21st Century Wire says…
Lets be clear, this isn’t an attack on the tragic death of young Alan Kurdi or 80 year old Vanessa Redgrave, member of the Redgrave acting dynasty and British acting aristocracy; this is another reminder of the ‘selective moral outrage’ we see time and time again surrounding the refugee crisis influx into Europe and above all, the war on Syria.
Redgrave’s ‘activist’ life is commendable, which began as early as 1961. She and her brother were founders of the ‘Peace and Progress’ Party which campaigned against the Iraq War. A discreet philanthropist, supporter of the PLO, and outspoken critic of ‘the war on terrorism’, Redgrave has made a distinct mark in political activism alongside her established performance career spanning almost 50 years or more.
Next months special screening of her debut entitled ‘Sea Sorrow’ will take place at the internationally renowned Cannes Film Festival. However, will guests attending be presented with the burning questions of ‘why’ people from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan become refugees. Are we going to see the typical symptoms, instead of causes. Sadly the answer here is yes, considering on how well their researchers have done their work.
Whilst quaffing cool prosecco or champagne and munching on some artisan canapes, will the Cannes guests and other attendees, including Ms Redgrave, be aware of the recent attack at Rashidin on the outskirts of Aleppo? What’s the more compelling story here to present to international audiences. There’s many of them in Syria, which has experienced it’s own ‘hell on earth’ since 2011.
Abd Alkader Habek (@AbdHabak) is a Syrian videographer and was at the scene of the recent attack. Although his pictures went viral after the atrocity, depicting him desperately trying to rescue children during the aftermath, his authenticity at this point is questionable due to new connections that have come to light regarding his involvement at the scene and other ‘coincidences’.
How many “Alan Kurdi’s” were there at Rashidin? Answer; most of the victims were young children. Is Vanessa Redgrave aware of this? One could only hope so.
Are the arts truly engaging, able to disseminate the right information, and ask the big questions behind what’s really going on in Syria, so they can draw upon this truth to use alongside her chosen modality and present it to the world? Or are they afraid to raise the stakes in case they won’t be supported and criticism will affect their ego.
Wouldn’t following Murad Gadziev and Lizzie Phelan of RT, or Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire who’ve all been on the ground in Syria, and some of whom continue to be, offer the greater truth perspective for film-makers, as compared to fakenews mainstream propaganda we’re suffocated with on a daily basis about Syria.
In the words of Vanessa Redgrave and as to why I wrote this opening analysis as such, “I just felt I must…”
More on this report from The Guardian…
The sight of a Syrian toddler’s lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach was among the horrors that drove Vanessa Redgrave to make her directorial debut with a feature documentary about the refugee crisis, she said.
The 80-year-old Oscar-winning actor and political activist, has long campaigned for refugees, but the shocking images of three-year-old Alan Kurdi made her realise she needed to do more.
Determined to raise awareness of the plight of people fleeing persecution and poverty, death and destruction, she directed a documentary, titled Sea Sorrow, funding it herself.
“I just felt I must,” she told the Guardian.
Recalling tragic stories told by refugees and the squalid conditions in which they live, she asked: “Who else would have directed what I was seeing?”
Last week, she received the accolade of having the documentary selected for a “special screening” at next month’s Cannes film festival.
The international exposure of a screening on the French Riviera is crucial as the refugee crisis intensifies, Redgrave believes. She hopes that it will make us “welcome refugees”, warning that we stand to lose our humanity otherwise.
Sea Sorrow focuses on ordinary people like an Afghan former head-mistress whom Redgrave met in Greece. “She’d had to flee… The agony was knowing that, more than likely, she would be sent back to Afghanistan. That’s what’s happening to refugees,” she said.
Describing her documentary as “an elegy,” she focused her camera on a tent daubed with the words “help us” and on a discarded plimsoll lying in the mud and debris.
While she did not mention atrocities carried out against westerners by extremists given a safe haven as refugees, she criticised the picture painted by some parts of the media: “Clearly, there is an agenda to pounce on any negative by a refugee as proof that they’re all potentially like that and they shouldn’t be allowed in.”
Redgrave is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, whose Oscar-nominated performances include the lead role for Mary, Queen of Scots. She won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in the 1977 wartime drama Julia.
In making sense of the world, she has turned to Shakespeare and The Tempest, in which Prospero, the exiled rightful Duke of Milan and a magician, tells his daughter Miranda, how they escaped drowning by being put in a “rotten carcass” of a boat when she was three.
Redgrave draws parallels with three-year-old Kurdi, who drowned in 2015: “[His] family had fled from their village of Kobani, twice besieged by Isis, hoping that a small rubber dinghy could take them across two miles of water to the Greek island of Kos where they could claim asylum. I was horrified that this baby and his mother and sister had died because they could not find a safe and legal passage…”
READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire SYRIA Files
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