Global Peace Film Festival Film Reviews: Part 1

Photo courtesy of World Peace Film Festival

Review “Happy Valentine’s Day”

By: Anna Caruso (’23)

“Happy Valentine’s Day” presents a personal tale of strength and vulnerability. Avery Anger’s short film “Happy Valentine’s Day” offers her personal story as a survivor of the Parkland school shooting.

She titles this film “Happy Valentine’s Day”, because this tragic shooting took place on Valentine’s Day in 2018 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, forever combining a holiday representing love and happiness with mourning. and loss. After experiencing the unthinkable tragedy of surviving the shooting and losing her close friend, Gina, at the age of fourteen, Anger became a passionate advocate to fight for a future in which no child would have to relive the trauma from a school shooting.

Anger pays heartfelt tribute to those who lost their lives on this tragic Valentine’s Day by displaying images and names of each of the victims, compelling the public to acknowledge the humanity of those who died. Anger then speaks directly to the camera, acknowledging how it seems only young people are really advocating against gun violence. She urges adults to understand the intensity of the problem of gun violence in the United States and to use their voice to take a stand.

This short film has a lasting influence on audiences, as Anger’s vulnerability and strength have an emotional impact on viewers, inspiring them to join the fight against gun violence.

“The Art of Non-War” Exam

From: Lucille Stul

In his film “The Art of Un-War”, Director Maria Niro follows acclaimed Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko as he embarks on a remarkable journey to reframe the public’s perspective on war and how we interact with it in our daily lives.

Niro masterfully captures Wodiczko’s artwork and space from the late 1980s to the present day. Wodiczko’s main long-term project is to completely restructure the Arc de Triomphe in France to bring the public closer to the faces sporting the war monument.

The film captures the audience’s attention in a way that causes audiences to completely reevaluate how we interact with these monuments; rather than landmarks to honor the dead, they are statements to romanticize war and the “nobility” – the masochism – of dying and killing for a country anchored throughout our lives. This reframe shows how Wodiczko wants to bring the public closer to these monuments, to make the survivors of war speak through these monuments, to show them what war really brings and to spark conversation among people – why do we keep going to war when all this destroys us? Even for those who never knew the war or who don’t remember the war, the echoes of it touch us all deeply.

A film for artists, activists and the public, “The Art of Un-War” is an essential story for the future of our world.

‘Ahimsah’ Exam

From: Saachi Dalal

Some of the first words in the movie, “Ahimsa: Gandhi – The Power of the Powerless” are, “Ahimsa is the supreme dharma. It is supreme control and supreme generosity. It is the supreme austerity, and it is the supreme force. Audiences are captivated as Ramesh Sharma directs the film to explain the real meaning of Ahimsa and its lasting impact.

In a way, Gandhi’s legacy continues to speak to the global conscience as countries seek solutions to complex problems and communities struggle to restore basic human rights and ensure the dignity of the disadvantaged and abused. The film details the global impact of Gandhi’s message of non-violence, including how it influenced many movements and challenges to injustice, oppression and racism.

The documentary captivates audiences by featuring archival footage, photographs and interviews with scholars, biographers and close family members of world-renowned Mahatma Gandhi to share the powerful impact of ‘Ahimsa’ – the no -violence. Ahimsa is truly a remarkable and eye-opening film that takes audiences on a journey of activism through nonviolence. Ramesh Sharma’s love and knowledge for the subject of Gandhi’s non-violence ran through the film for viewers.


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