According to TV evangelist Pat Robertson: “In a free society, the police and the military are God’s special envoys.” This program of 10 short films selected by Abigail Addison highlight the horrors of conflict in a collective call to peace.
The evening’s entertainment kicks off with “Bradley Manning Had Secrets” and the plight of the lone soldier. Here the infamous Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley) talks of the classified military information leaked to Julian Assange that she had hoped would provoke discussion globally and bring about reform within the military, but instead brought about her incarceration as a traitor to the US. “Sounding Glass” and “A Short Film About War” similarly reflect on the humanity of those who have witnessed atrocities during warfare.
Animation is employed in all of the films, as a means to highlight war and unrest in vibrant, exuberant and illuminating ways, with some artists producing new perspectives by manipulating existing material. “In Free Society,” Garrin flashes a barrage of digital images of police brutality on to the screen in criticism of the assertion by TV evangelist Pat Roberts that “in a free society, the police and the military are God’s special envoys.” Whereas in “I’ve got a guy running,” Kirk abstracts military combat footage to mere outline to signal how desensitized we are to graphic images of warfare in the media.
The program ends with “Z,” a cautionary film that hints at a dark future if things remain the same; followed by “The Invisibles,” featuring the socialist anthem The Internationale calling to unite humanity against all forms of tyranny, offering hope after the horrors of the preceding films.
“Bradley Manning Had Secrets,” Adam Butcher
“Join the Freedom Force,” Martha Colburn
“Sounding Glass,” Sylvia Schedelbauer
“Free Society,” Paul Garrin
“I’ve got a guy running,” Jonathan Kirk
“Freedom,” Eva and Franco Mattes
“Spin,” Max Hattler
“A Short Film about War,” Thomson & Craighead
“Z,” Alan Warburton
“The Invisibles,” Nisha Duggal
Please note: the program contains flashing imagery.
Abigail Addison is a freelance arts producer based in London, England, who specializes in working with artists and producers on inventive artists’ moving image projects. She is also Associate Director at Animate Projects, the UK’s only arts charity to support and promote experiments in animation.