By Ratha Lehall
On Monday 14 July, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of Seeds of Hope, a documentary which focuses on the effect of rape in Eastern Congo, where it has become a widely used weapon of war. The film centres around one woman, Masika, who is herself a victim of rape, and her determination to provide a centre for recovery and sanctuary for other women who have been raped, as well as taking in many children who have either been orphaned or rejected due to their violent origins.
“Where can I go to have a decent life?”
On Friday 11 June, Shorts at the Frontline Club took viewers on a cinematic journey that showcased the different ways used to document the world we live in.
The theme: migration and the phases of migration.
Two at the Border by Tuna Kaptan and Felicitas Sonvilla shone a light onto the lives Ali and Nasser. The two friends attempt to make ends meet by helping refugees to the Turkish-Greek border. Ali is Palestinian, traumatised by the violence he has witnessed. “Problems, problems everywhere,” he repeats with bloodshot eyes.
“Where can I go to have a decent live?” Ali asks the universe.
As if replying to Ali, Europe’s response to the rising number of refugees has been increased militarisation of the Greece–Turkey border. The film is dedicated to Naser, who attempted to smuggle himself into Greece. The boat he was on allegedly capsized in the Aegean Sea, and he has been missing ever since.
“The Journey towards you Lord, is life. To set off is to die a little.” (The Migrants’ Prayer)
On Monday 7 July 2014, the Frontline Club screened Who is Dayani Cristal? The film follows actor Gael García Bernal as he retraced the footsteps of a Honduran man found dead in the Arizonan desert – one of the thousands of lives snuffed out by the lure of the American Dream.
Director and cinematographer Marc Silver joined us for the Q&A.
By Lisa Dupuy
Where there are borders, attempts will likely be made to cross them in the hope of reaching greener pastures. But the individuals who try are not necessarily welcomed by those who live on the other side. Fences, walls and legislation are thrown up to at least regulate the influx of migrants. And in some cases, borders are made dangerous.
By Antonia Roupell
On Thursday 26 June an audience collected at the Frontline Club to watch Martin Scorsese and his longtime documentary collaborator David Tedeschi’s latest film: The 50 Year Argument. This multi-layered documentary offered a unique historical retrospective over the last 50 years through the eyes of the iconic New York Review of Books. The film interweaves monumental historical events with critical analysis of their consequences by some of the Review‘s contributors, through interviews and unique archival footage. The screening was in partnership with the award-winning arts programme BBC Arena and concluded in a Q&A with its series editor Anthony Wall, also the film’s executive producer.
A compelling Frontline Club event on Wednesday 25 June showcased film and photographic work from across the globe that revealed both the depth of suffering and the strength of human spirit in some of the world’s most devastating internal conflicts.
Featured at the event was a series of photographs from Tim Freccia in South Sudan, Alvaro Ybarra Zavala in Venezuela, Eman Mohammed in Gaza and Daniel Berehulak in Afghanistan, curated by multimedia photojournalist and filmmaker John D McHugh.
The event culminated in a screening of Ground Zero Syria, a dramatic film by Robert King featuring unprecedented footage of the brutal conflict in Syria, and an impassioned interview with King by The Times journalist Anthony Loyd that offered some chilling conclusions about the future of the conflict.
By Allendria Brunjes
A six-person panel, experienced with an array of whistleblowing cases, came together at the Frontline Club on Tuesday 17 June for the Amnesty International event, Protecting Whistleblowers.
Speaking to a sold out room, the panel – which included lawyers, a journalist and a whistleblower – discussed issues of truth, access to information and disseminating information, integrating their own experiences into the talk. All agreed that whistleblowers need to be protected when working in the interests of the people.
Return to Homs follows two close friends and young revolutionaries as their beloved city is taken over by the army. Basset is a local football star, the goalkeeper for the Syrian national team who also became an iconic singer in the revolution, and Ossama is a media activist and pacifist.
The intimate portrait shows how they transform from peaceful protestors by August 2011 into rebel insurgents in August 2013 as Homs is turned into a bombed-out ghost town. The film directed by Talal Derki was previewed at the Frontline Club on Friday 13 June and a Q&A with producer Orwa Nyrabia via Skype followed.
In the aftermath of victory for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in recent presidential elections, Egypt’s government faces a huge challenge to unite a fragmented society behind difficult economic reforms, agreed a panel of experts speaking at the Frontline Club on 10 June 2014, chaired by Rasha Qandeel, presenter and journalist at BBC Arabic.
By Elliott Goat
The Frontline Club’s First Wednesdays kicked off a discussion on the news story that has dominated all others over the past month: Boko Haram and the hunt for Nigeria’s missing schoolgirls. Channel 4 News’ foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller, chairing the evening’s discussion, began by asking who are Boko Haram? What are their ultimate objectives? How have they evolved to take centre stage in the global media spotlight?
By Tom Adams
On Tuesday 3 June, with just a week to go until the start of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Frontline Club hosted a fully booked event on preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict, with specialist reference to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
By Ratha Lehall
On Monday 2 June, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of Secrets of the Vatican, which was followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director and producer, Anthony Thomas. The film focuses on the sexual abuse scandals that emerged from within the Vatican during the time when Pope Benedict led the Roman Catholic Church, and looks to the future with Pope Francis. It hears testimonies from people who have been abused by Roman Catholic priests, as well as members of the clergy and also journalists and experts on the Vatican.