Seeing things differently: Doc(k) Day takes viewers around the world
By Jenn Watt
Published April 11, 2017
Saturday’s documentary day gave attendees a new way to view the world, organizer Tammy Rea said at the conclusion of the annual spring event. The audience could see the world through the words written by New York Times obituary writers in Obit, through the lens of cinematographer Kirsten Johnson in Cameraperson, or through the other senses of blind angler Lawrence Gunther in What Lies Below.
The day of documentaries, titled Doc(k) Day, is put on by Those Other Movies and involves the efforts of a handful of volunteers who select films to bring to the Haliburton audience. They’re screened throughout the day at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.
The final two films of the day, What Lies Below and In Pursuit of Peace, included Q&A sessions with the directors.
Garry Beitel, director of In Pursuit of Peace, told the audience that he saw promise in the work of UN Habitat, which deploys mediators into conflict zones. His film noted that Canada’s role as a peacekeeping nation had waned and that military intervention was no way to promote peace.
The film follows unarmed civilian peace-makers in some of the world’s most war torn areas including South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Iraq.
It illustrated some of the dilemmas encountered when outside mediators step into conflicts that have involved injury, betrayal and sometimes death and rape. How do communities move forward after those kinds of hostilities? While the film clearly favoured peaceful negotiation over further violence, the scenes Beitel captured demonstrated there are no clear answers. Conflict resolution is hard work and can take decades.
Beitel said the filmmakers had been invited to screen In Pursuit of Peace at the United Nations and he hoped it would get to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Aside from Doc(k) Day and the Haliburton International Film Festival in the fall, Those Other Movies also brings important and entertaining movies to Haliburton each month from September to June. The next film is Manchester by the Sea, showing on April 13. For more details, see their website.