MAWO 3rd Annual
Antiwar Film Festival
On the weekend of December 17th & 18th MAWO organized Vancouver’s 3rd Annual Antiwar Film Festival to bring the struggle of humanity against imperialism to the big screen and to great response from the public. The film festival offered two full days of films documenting war and human struggle for social justice and liberation, 19 in total, completely free and open to all. MAWO’s Annual Antiwar Film Festival garnered widespread support in its third year as a major cultural and progressive event in the city with 29 sponsors.
Films like “The Israeli Wall in Palestinian Land”, “Uxuf Xipay, El Despojo (The Plunder)”, “Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story” and “You Are on Indian Land” took viewers on a journey through the fight of Indigenous nations against colonization from Palestine to Chile and deep into Canada’s bloody history of imperialist plunder and genocide. The many films on Iraq and the special feature on the US massacres in Fallujah connected these historical fights against colonialism to the axis of the struggle today – the occupation of Iraq and the fight of the Iraqi people for self-determination (to view the detailed program of the film festival please CLICK HERE).
Running through the festival was the theme of exposing Canadian imperialism, through the last few centuries until now and in it’s present actions in Haiti, Afghanistan and at home. A critical element in understanding Canada’s home-country imperialism was the big-screen premiere of the multimedia presentation, “Canadian Imperialism at Home and Abroad”, produced by MAWO organizers just this year. The presentation exposed in detail Canada’s imperialist role in supporting the invasion and occupation of Iraq, participation in leading the invasion of Haiti in 2004 and its central role in the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. The presentation also showed colonization of Indigenous people in Canada and recent operations of the government of Canada against Indigenous people. Exposing Canada further in the war at home, the presentation also showed the recent wave of government and attacks by their corporate backers on working people with the wave of labour struggles in the last 2 years as well as the struggle by the Front Liberation Quebec (FLQ) against attacks and suppression of sovereignty of Quebec.
While delving into the destruction and brutality of imperialism there was also a focus on hope and a vision for the future. The films on anti-imperialist leaders contained in the special feature “Lumumba, Chavez & Fidel: Anti Imperialist Then, Anti-Imperialist Now” showed the examples of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo in 1961, Hugo Chavez now in Venezuela and Cuban leader Fidel Castro of the last 45 years. This feature inspired and gave light to the perspectives of these leaders on resisting colonialist plunder for the rights and dignity of their oppressed nations and for all oppressed people around the world.
MAWO’s 3rd Annual Antiwar Film Festival transported around 300 people in Vancouver back in time, across the world to see destruction, struggle and hope through the eyes of oppressed people globally. MAWO’s 3rd Annual Antiwar Film Festival opened a space for participants to have more of an account of the ravages of colonialism and imperialism historically and today.
As MAWO organizer Nicole Burton closed the festival, she reflected the larger perspective of the film festival and the antiwar movement; “We in MAWO are inspired by what we have seen and learned this weekend. We hope that others will join us in our mission and this human responsibility to take action, and follow in the struggle of those who have gone before us, fighting alongside each other against war, against occupation, for self-determination for all oppressed nations and for a better world.”
For program and other details from the 2006 film festival go to:www.mawovancouver.org/filmfest_program.html
To order your copy of MAWO’s multimedia presentation and educational tool “Canadian Imperialism at Home and Abroad” for only 5$ contact MAWO at 604.322.1764 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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