IC Event 2/11 7-8 pm Textor 103: Telling Truths in Arusha – a film about justice after genocide

Please come to this event at Ithaca College:
PRESS RELEASE  (draft / official release will be posted 2/4/13)
Telling Truths in Arusha – a film about justice after genocide
Director:  Beate Arnestad
Date:  11 February 2013
Time: 7-8 p.m. screening, followed by a discussion with director Beate Arnestad
Venue: Textor 103, Ithaca College
Free and open to the public
Ithaca College will screen Telling Truths in Arusha, a powerful documentary by Norwegian filmmaker Beate Arnestad on February 11, 2013 at 7 p.m. in Textor 103. A discussion will follow.
Telling Truths in Arusha follows the case of Father Hormisdas, who was put on trial by a United Nations tribunal 15 years after his alleged involvement in the 1994 Rwandan massacre. Prosecutor Brian Wallace vigorously pursues the case, but with little hard evidence, the Norwegian judge, Erik Møse, has to base his judgment solely on witness testimony — and their versions of “the truth.”
A discussion with filmmaker Beate Arnestad and prosecutor Brian Wallace, moderated by politics professor Dr. Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, will follow the screening.
The documentary explores the complexities of seeking justice after genocide. Arnestad handles the subject with sensitivity as she follows the legal processes that seek to bring about justice after genocide. Unique courtroom access makes this a documentary of rare insight.
This screening and discussion are taking place in conjunction with a class on International Human Rights Litigation being taught at the college this spring by Scholar in Residence Sonali Samarasinghe, who was one of the subjects of Arnestad’s most recent film, Silenced Voices.
A lawyer and journalist who focused on government corruption in her native Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe fled the country with other members of her family in 2009 following the assassination of her husband. Silenced Voices, which will be screened at this spring’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, tells the story of the civil war in Sri Lanka from the point of view of journalists who have faced threats for exposing war crimes, corruption and massacres of civilians.
The Ithaca College Honors Program sponsors the February 11 screening and discussion, with co-sponsorship from the Departments of Politics and Writing.
About the filmmaker
Norwegian filmmaker Beate Arnestad worked for over 20 years at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK, where she produced and directed content for both the entertainment and documentary departments. Her first documentary, Where the Waves Sing (2002), traced the life of a former painter and governor in the forgotten Danish-Norwegian colony Tranquebar in India. While living in Sri Lanka from 2003 to 2006, she started exploring the concept of women in war, which turned into the film My Daughter the Terrorist.
Arnestad has worked in Egypt, Turkey, India, China, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and various countries in Europe. Since 2003, she has worked as an independent documentary film director.
Director’s Statement:
I have known Erik Møse since I was a little girl. For many years, I had somewhat followed his career and knew he had progressed to become one of the world’s foremost human rights jurists. During the past ten years, he has been living in Arusha, Tanzania, both as the president of ICTR and as one of its presiding judges. His most famous court case is the trial against Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, whom he sentenced to life imprisonment for his role as the mastermind of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Almost two years ago, I asked him about the possibilities of making a documentary film dealing with these issues. He told me that no one had ever made such a film. Many, among them journalists from several major TV channels, had made an attempt but given up, as such a project seemed to be costly and difficult to finance, he told me. However, if you manage, he said, I will give you exclusive access to my courtroom.
I introduced the project to producer Gudny Hummelvold, whom I have known for years. She signed on. When the first funding part was secured, we travelled to Africa for research and initial filming and returned overwhelmed by these historic and globally important trials that were unfolding in front of our eyes. I proposed to follow one court case in detail that had just begun and was happy to learn that all parties involved in the case against Father Nsengimana agreed to accommodate us in the attempt to make an in-depth documentary film dealing with justice and truth.
Furthermore, we decided we go beyond the courtrooms in Arusha in our quest. ICTR head prosecutor Hassan Jallow supported our idea to follow prosecution investigators inside Rwanda. Likewise the defense team agreed to let us be a “fly on the wall” in their hunt for defense witnesses.