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Children & War

Come check out the new Special Section with a Spotlight on Children & War. My intention for this section is not to pull at our heartstrings about the unfairness of Children & War signwar and the collateral damage of slaughtered innocent children during war. More my intention is to use the art of film, the language of visual communication to convey ideas, emotions and stories of how war affects the lives of children, and how through the arrogance and the hubris of adulthood we impose horrors beyond most of our imaginations on children across the globe. This is not a "blame America" section of guilt, every government is capable of atrocities, this is more of a condemnation of failed systems run by ruling classes with collective amnesia, the amnesia of forgotten childhood. Often times especially during a political season "innocent children" are brought up to manipulate us emotionally to support some political position or another, abortion, health care, education are common examples. But in the case of disease, famine and especially war it can be easy to loose site of what is truly at stake. Quite simply put, the future. Not the incredibly trite Michael Jackson pop song "Children are the future", or the crass use of kids by political pundits trying to score talking head spin points. I mean really the future, the generation we as responsible adults are teaching by example, whether we notice that the kids are paying attention to us or not. Aside from a culture that glorifies violence (and shuns sensuality and love) with Hollywood garbage, reality TV cruelty and video game carnage, all at our kids fingertips, we live and perpetuate a culture of WAR. One may argue that war has been with (in)humanity since the beginning of civilization, but one may also see when the blinders are truly pulled from our fogged over eyes that this culture has perfected war (the perfection of endless conflict), war consciousness, war propaganda, war economy and war entertainment to be consumed day in and day out. Whether we like it or not our culture teaches conflict resolution through violence. We are all affected (unless one buys the product of patriotic church sanctioned nationalistic violence) and our hearts are heavy. This culture has an infection like a cancer that is slowly eating away at our soul; we are conditioned to live in a state of fear of the "other". This disease is much bigger than a presidential election for yet another Republicrat or even the seemingly endless eternal war on terrorism. It won't be solved over night by going to a voting booth in November; it will take confronting the war in ourselves. Stepping out of the norm of assimilated conformist culture and questioning who we are. It takes involvement in our communities, with our friends, our families and especially with ALL the children in our lives. TigersThese films I have selected for this section is just a small example of what children can and do experience during wartime. It is a slice of cinema, an incomplete film list and I'm sure many films could be added to this section that I have missed and have yet to be exposed too (feel free to add titles to the comments below). So from the emotionally draining brutality of COME AND SEE Come and Seeor the Roger Waters' cathartic rock musical PINK FLOYD, THE WALL, to recent documentary IRAQ IN FRAGMENTSiraq in fragments, we touch on numerous visions of how war affects children from infancy to older teens. Not every film is directly involved with bombings and death, some are much more subtle. For example SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE deals with a child's confusion with her mixing of fantasy and reality after war has altered her country or GERMANY PALE MOTHER and how a baby's life is framed by the parent's experience of war. In the end we see stories from abject horror to acts of compassion and survival, where a child loses their innocence and their mind or heals and moves on with their lives. Hopefully the selections in this section CHILDREN AND WAR will expose you to new art, new stories and can be a catalyst for confronting our useless culture of war.