WHEN THE TANKS CRY FOR US
The title of this year’s section dedicated to justice and contemporary wars is, of course, ironic: tanks will never cry for us, yet they often speak for us. They are, in a more general sense, a metaphor for all violations of human rights, which take place openly, for all to see in totalitarian regimes or in areas of conflict, but also, in an insidious manner, in our own democratic societies.
The pandemic we’re going through emphasized two already known, but oftentimes undigested aspects: first of all, the gigantic control apparatus which states own – and which can easily go from being mobilized to work for the benefit of the citizens to being turned against them. Secondly, people’s need to reunite – physically as well - to constitute a political force: even under sanitary crisis conditions, mass demonstrations still kept breaking out from Myanmar to Minneapolis. The right to express oneself, to object, to demand the truth, as well as the personal journey each has to travel to reach the level of awareness needed for engaging in such a fight in the name of equity are the central topics of the nine films in the section.
Moreover, their varied geographical origins (from Martinique to the seas of Papua New Guinea, passing through the United States, Argentina, the Middle East, Romania, and Russia) and the vast temporal landscape they cover (from the times when the Cold War was in full swing to this day) show us not only that the peace and the democracy which rule in one part of the world are never guaranteed, but also that they shouldn’t act as an anesthetic of our empathy and our concern for the less privileged.