the USA, and they are close to total control
here too. I know that this is not a political message board, and I apologise
for my political comments on a basic movie making board.

Thanks for your very welcome support, and your sincerity.

Peter

Michael Slowe

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue May 09, 2006 7:38 pm

I have every sympethy with Peter and Willy but fellows don't get carried away.
Hysteria fuels emotions that might not always have the effect we desire.
Peter, things are not nearly as bad as you paint, and to say that the government
have encouraged the BNP is laughable. All respectable politicians never
miss an opportunity to denegrate the BNP, without exception as far as I can
tell, and I think that you are being a little unfair. By speaking thus of
those we have voted into power merely gives succour to those we despise.


Of course as film makers we have the chance to put forward an enlightened
view and many succeed as we have seen. Of course the commercial cinema does
this Peter, what about the Michael Moore (horrible fellow by the way) documentaries
and the great anti war film by Eugene Jarecki "Why We Fight"? No, things
are no worse than they ever have been, there is little new in this difficult
life I think (now aged 71) as I start to see a historical perspective.

Now, before we get into trouble with David, can we return to discussing films
and film making?

Peter

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Peter » Tue May 09, 2006 9:36 pm

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
I have every sympethy with Peter and Willy but fellows don't get carried
away.
Hysteria fuels emotions that might not always have the effect we desire.
Peter, things are not nearly as bad as you paint, and to say that the government
have encouraged the BNP is laughable. All respectable politicians never
miss an opportunity to denegrate the BNP, without exception as far as I
can
tell, and I think that you are being a little unfair. By speaking thus
of
those we have voted into power merely gives succour to those we despise.
Michael, do you not see the possibility that that the scaremongering about
the BNP may have been a deliberate attempt to scupper the election? (I did
not say they openly encouraged them, but instead sowed the seeds of racism).
I'm refering of course to the bloody infighting going on in the Labour Party
where the Brownites are trying to get rid of Bliar? Failure (or at least
a slump in Labour's poll rating) may provide just that opportunity.
Of course as film makers we have the chance to put forward an enlightened
view and many succeed as we have seen. Of course the commercial cinema
does
this Peter, what about the Michael Moore (horrible fellow by the way) documentaries
and the great anti war film by Eugene Jarecki "Why We Fight"? No, things
are no worse than they ever have been, there is little new in this difficult
life I think (now aged 71) as I start to see a historical perspective.
You must surely see that the historical perspective you mention has now changed
considerably. Things are much worse! Your human rights and your civil rights
are being eroded on a daily basis. The excuse that it is to protect us against
terrorism, as a justification, when the cause of the terrorism was in the
hands of those who now benefit from running a police state.

I think you may be being a bit too trusting and maybe even complacant. I
know I can say this to you in a constructive and friendly manner, since we
basically agree on many things. On the other hand, maybe I'm getting too
passionate in my declining years, but I'm still willing and able to stand
up (for a while at least!) and confront the people who are hijacking this
"brave new world."

Yes, I have seen the Michael Moore film, and with an American friend, who
insisted we saw it a year or so back, and we clapped in the cinema at the
end. He (Moore) may not be a nice guy, but neither is Bush, and Bush was
getting some of his own medicine back. (i.e the lies and propaganda, only
with Moore, much of it was true).

Yes - lets make films about it. Only I don't make films any Moore (Ha, ha)!
I only come out with a lot of bull**** about the filming things I know nothing
about!

Don't worry about Dave, he's being a good advocate and separating the fighters
with good refereeing skills. It's a draw so far. (Actually, to be honest,
I don't like football (or is it soccer?) very much. Too much violence ...

Ned C

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Ned C » Wed May 10, 2006 3:51 pm

"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:
Yes - lets make films about it. Only I don't make films any Moore (Ha, ha)!
I only come out with a lot of bull**** about the filming things I know nothing
about!
I am disappointed that you don't make films any more since there is nothing
better than a film made with passion from a strong point of view. The Anglo-Saxon
world of amateur film making seems to avoid antyhing that might "frighten
the horses", with a few honorable and rare exceptions so we need your films
to fuel the debate. Making films about subjects the makers know nothing about
does not seem to have deterred many film makers.

Ned C

Peter Copestake

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Peter Copestake » Fri May 12, 2006 6:59 pm

"Ned C" <ned@amps.com> wrote:
"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:

Yes - lets make films about it. Only I don't make films any Moore (Ha,
ha)!
I only come out with a lot of bull**** about the filming things I know
nothing
about!


I am disappointed that you don't make films any more since there is nothing
better than a film made with passion from a strong point of view. The Anglo-Saxon
world of amateur film making seems to avoid antyhing that might "frighten
the horses", with a few honorable and rare exceptions so we need your films
to fuel the debate. Making films about subjects the makers know nothing
about
does not seem to have deterred many film makers.

Ned C
What an amazing lot you are! Greatly impressed by the passion shown. I've
found as many good folk in film making as I would expect in a church group.
I wouldn't be able to make a film on the subject, I think, but would prefer
to write to papers, local and national, join organisations that are against
what I see wrong in society and so on. The trouble comes at election time
when the only candidate you really identify with either belongs to a party
whose leader you despair of or who doesn't seem to stand a chance of getting
in.
But if you do make your film will it be regarded as not suitable for a "general
audience"?
I suppose that's where the skill comes in. I raise this issue again, sorry
Dave, because at the Burnley Festival Malcolm's "One Day at a Time" impressed
the judge but not some of the audience who felt it should not have been shown
because it wasn't entertaining.
All the best, Peter C.

