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Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Date Sunday February 19
Time 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorAnuj Vaidya
Location Details
Pacific Film Archive 2575 Bancroft Way @ Bowditch
UC Berkeley
The Troubles We’ve Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime Marcel Ophuls (France/Germany/U.K., 1994)

Introduced by Mark Danner

Mark Danner is a professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1990 and is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.

(Veillées d'armes). “Ethnic cleansing, that brings back memories,” Marcel Ophuls (The Sorrow and the Pity, Hotel Terminus) muses on the train to Sarajevo in this epic, ironic investigation of war and the journalistic impulse, completed in 1994 but only now being distributed in the United States. Ophuls traveled to the besieged city in 1993 to mingle with the motley crew of reporters camped out at the Holiday Inn; his interviews with French, British, American, and Bosnian journalists deliver trenchant observations on the political, ethical, and psychological factors behind the making of news. (Other interview subjects include Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who claims his country's freedom of the press is “unparalleled,” but says “don't trust my explanation.” “I won't,” Ophuls replies.) Excerpting films by his father Max Ophuls, adopting the Marx Brothers as muse, the director employs a strategy of playful self-reference in the midst of horror; between feints at media and mediation, he moves in for a sucker punch of reality. As legendary reporter Martha Gellhorn, who survived both the Spanish Civil War and a marriage to Ernest Hemingway, puts it: “the brave are funny.”

—Juliet Clark

• Written by Ophuls. Photographed by Pierre Boffety. (226 mins plus intermission, In English, French, German, and Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles, Color, Video, From Milestone)
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Jan 31st, 2006 3:21 PM

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