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Autumn of reflection

Movies that Matter will not only see you at the festival in March. The film event, organised by Amnesty International, is also touring various movie houses in the Netherlands this autumn with a number of films.

It kicks off in October with the screening of the documentary We come as friends by Hubert Sauper. In his earlier film Darwin's nightmare this award-winning Austrian director showed the almost apocalyptic consequences of globalisation on the African continent. In We come as friends he flies through South Sudan in a home-made plane in search of the traces left by modern colonialism in the landscape. Poignant in this is the clash between money-hungry foreign investors and the war-ravaged country.

With his new film, Sauper proves that he is still considered a critical chronicler, confrontationally portraying the painful and dependent ties between the Third World and the West. The screening on 4 October in The Hague will be introduced by Sudan expert Egbert Wesselink. He will talk about his experiences in the country and how multinationals deal with the rights of local people.

Two fiction films will also be screened during the autumn programme. I am Nojoom by Khadija Al-Salami deals with the fate of an eight-year-old girl who is married off to a man in his 30s. The dark but sharp satire The President by Mohsen Makhmalbaf paints a surreal picture of a dictator and his dysfunctional family.

Still to be recommended is the documentary Drone. That film gives a shocking insight into the US use of drones. Director Tonje Hessen Schei is particularly surprised by the footage of US military recruiting youngsters at computer game competitions. For the US military, the young gamers seem to be the ideal drivers for the unmanned aerial vehicles.

That reality is not as artificial as a game is clear from interviews with former drone pilots. They talk about the unreal thrill of blowing people up from a distance and the cold-hearted way superiors deal with collateral damage. The documentary rightly raises questions about the future of warfare. Questions that are more topical than ever as technology is now also being used on an increasing scale by countries like China and Russia.

For more info on the programme, visit www.moviesthatmatter.nl

George Vermij

George Vermij is a cultural omnivore with a curious and critical eye. He studied art history and political science in Leiden and has an incurable film addiction. Besides Cultuurpers, he writes about film for Schokkend Nieuws, Gonzo Circus and In de bioscoop. For Tubelight, Metropolis M and Jegens & Tevens he writes about visual art.View Author posts

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