Viewers Respond to the Cultures of Resistance Feature Documentary


We welcome your feedback. If you have seen the Cultures of Resistance feature documentary, please take a moment to send us your thoughts. We can be reached at Below is a selection of comments.


Karina G., Greece — I’ve been watching Cultures of Resistance and it provides great insight into so many human problems, as well as so much good spirit and creativity to balance that out. I’ll definitely watch the other documentaries and share with friends!


Allan B., United States — I’ve been talking about the movie nonstop. You inject a confidence for positive change at the same time as showing the pain of cultures under attack, while their music sustains us.


Alison R., Palestine — In Palestine, we see so many films made about us–it get’s exhausting. We start to think that our struggle exists in a vacuum and that we are working in the most difficult situation known to man! But your film really helped us escape for a moment. It helped put a perspective on our lives in Palestine and give us hope that we are a part of a global movement to end occupation everywhere.


Julie O., Canada — I managed to catch the film with my daughter and we really enjoyed it. It was an eye-opening experience for her to encounter the world in such a manner, but I think she was inspired as well, as a young person whose shown an interest in making movies…. I truly enjoyed the movie through the art and heartbreak.


Zeeshan A. S., India — Among the many things that I liked about Cultures of Resistance is that it is very straight forward, no beating around the bush on any issue and no balancing act. What is happening has been shown as it is. What needed to be said has been said in very simple terms.


Haithem Z., United States — I just got back from Austin’s screening of Cultures of Resistance. Thank you for such a brilliant and eye-opening film!


Omar A., Egypt — The film was moving and inspiring. I was in tears a few times. That you were able to cover so many conflict areas and give each enough time was impressive. I heard many in the audience comment that they wanted to see more of each conflict. That can’t be done in one film, so I’m sure part of the reason for doing the film this way was to get people interested in finding more about the “forgotten” conflicts.


Anna C., United States — We didn’t have a huge audience, but we did have a very engaging discussion period after the film, people were really inspired by the film, and they wanted to hear and share reactions. It was definitely the best Q&A session we’ve had after a film in quite some time; I would go so far as to say that people felt empowered by the film and were eager to find new ways to express themselves creatively, and to spread the message to others.


Sebastian N., Argentina — I was wandering if you know where can I buy the poster for Cultures of Resistance. I saw it last year in the International Film Festival of Mar del Plata and I loved it. The whole cinema was clapping for 2 minutes when the movie finished.


Erik B., Film festival organizer, United States — Cultures of Resistance blew the screening committee away. There was nothing else that came close to it.


Shelly S., Israel — The attendance was worthy and the film defiantly left an impact on the audience, me included of course. No doubt these are images and facts you do not get exposed to everyday. Thank you for everything!


Jamie P., Artist, United States — In my opinion the film probably covers too much ground. My questions coming out of it are what does it all mean, what can be done, what ties all this together? However, there is some really unique footage in here, and anything that comes to the defense of the value of art in society is a plus in my book! I would definitely recommend socially and politically minded artists to check it out if there are screenings near you.


Grig V., Romania — I want to convince more and more people to see this fantastic masterpiece about the Power of the People! Also i hope that many people will finally open their eyes and try to do the best for the spirit of freedom…. With our ingenious brain we must stay free and think outside the box; also we need the power to show to others how to do our best, exactly like the people from the documentary.


Mustafe A., United Kingdom — What amazing work! I’ve never seen anything like this. I learned a lot. The images of Silent City in Kurdistan and of Liberia will stay forever in my mind.


Yasmine J., United States — Everyone really, really, REALLY loved the film. An audience member actually approached me afterwards and asked if we would show it again because it was that good.


Randy R., Student, United States — A group of faculty, students, and I watched your amazing documentary as part of our school’s human rights week/campaign and then felt a need to do, learn, and become more involved. . . . I was especially captivated by the way art, music, poetry, etc. were mediums through which people coped and dealt with the turmoil and distress of their daily situations and would like to do more research.


An excerpt from a piece by Bajanpoet — This is a tribute to action Action inciting reaction Against all factions of violence All pestilence This calls for Artistic resistance! This is a tribute of passion Fashioned thru the cries of the desolate Whipped into submission by Corporate slave masters Man-made disasters Sucking the life from our countries of birth We are not worth the dirt that we stand on Greed reaches to get its hands On our minerals Casting us to the peripherals Of existence


Hodan, United States — My husband and I saw the ‘Cultures of Resistance’ film last weekend and it was just powerful. I was familiar with a few of the topics highlighted, and I was delighted to see movement leaders and artists introduced to me. Thank you for your work promoting peace and justice around the world, and for demonstrating the many methods of resistance, from dance, music, illustration, community organizing, etc. I should say that it was even enlightening to hear the rationale for violence in resistance movements, however strong our personal influences may be to strive to reject using violence as a means of resistance against unjust oppression


Dženita K., Kuwait — I managed to see the movie and I am very impressed by it, because it is very inspiring and thought provoking. I hope the director will create many other documentaries with such strength as shown here.


