Center for Global Studies

Spring 2010 Film Series


Global Justice: Responses from Around the World to Mass Atrocity


A film series sponsored by the Transitional/Transnational Working Group at the Center for Global Studies, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution/Point of View, Global Interdisciplinary Programs & University Libraries.

Over the past three decades, national and international responses to mass atrocity, severe political repression, and crimes against humanity have increased both in number and type, ranging from truth commissions to international and domestic tribunals to prosecute those responsible for such crimes.

The Spring 2010 film series ‘Global Justice: Responses from Around the World to Mass Atrocity’ offers a variety of cinematic representations of these varying responses to atrocity and human rights violations. The film series includes documentary films that explore a wide variety of issues, from the “missing” children of Argentina, who were abducted by the military during that country’s brutal dictatorship; the personal story of one family’s tale of survival of the genocidal violence of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge; the challenges of the Sierra Leone truth commission after years of devastating violence in that country; the efforts by indigenous people in Ecuador to challenge corporate destruction of the environment through unprecedented legal action; and the role of the International Criminal Court in Colombia and three African countries.

The film series is the result of a collaboration among Mason faculty members across a variety of disciplines who have collaborated since 2007 in the Transitional/Transnational Working Group to study and research different mechanisms of coping with past mass violence and injustice. The Working Group is an initiative of the Center for Global Studies and receives support from Point of View at the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR).

Our hope is that the film series will initiate a campus-wide debate within the Mason community about the challenges of global justice not only in far-away places such as Colombia and Sierra Leone, but at home as well.


Questions regarding the films may be directed to Professor Jo-Marie Burt or Professor John Dale. Questions on locations and times may be directed to Arnaud Kurze.


Full film schedule [pdf]

The Reckoning-The Battle for the International Criminal Court

February 23 @ 4:30 pm—Mason Hall, Meese Conference Room

For official film site, click here

Featuring panel discussion by Mason faculty John Dale


Late in the 20th century, in response to repeated mass atrocities around the world, more than 120 countries united to form the International Criminal Court (ICC)—the first permanent court created to prosecute perpetrators (no matter how powerful) of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. The Reckoning follows dynamic ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and his team for 3 years across 4 continents as he issues arrest warrants for Lord’s Resistance Army leaders in Uganda, puts Congolese warlords on trial, shakes up the Colombian justice system, and charges Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir with genocide in Darfur, challenging the UN Security Council to arrest him. Building cases against genocidal criminals presents huge challenges, and the Prosecutor has a mandate but no police force. At every turn, he must pressure the international community to muster political will for the cause. Like a deft thriller, The Reckoning keeps you on the edge of your seat, in this case with two riveting dramas—the prosecution of unspeakable crimes and the ICC’s fight for efficacy in its nascent years. As this tiny court in The Hague struggles to change the world and forge a new paradigm for justice, innocent victims suffer and wait. Will the Prosecutor succeed? Will the world ensure that justice prevails?


Witness to Truth - A Video Report and Recommendations from the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission

March 4 @ 7:30 pm—SUB II Ballroom
For official film site, click here

Featuring discussion led by Mason faculty Patricia Maulden


In a ground-breaking use of video documentation, WITNESS was invited by the Sierra Leonean Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in late 2003 to produce the first video accompaniment to an official TRC report. Featuring astonishing testimony given before the Commission, 'Witness To Truth' summarizes the report's key findings and recommendations, highlighting the causes and consequences of the war, raising public awareness of the TRC's peace-building efforts throughout the country, and encouraging civil society in Sierra Leone and beyond to hold the government accountable for implementing the binding recommendations issued by the TRC.

Crude—the Real Price of Oil

March 23 @ 7:30 pm—JC Cinema

For official film site, click here

Featuring panel discussion led by Mason faculty John Dale


Three years in the making, this cinéma-vérité feature from acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) is the epic story of one of the largest and most controversial environmental lawsuits on the planet. The inside story of the infamous “Amazon Chernobyl” case, Crude is a real-life high stakes legal drama, set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film subverts the conventions of advocacy filmmaking, exploring a complicated situation from all angles while bringing an important story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.


New Year Baby

April 26 @ 7:30 pm—JC Cinema

For official film site, click here

Featuring panel discussion by Mason faculty Leslie Dwyer


"New Year Baby by Socheata Poeuv has been awarded Best Documentary for its gripping portrayal of a family's struggle to overcome the traumatic legacies of the Khmer Rouge. The film unfolds with remarkable candor, humor, and a heartbreaking intensity that captures a daughter's quest to understand her family's history and a father's willingness to lay open his vulnerabilities by confronting his past. We congratulate Socheata for a courageous debut feature."-San Francisco Int. Asian American Film Festival Documentary Jury


Who Am I?

April 29 @ 1:30 pm—JC Cinema

For official film site, click here

Featuring a discussion with filmmaker Estela Bravo


What does it feel like to suddenly discover that your parents are not actually your parents, but part of a network of military criminals who murdered your mother and father? Or that your mother gave birth to you one minute and was killed the next? Or that as a young child you were kidnapped and given to friends of those who tortured and killed your parents? And then to find your true family? The children of Argentina's disappeared are now young adults struggling with such complex and traumatic discoveries. For 3 decades, the Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers have been searching for their 500 stolen grandchildren, the children of their own children who disappeared in Argentina's Dirty War (1976-83). To date, 88 of these missing children have been found and have recovered their true identity. WHO AM I? tells their story.


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