Telling true tales of courage and adversity
In the sea of premieres and red carpets and film stars that are due to descend on the streets of the Hamptons this Thursday, there’s an island of documentary films of the struggles faced by real people around the world.
The Hamptons International Film Festival’s “Films of Conflict and Resolution” series has been a part of the festival for 14 years, and this year stories of hardships of residents of Egypt, South Africa, Israel, Uganda and Lebanon will be interspersed throughout the entertainment.
This Sunday at 3 p.m., the festival will host the North American premiere of “Plot for Peace,” directors Carlos Agullo and Mandy Jacobson’s look inside the diplomatic maneuvering that freed Nelson Mandela from prison in South Africa in the 1980s, at the United Artists Cinema in East Hampton. “Plot for Peace” is this year’s winner of the festival’s $5,000 Films of Conflict & Resolution Award. The film will also be shown Oct. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the East Hampton UA Cinema.
Jehane Noujaim’s “The Square,” which follows a group of protesters through their time at Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, took this year’s Conflict and Resolution honorable mention. “The Square” will be shown on Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Sag Harbor Cinema and on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the United Artists Cinema in East Hampton.
“Plot for Peace” is the story of a mysterious French businessman named Jean-Ives Ollivier who helped to broker Mr. Mandela’s release. After the premiere, Mr. Ollivier, the directors, and political science and African studies experts will discuss the making of the film with the audience.
The trailer is available below:
“The Square” takes on the generation gap between the ideas of older and younger Egyptians over the past two years, and the role of media in keeping the revolution in the spotlight in Egypt.
“As long as there’s a camera, the revolution will continue,” says one of the young subjects of the film, which follows a group of young protesters from all segments of society over the course of their involvement in the protests.
Three other films round out the Films of Conflict and Resolution series: The East Coast premiere of Eliane Raheb’s “Sleepless Nights,” a look into the intertwinded lives of an intelligence officer and the mother of a student who disappeared during the Lebanese Civil War; Roger Ross Williams’ “God Loves Uganda,” a look inside the American evangelical movement in Uganda that the festival describes as “shocking, horrifying, touching and enlightening”; and Amos Gitai’s “Ana Arabia,” the story of a young journalist’s interactions with a family of Jews and Arabs in a shanty town on the border between Jaffa and Bat Yam in Israel.
“God Loves Uganda” will be shown Sun., Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the United Artists theater in East Hampton and “Ana Arabia” will be shown Sun., Sept. 13 at 12:45 p.m. at the United Artists theater in Southampton.
“Fourteen years ago, HIFF created strong signature programs and partnerships to showcase films that engage viewers in world affairs,” said the festival’s executive director, Anne Chaisson, in announcing the slate of films last week. “We are honored to partner with and grateful to the Brizzolara Family Foundation for their continued support of our efforts to bring these unique and groundbreaking films the attention that they richly deserve.”
The full slate of programming for the film festival is available online here.