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Movies That Matter seems to have become quite successful judging by last Wednesday’s turn-out for the double feature of Human Weapon and My Terrorist. The reason for such a level of participation may well be that terrorism is a current issue, but perhaps there is more. Perhaps people are beginning to appreciate non-fiction films because they present reality as entertainment as well as education.


These days, if Calgarians are to choose between Hollywood’s action-packed films or Movies That Matter, the majority would probably still choose Hollywood. However, keeping in mind that Movies That Matter does not have a blockbuster’s publicity, it is clear that there is a growing interest in the non-fiction genre in general, and this series in particular. After all, who said that entertainment cannot be educational? Michael Moore may very well have opened the floodgates with Bowling for Columbine because people are becoming interested.


This month’s documentaries both dealt with terrorism. Human Weapon, directed and produced by Ilan Ziv gave a chilling insight in the history and nature of suicide bombers. Filmed in Iran, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Israel, Palestine, Europe and the United States, the film showed how the same technique is being utilized by terrorist and liberation movements in various parts of the world. As powerful as it is shocking, the film included original footage of trainings as well as interviews with militants in order to offer the audience a glimpse into this new form of warfare. It also showed how differently suicide bombers are perceived throughout the world: from horrible terrorists to martyrs and saviors.


The second film, titled My Terrorist, is an autobiographical film by Yulie Cohen-Gerstel, a former Israeli flight attendant and victim of a terrorist attack during the 1970s who has come to forgive her aggressor and who is now trying to free him from his incarceration in the U.K. This film dealt with terrorism from a humane perspective, with Yulie trying to show the possibility of an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through forgiveness. And though her goal may seem far-fetched, the film is profound and could be an inspiration for others to do the same.


It may not be Hollywood, but audiences are starting to take notice.


Movies That Matter is a presentation of campus Tri-Media-CJSW, NUTV and the Gauntlet.


For more information of Movies That Matter, visit http://moviesthatmatter.org.



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