Dave Watterson

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri May 12, 2006 10:37 pm

"Peter Copestake" <copestak@fish.co.uk> wrote:
But if you do make your film will it be regarded as not suitable for a "general
audience"?
I raise this issue again,because at the Burnley Festival Malcolm's "One
Day at
a Time" impressed the judge but not some of the audience who felt it should
not have been shown because it wasn't entertaining.
A small part of me knows what those audience members mean. It is not a comfortable
film to watch, dealing as it does with Mal's discovery that he has cancer
and how he fights it with the support of his wife, Rita. Yet it is ultimately
an uplifting film. Mal carefully crafted it to make full use of the fact
that at the same time all this medical drama was going on, he and Rita were
having a new home built and that when the worst of the treatment was over
the house was ready to move into.

But more of me despairs at people who only see non-commercial movie making
as light entertainment. I bet they would be surprised and disappointed at
East European animations which are not in the least funny but use that format
to make points about society.

The taste for frothy, lightweight films informs the movies shown at IAC AGM
weekends in the Mermaid and Mini-Mermaid competitions. Serious movies rarely
do well. Sadly for me those weekend do not often have much else in the way
of film to offer. That's why I prefer the BIAFF festivals where there is
a mix of fun films and serious ones.

I know that in a few weeks time I will see an Austrian equivalent of Mal's
movie, made by another excellent documentary film maker, Bernhard Hausberger.
Its title is something like "A Rather Different Year" and it covers the way
his life changed completely when he too found he had cancer. It even includes
scenes taken by a friend during an operation where part of his lung was removed.
I doubt it will be easy watching. On the other hand I suspect he too will
have devised it so that humour is also present and that the importance of
loving friends and family in those situations is made clear.

Dave

Peter

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Peter » Sat May 13, 2006 8:21 am

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
A small part of me knows what those audience members mean. It is not a comfortable
film to watch, dealing as it does with Mal's discovery that he has cancer
and how he fights it with the support of his wife, Rita. Yet it is ultimately
an uplifting film. Mal carefully crafted it to make full use of the fact
that at the same time all this medical drama was going on, he and Rita were
having a new home built and that when the worst of the treatment was over
the house was ready to move into.

But more of me despairs at people who only see non-commercial movie making
as light entertainment. I bet they would be surprised and disappointed at
East European animations which are not in the least funny but use that format
to make points about society.

The taste for frothy, lightweight films informs the movies shown at IAC
AGM
weekends in the Mermaid and Mini-Mermaid competitions. Serious movies rarely
do well. Sadly for me those weekend do not often have much else in the way
of film to offer. That's why I prefer the BIAFF festivals where there is
a mix of fun films and serious ones.

I know that in a few weeks time I will see an Austrian equivalent of Mal's
movie, made by another excellent documentary film maker, Bernhard Hausberger.
Its title is something like "A Rather Different Year" and it covers the
way
his life changed completely when he too found he had cancer. It even includes
scenes taken by a friend during an operation where part of his lung was
removed.
I doubt it will be easy watching. On the other hand I suspect he too will
have devised it so that humour is also present and that the importance of
loving friends and family in those situations is made clear.

Dave
You have put this very well, Dave, and I must say that I agree with you.
Those lightweight films you mention are the staple diet of some film making
societies. How many times do we see the piece about the steam railway? (Or
the person who locks themselves out of their house?)And the makers often
try to be lighthearted about the steam trains as well. There is a place for
this sort of film, but personally I think we see too many, and they are often
just repeats of each other. I've sort of been there and done that, and don't
want to go down that road again, personally, that is.

There are always people who will attempt to make a more serious type of film,
and do this with varied success. Unfortunately a film which is not entertaining,
but may contain a strong message and pertinent facts, is often thrown out
by the judges, who want to be entertained above all else.

I think this is one problem with film societies, and it puts the "serious"
documentary or drama person off joining, or remaining a member. Of course,
there are people in clubs, and we all know them, who make wonderful documentaries
and dramas, and who win prizes. I know people on this MB will bring forward
lots of good examples of this. May they thrive, and multiply. But in the
end, often these people work on their own or with a small dedicated group.
(Nothing wrong with that of course).

Our film societies need to have a serious re-think about their standing in
society. Are they able or willing to radically change and meet the challenges,
or become just social clubs, and gradually die out?

Maybe we don't need judges anymore, as most of us are now good at making
our own judgements about many sophisticated things in life. We are supposed
to be better educated (but I sometimes wonder about that, when I see the
absolute dross on TV).

We need more conflict in our video clubs - a few more arguments (non-violent)
- and people making highly contracersial films that lead to constructive
conflict. We are all too comfortable!

Peter

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Where is the love?

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Sun May 14, 2006 11:17 am

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
I have every sympethy with Peter and Willy but fellows don't get carried
away.
Hysteria fuels emotions that might not always have the effect we desire.

Yes, you're right, Michael. But now this week the following thing has happened
in my hometown Antwerp :
An aupair girl was sitting on a bench in the City of Antwerp. She was shot
by a skinhead... and also the baby of 2,5 years. After that he killed a Turkish
woman. The police followed the young man of 18 years old. They shot him,
but he was still alive when they got him. In hospital the gangster said that
he was a member of the national front party (his aunt is even a member of
parliament !) that that he just wanted to kill some immigrants and to commit
suicide. The baby was Belgian. He told the police that the baby was unlucky.
He thought that she was a foreign child.

The immigrants are shocked but luckily they react in all serenity. Next week
there will be a demonstration against racism in the city of Antwerp.
This has nothing to do with filmmaking, but I feel better having written
this. It has something to do with the title "Where is the love ?"

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