Dario M., DRC — I would like to congratulate you for the incredible documentary you have putted together. You have truly opened our eyes that a global movement of resistance is on its way and we are a piece of it that can also contribute effectively. Images from all around the world show how resilient are human beings and I hope all the fights will lead to a better world. . . . During the film, some of us, including myself, had tears in our eyes because of situation that are so close to us (geographically and temporally). All of us were very focused on the film, after which we discussed it. . . . We discussed our vision of what will be the resistance in Congo. We decided on that day, Saturday, September 1, 2012, that our group will always contribute to make Congo a better place using whatever means we have. Congo has to change for more equity.


Katherine L., Student, United States — I think the filmmaker’s decision to not use a narrator is a very interesting one. On one hand, it means that the people in the film, those resisting oppression or violence or what have you, are not explicitly framed as in most documentaries. This gives the viewer more freedom to decide for him or herself what they think of the conflict and how much they can relate to and sympathize with the struggle. However, the lack of a narrator also begs the question of: what holds this movie together? Sure, these people are all suffering in one form or another, under some oppressor or another, but how closely related are they? I think the choice is an interesting one. No matter your opinion on the subject, I would expect to see much more of this in future documentaries.


Mohammad S., Jordan — I have no words to appreciate all you have done to complete your great movie, Cultures of Resistance. Thank you for this gift, which I and many many others watching enjoyed. It’s highly important that you chose the right resisting cultures, to show the world the true meaning of resistance.


Sebastian N., Argentina Great movie. I saw it in Argentina at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, and the crowd applauded for five minutes.


Davina I., Malaysia — The screening that took place on Human Rights Day, 12/10/11, went on smoothly. It was a touching documentary which was followed by a fruitful discussion from the members of public.


Beatrice C., Founder of women’s refuge, Kenya — i say thanks for cultures of resistance. it has broadened my mind to know what is happening worldwide in terms of war and ways to resist without using an eye for an eye. some parts were so emotional that i cried. i pray all this to change, so that we can live a better world full of joy, harmony and equality.


Jennifer T., Translator, United States — I was completely stunned by the film Cultures of Resistance. Last night my partner took me to the screening of the film at the University of Wisconsin to commence the World Music Festival. I had no previous knowledge the film existed. Of course, it moved us deeply, thank you for helping me to understand that resistance is not always the same as being peaceable. The discussion surrounding the film was rich and moving, as well. I appreciate that format and see its value with films of this nature. If there were no discussion afterward, one would surely leave the theater with a host of comments and an urge to share, if not mobilize.


Hana, Social justice organizer, Palestine — The film is incredible and moving. Thank you for sharing your work with us. I fully support and immensely appreciate what you do! To me, art is the strongest form of resistance, and I commend you for depicting cultures of resistance through your own art, a form of resistance itself. It’s really a beautiful thing! I aspire to do things like that in the future too.


Joel B., Youth photography coordinator, United States — I am writing to you both as a supporter of your film and as a representative from Peace in Focus, a small Boston based not-for-profit. We are a trans-local organization that trains youth from underserved and post-conflict communities to be creative peacebuilders and leaders using photography and grassroots media tools. On Tuesday November 15th I saw Cultures of Resistance screened in Boston and was inspired by the breadth of connections between our work and the communities whose struggles and hopes you poignantly documented.. . . Your film provides context and powerful inspiration that small on-the-ground organizations like ourselves cannot always demonstrate from our programs. Our personal and communal impact is evident, but your film bridges the gap to a global scale.


Noraishah B., Singapore — I read [Iara Lee’s] message out to [the audience] before the film started, to let them know what she were doing in Jeju and the audience was very appreciative. The film actually received an applause at the end, which I have not experience before at The Substation, especially without the filmmaker present. I think it’s wonderful and it shows how open and appreciative the audience was for the screening of the film.


Jeanette B., Professor, United States — So far I have only viewed the video once and am thinking about how I’ll bring it into my courses. I’ve requested that our university library purchase it so it will be more available to all our students. It will likely be on my short list of always shown videos along with Yang’s “Nu Shu: a hidden language of women in China”, Obomsawin’s “Kanehsatake 270 years of resistance”, Lee’s “When the Levees Broke” and “Milk”.


