The Movies that Matter festival in The Hague, successor to the Amnesty International film event, has attracted three thousand more visitors than last year. Some 17,500 people flocked to see more than 70 human rights films and documentaries or to attend daily talk shows and debates with international guests.
At the prize ceremony on Wednesday, a Golden Butterfly was awarded to the directors of the documentary Sarabah - who followed Senegalese rap singer Sister Fa on her campaign against genital mutilation - and to Palestinian activist Ayed Morrar.
Subjected to mutilation herself as a child, Senegal’s queen of hip hop endeavoured to protect other girls from a similar fate. Maria Luisa Gambale and Gloria Bremer followed her back to her native village to try to put an end to this grievous tradition through music and education.
Ayed Morrar’s campaign showed that non-violent resistance can bear fruit. Israeli authorities had planned to build a segregation wall in the activist’s native Budrus, a small Palestinian village northwest of Ramallah, which would have deprived the Palestinian residents of their main source of income – the centuries-old olive trees. Thanks to Morrar’s unrelenting efforts, uniting Fatah and Hamas, the security barrier was eventually constructed outside the village.
The documentary Impunity by Juan José Lozano and Hollman Morris, which investigated the horrific violence within Colombian paramilitary groups, was awarded the Silver Butterfly. The winner of the MovieSquad All Rights Award for films about today’s youth was Neukölln Unlimited, which follows Lebanese break dance refugees in a Berlin district.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide 2011