Nuclear Issues Dominate NY Peace Film Festival
New York, NY – Five of the 12 films being screened March 12 & 13 in this year’s New York Peace Film Festival (NYPFF) deal with issues surrounding nuclear weapons, either their past use or their current threat. Twice Bombed: The Legacy of Tsutomu Yamaguchi has it’s world premier at the festival and chronicles the later years of a survivor of both atomic bombings. Approximately 190 people who survived the Hiroshima bombing in 1945 boarded a train to Nagasaki, arriving on August 8. It is not known how many of them survived the Nagasaki bombing the following day. Mr. Yamaguchi, and presumably others, remained quiet about their double bombing status because of continuing discrimination against survivors. It was later in life, after his son’s death from cancer believed related to the bombings, that Mr. Yamaguchi became an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. Twice Bombed screens March 12 at 7pm at All Souls Unitarian Church, Lexington Avenue at 80th Street.
Beating the Bomb documents the start and growth of the British anti-nuclear movement and its struggles and successes. From mass marches to the on-going vigils at nuclear facilities, the movement has had much more success than in any other country in the world. Plus, the world-wide symbol for peace was developed for the British anti-nuclear movement. Beating the Bomb screens March 13 at 1pm at All Souls Unitarian Church.
The Peace boat made a world tour with survivors of the atomic bombings and documents that trip in Flash of Hope: Hibakusha Traveling the World. In numerous ports and encounters, the survivors not only tell their personal stories of survival, but also press for a nuclear-free world. Flash of Hope screens March 12 at 3:30pm at All Souls Unitarian Church.
Free World is a 39 minute film chronicling an 18 member delegation of Americans who traveled to Japan to speak with survivors of the atomic bombings and participate in ceremonies commemorating the bombings. Free World screens March 13 at 3:30pm at All Souls Unitarian Church.
Each season the NYPFF screens a classic peace film and this year’s selection is A Thousand Cranes, the story of Sadako, the young victim of the Hiroshima bombing who’s ardent folding of origami paper cranes made it a universal symbol of a nuclear-free world. The 1958 classic screens March 12 at 2pm at All Souls Unitarian Church.
The 4th Annual NYPFF starts with a kickoff party Friday, March 11 at 7pm at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th
Street), followed by two days of screenings at the same location. The Peace & Justice Task Force of All Souls Unitarian Church is co-sponsoring this year’s festival. The opening gala will feature a number of the film makers whose works will be screened in the festival speaking about their films. The public is invited free of charge to the kick-off party, but an RSVP for attending the party is requested and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 917-692-2210. This year’s festival partners include the American Friends Service Committee, NY Metro Region; Granny Peace Brigade; Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW); New York War Resisters League; Pax Christi, New York; Peace Action New York State (PANYS); and Resistance Cinema.
The complete festival schedule is:
Saturday, March 12
1 – 2pm: Kamishibai: Japanese story telling for children 3 + years old.
2pm: A Thousand Cranes; 75 minutes. A young victim of radiation sickness inspires hope for peace and reconciliation. The classic 1958 film in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Sojiro Kimura.
3:30pm: Flash of Hope: Hibakusha Traveling the World; 62 minutes. Survivors of the a-bomb travel the world in their quest for a nuclear-free world. Directed by Erika Bagnarello; produced by Peace Boat in association with Costa Rica Films.
4:45pm: Standing Army; 70 minutes. Why does the United States have 716 military bases and 250,000 troops on foreign soil (not including our bases and soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan)? How do the populations surrounding the bases view them? Directed by Thomas Fazi and Enrico Parenti.
6pm: Another Courage; 10 minutes. “The images are Iraq, the experiences are Vietnam.” The trauma of battle and the need for help re-integrating into civilian life transcends any specific conflict. Directed by Erik Sween; followed by Q & A;
7pm: Twice Bombed, Twice Survived: The Legacy of Tsutomu Yamaguchi; 70 minutes. About 160 people survived both atomic bombings and late in life Mr. Yamaguchi became an advocate for peace. Directed by Hidetaka Inazuka; followed by Q & A;
Sunday, March 13
1pm: Beating the Bomb; 71 minutes. Chronicles the development of the anti-nuclear movement in the UK and its many victories. Directed by Wolfgang Matt and Meera Patel; followed by Q & A.
2:45: Death & Taxes; 30 minutes. Documents the full spectrum of people refusing to pay war taxes, from token underpayments to refusing to pay any tax at all; the risks, the tactics, the successes. Produced by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.
3:30: Free World; 39 minutes. An 18 person delegation from the US travels to Hiroshima & Nagasaki to seek forgiveness. Directed by Ashley Michael Karitas; followed by Q & A.
4:45pm: Billboard from Bethlehem; 63 minutes. What happens when Palestinian & Israeli children gather in Bethlehem to paint a mural depicting reconciliation? Produced by iwagepeace.org;
6pm: The Children of Adam; 6 minutes. Reflections on a visit to Iran and the American portrayal of Iran. Nina Aghaheikzadeh, filmmaker.
Silent Screams; 36 minutes. A trip to Iran & a wedding in the Kurdish village of Qarchighah highlight the common threads that unite all people. Produced and narrated by Karla Hansen.
Q & A session with both filmmakers follows the second screening.
7:15pm: Un Pokito De Tanta Verdad (A Little Bit of So Much Truth); 90 minutes. A 6-month non-violent uprising in the Mexican State of Oaxaca is violently repressed, but a people find dignity and solidarity. Directed by Jill Freidberg.