Anonymous spectator, Kosovo — As I saw half the staff of this festival walking around with t-shirts advertising the website, I knew that this film was not just a film, but an act of cultural activism. It is a documentary that doesn’t just show phenomena, but urges to take action. As it chaotically pans over the worlds most cynical and brutal conflicts, travelling from Liberia to Congo, from Palestine to the Amazon delta, Lee’s images feed our anger over the incredible atrocities that inhumane powers are inflicting to innocent citizens. But anger is not the major focus of filmmaker Iara Lee. She shows us groups of activists that are resisting to these injustices, using cultural media like art, dance, film and music in order to communicate their call for change. We see women’s right movements, graffiti artists, engaged musicians, peace marchers and capoeira dancers, actively resisting to oil companies, soldiers, corrupted project developers and bulldozers. The main message being: we stand for a better world, and we will resist. More and more, arts and culture are being used as a way to mobilize people. Iara Lee makes me believe that aesthetics might in the end prevail over cynicism. A must watch for angry people!


Stephen W., Author, United States — My wife and I watched the film that evening, and enjoyed it immensely, despite the disturbing nature of some of the conflicts you’re covering.


Nelio O., United Kingdom — The good news comes from London, where your documentary was applauded twice and made the entire audience thrilled. Maybe it was the best documentary I’ve seen in a long time. Poignant images in sync with strong music, connected with fighting spirit and resistance. Revealed the cruelty of the state and popular resistance against oppression. Dynamic narrative, which does not let the audience rest until the end. Very beautiful. The message was passed along very well. Original in Portuguese: As boas noticias sao de Londres, onde o seu documentario foi aplaudido duas vezes e deixou toda a plateia emocionada. Talvez, foi o melhor documentário que vi depois de muito tempo. Imagens pungentes, em coordençao com música forte, ligadas no espírito de luta e resistencia. Revelador das atrociades do estado e da resistencia popular contra a opressão. Narrativa dinãmica, que nao deixa a plateia descansar ate o fim. Muito bonito. A mensagem passou bem. A imagem do policial brasileiro matando o cidadão na moto ficará para sempre na nossa mente.


Ekenyerengozi C., Film Festival Director, Nigeria — The Nigerian premiere of your Cultures of Resistance was wonderful today as the audience stayed enraptured by the gripping imagery of the poetics of the politics of the human spirit to overcome fear in a hostile world. Many people said it is the best film they have seen at any film festival in Nigeria. Your recollections of the legendary Pan African musician and protest artiste Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Ken Saro-wiwa on the Niger Delta struggle and injustice in Nigeria were most touching, because they were the martyrs of the poetics of justice in Nigeria.


Fran I., Mexico — … the movie seems to be one of the products of a much bigger campaign. I enjoyed a lot the screening and I could see that it brought together many persons of different disciplines and interests and focal points, and united them and inspired them together… I hope the movie as a tool can activate many other things.


Eileen O., Student, United States — I was able to check out the screening last night — HUGE congratulations on the final product! It is really quite gripping and acts as an awareness tool for all of these extremely urgent issues around the world. Looking forward to seeing how far the grassroots movement for Cultures of Resistance will grow!


Getachew, Journalist, Ethiopia — Last night I watched your film “Culture of Resistance”. Really, it makes me fill excited, sad, thrilled, inspired… I realized that every corner of the globe people strive to open their eyes to see and adapt with their mode of resistance. I also learn from the film how music art, literature can be a basic tool of resistance against the suppression, incursion invasion and exclusion.


Trisha T., International conflict prevention staff — I can’t stop thinking about your documentary. Wanted to drop a line to thank you again and say how inspiring Cultures of Resistance is…


Mary A., United States — …The initial place that the film talks about, the Xingu River, is quite timely; I just saw the decision to allow the building of the dam. What has been the reaction to the showing of violence, and of armed resistance? I will be quite honest and say that I do believe citizens have the right to armed resistance against entities that are destroying the basis of all life on this planet, but as I’m sure you’ve encountered, many do not feel this way in the ‘peace’ community. I know some in my organization will balk at the images of violence. My position is to accept that there are many ways to resist and all are valid. I really love the broad context of the film, showing resistance to oppression and destruction from all over the world and in the face of different challenges.


Sung Li, United States — o teu filme e barbaro, o melhor de todos os que voce ja fez… todos adoraram… foi muito inspirational, and makes you want to make a difference….obrigada por poder mostrar um pouco de todos os problemas do mundo… assim voce aprecia o que cada um tem… e para de reclamar…


Sandy S., India — …saw it… and its brilliant and beautiful… and it has such a wide, sweeping canvas… it should be shown world wide… the quest for peace is so urgent and and much required… the world cant wait any longer…


Hendrik V., Anti-militarization activist, United States — My housemates and I just watched the Cultures of Resistance film at its DC premier. It’s has a lot of impact and everyone really liked it. Thanks for your work!


