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'Karama has no walls' is set amidst Yemen's 2011 uprising. The film illustrates the nature of the Yemeni revolution in stark contrast to the gross violations of human rights that took place on Friday, March 18th 2011. Juma'at El-Karama (Friday of Dignity) marks a turning point in the Yemeni revolution as the tragic events that took place on this day -when pro-government snipers shot dead 53 protestors - shook the nation and propelled hundreds of thousands more to flock to the square in solidarity with their fellow citizens. Through the lenses of two cameramen and the accounts of two fathers, the film retells the story of the people behind the statistics and news reports, encapsulating the tragic events of the day as they unfolded. Written by
This short documentary represents what the Oscar should be all about...
Today I made my annual pilgrimage to the local theater to see all the Oscar-nominated Documentary Shorts. My good friend came with me and force once we were in agreement as to which shorts were strongest and weakest--which is a little unusual.
My friend Guy and I both thought that "Karama Has No Walls" was far and away the best of the Oscar-nominated shorts. It takes HUGE risks, as the film was very dangerous to make and folks making it literally dodged bullets to get it made and to document atrocities. On top of this, it also is by far the most compelling. It's very grim, very difficult to watch and should represent everything the Academy stands for and is among the best shorts I've ever seen (and I've seen thousands).
This movie was made up of footage that was recorded live during the protests of the democracy movement in Yemen. In many, many ways, it's like the Oscar-nominated full-length film "The Square" which about the same sort of thing but in Egypt. Both films could have gotten the cameramen killed--though "Karama Has No Walls" has the dubious distinction of having one of the cameramen shot (but, thank God, he survived).
Now I must warn you--do NOT let children watch the film. It is incredibly violent and you see people being shot down and killed right in front of the cameras. Blood and corpses abound. And, worse still, is some footage of an innocent bystander, a young boy, whose eyes were literally shot out--and he survived! None of this is meant as a complaint--people MUST see and understand the carnage and learn from it and oppose such dictatorships. But young kids will simply be overwhelmed by the real life horrors.
Understand, though, the film is not just about horrors but is about the human spirit. While sad, the film was also incredibly uplifting. Seeing people CONTINUE protesting when they were killed and attacked shows the determination the movement has. Some even welcomed being martyred because they saw this as a means to bring down the regime. This film has everything you'd want in a documentary and is clearly my choice for the best film of the nominees. Well worth seeing and a truly great film.
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