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25/02/2017 @ 11:00 - 06/05/2017 @ 17:00
25 February – 6 May 2017
We dedicate the 8th year program of Saturdox to the theme of “enforced disappearances” in collaboration with the Memory Center.
Enforced disappearance is one of the cruelest forms of violence used by states with legacies of coup d’états, ethnic conflicts and civil wars to suppress and intimidate opposition groups. This form of violence was used systematically in 1970-80’s in Latin American countries like Brasil, Chile and Argentina against diverse sections of society, such as workers, villagers, students and trade unionists, who in search of social justice emerged as political entities. Despite the novelty of the legal norm, however, disappearing dissidents as a tactic is inherent neither to this period, nor to this continent. The tactic was later implemented in various countries like Philippines, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Bosnia and Syria. The first known precedent of the crime is the Night and Fog Directive (Nacht und Nebel Erlass) put into force in 1941 by the Nazi Regime. Once associated primarily to military dictatorships in the context of Latin American experiences, disappearances have now become a global phenomenon, happening in many internal conflicts.
In Turkey, although the history of disappearing people goes back to first years of the Republic, its widespread and systematic implementation has been against Kurdish civilians within the context of the armed conflict between the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Truth Justice Memory Center (Hafıza Merkezi) – a human rights organization based in Istanbul – works to uncover the truth about these violations, strengthen the collective memory about them, and support survivors in their pursuit of justice.
Within the context of this subject, 8 documentary films will be shown every other Saturday between dates 25th of February and 6th of May. The program is put together by the collaboration of Depo, Documentarist and the Memory Center and it will include stories of “enforced disappearances” that bear certain similarities to each other but each being an outcome of very specific circumstances, from different parts of the world such as Turkey, Lebanon, Chile, Bosnia, Argentina and Cyprus. At the first and last event of the program, guest speakers specializing on the subject will join for a discussion following the screenings.
25 Feb., Sat. 19:00
The Endless Grief (O İklimde Kalırdı Acılar / Kêl)
Dir. Zeynel Koç, Cenk Örtülü
Discussion: “Enforced Disappearances and Impunity in Turkey”, Melis Gebeş, Truth Justice Memory Center, Legal Studies Program
People searching for the bones of their loved ones in mass graves, and Selim, the documentary photographer who captures them… As Selim shoulders the burden of his graveless son, he listens to the stories of Adnan, who says “I could not carry out my father’s final wish,” or mother Türkan, who wails “we would speak out our troubles if we had but a grave,” or mother Şerife, who says “my soul for the gravestone over your heart!” When the state digs the mass graves with heavy equipment and scoops further traumatising the relatives of the deceased, Selim observes once more that the Kurdish geography has a long way to advance in terms of justice.
11 March, Sat. 19:00
Sleepless Nights (Layali Bala Noom)
Dir. Eliane Raheb
Sleepless are the nights of Assaad Shaftari, a former high-ranking intelligence officer in the Lebanese Forces, who feels guilt for his bloody acts during the civil war and the nights of Maryam Saidi, the mother who’s still searching for her son Maher, a young communist fighter who disappeared in 1982. While each of them is looking for salvation, the film asks if redemption and forgiveness are possible in a community that seems unable to heal itself.
25 March, Sat. 19:00
The Future is Ours (El Futuro Est Nuestro)
Dir. Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molina
The film tells the story of a teenagers group kidnapped and disappeared by the Argentinian dictatorship in 1976. They were students of the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, the oldest and most prestigious High School in the country. There, 108 pupil were killed by military government. This group of young were between 15 and 19 years old. At the beginning of the seventies, they created the most important and the biggest political group that gather young people to fight for the Socialist Revolution. They lived beautiful days where the friendship and the love were interrupted by the violence and the death, brought by the military force…
8 April, Sat. 19:00
Dir. Carla Valencia Davila
A woman from the countryside migrates from Bolivia to Chile where she washes clothes to earn a living. She faces poverty by herself while becoming a single mother. Years later, during Pinochet`s military dictatorship her elder son is detained and becomes a political prisoner.
The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar)
Dir. Patricio Guzman
In his follow up to his previous documentary “Nostalgia for the Light”, which told the story of the desert and those who perished in it, Chilean director Patricio Guzman lends an ear to the memory of water, the fundamental source of life on Earth. “The Pearl Button” grapples with ghosts of the past by tackling topics such as the dark history of the Chilean land, Pinochet’s dictatorship and the curse of the “white man” as it chases the story of the two mysterious buttons found on the ocean floor. This documentary can be described as an essay-film on “memory” and “sense of past”. The film has won Silver Bear in Berlinale 2015 for Best Screenplay.
22 April, Sat. 19:00
Remember Me (Sjeti Me Se)
Dir. Azra Hodzic
“Remember Me” tells a powerful story of two young women whose fathers were disappeared during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina: one is Hasema, who was only two years old when her father was taken to the Keraterm camp, and the other is Lejla, who was only a few months old when her father was disappeared. Enforced disappearances were among the most heinous crimes committed during the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the children of the disappeared have been particularly affected.
Dir. Heddy Honigmann
Have you ever been caught stealing? Not even a gum? Can we think of this film as stealing images? Then what about the ones who have stolen people’s lives from their loved ones? The film is a profound thinking exercise on Ten Commandments’ “Thou shalt not steal” dictum which suggests looking to the fact of disappeared from the perspective of “stealing”.
6 May, Sat. 19:00
In This Waiting
Dir. Anna Tsiarta
Some two thousand Greek and Turkish Cypriots went missing during the bi-communal conflicts of the 1960s and the Turkish military intervention and occupation in 1974. Seven relatives of those missing recall their harrowing stories: from their last moments together until recent exhumations began to shed light on the possible fate of their loved ones. As they struggle to come to terms with what happened then and what the future may hold, their stories reveal how those events have shaped not only their lives, but also their divided country.
Discussion: “Dealing with the Past and Peace Building in Cyprus in 43rd Year of the Division”, Fezile Osum, Istanbul Bilgi University, Human Rights Law LLM Program