Maria G., Social worker and poet, Philippines — I loved the film. I love how you brought all the issues together, emphasizing the power of art and creativity. It was gratifying to finally see that yes, there must be more collaboration of global issues as one issue.


Filistin C., Romania — The documentary ‘Culture[s] of Resistance’ that we had watched in Bucharest yesterday was very nice, we enjoyed it. Thank you. It was the first time that the people of Romania watched a documentary like this one. It was a very important project for Romania.


Albert B., Social Justice activist, United States — Cultures of Resistance crosses the globe, tracking efforts by individuals and groups to oppose violence and a loss of autonomy. By letting the characters and their stories speak for themselves, rather than imposing a narrator’s limiting perspective, each audience member can interpret it differently. I highly recommend going to see it!


Humberto M., Film festival organizer, Bolivia — Vamos ha incluir a la selección oficial la película de Iara, Cultures of Resistance, por las multiples razones que contiene el film y porque es el discurso que defendemos desde el Festival de Sucre: los problemas tendran respuesta de las artes, aqui nosotros decimos, “una pelicula que no tiene que ver con la humanidad no tiene que ver con el cine”.


Leigh A., United States — I went to a screening of your film at Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC, because I am attracted to the idea of how artists can help create peace. I was impressed by the Iranian rappers, Capoeira teachers, and, of course, Mouneer al Shaarani, as well as many of the other artists. Thanks so much for making the film! – it was poignant and entertaining.


Leila, Iran — Your film was AMAZING, powerful, educational and right to the point.   I wish we could show the film Iran, but…. The Iranian group you interviewed was very nice and lively. I hope one day we will show it in Iran.


Adrian K., Artist, United States — Great turnout for the film yesterday. I really enjoyed it and found it really motivational and inspirational. Bottom line, it’s about action and i understand that 100% and support your efforts.


MALIKAH, rapper, Lebanon — I have received the documentary and watched it. Well done! Amazing job keep up the good work and thank you for supporting our resistance and the worldwide resistance. The message is clearly understood and watching all those nations’ struggle touched me deeply.


George A., Canada — It is great, very educational, very controversial and very well made…. Keep making wonderful films.


Lijin J., Filmmaker, India — Saw your film. what can I say? Above all, it is a great thought. I totally appreciate what you have achieved in it. You have made a wonderful point that can really make a change.


Edna, Mozambique — I loved it. I will continue your work: to bring peace day by day…. Thank you for the inspiration.


Raja W., Writer, Jammu and Kashmir — I find your film fascinating since we too are undergoing through those extra-ordinary circumstances, which your film deals with. Though, I think, we are yet to adopt the resistance as a culture.


Shumaila, Women’s rights advocate, Pakistan — I have seen the film and am realizing that there is somewhere cultural similarities which connect us with each other and the strategies adopted by the community to transform violence into the peace is very positive. Because people of Pakistan and Afghanistan are fighting against war on terror since last 10 years and before that and it severely affects their whole life. But the people are resisting against this civil war and trying to revive the culture which promotes peace, harmony into the society. I do believe when the people of the community — men, women, adults, children, older ones — rise up collectively it brings some change which I have seen in the movie.


Gwyneth H., Romania — There was a very interesting debate at the screening about what we, as individuals, can do to help and how we can battle the feelings of powerlessness that often overwhelm us when we realize how many things are going wrong in the world. Fortunately, the end message was one of personal empowerment: thinking about where we spend our money—whether we are inadvertently funding the arms trade or corporations that are displacing people and destroying their land through our purchases—and thinking about how we respond to injustice and intolerance, as well as whether our response contributes to a culture of peace or of conflict. All in all, it was a great evening, and I think that the film had a powerful effect on several people.


Maria B., Ukraine — I looked at you and realized that I need to start acting and not just talking about peace. Thank you so much for the inspiration!


Francesco L., Ukraine — Cultures of Resistance in a country that had a riot, then a civil war, and now an occupation of part of its land! This is where your work can garner interest. People are living these issues everyday. Humans make many ugly things on this planet, but is always worth it to make something beautiful and meaningful—like this film. It makes the world better and spreads positive energy all around. It’s real resistance to the darkness of human souls!


Dasha T., Ukraine — I was at yesterday’s screening of your film Cultures of Resistance. To be honest, it impressed me so much that I can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you so much for the light that you bring and for inspiration that fills human souls!


Aimesita T. — The way Iara Lee illustrates conflicts is dynamic and transparent. You are a genius! Thanks for your talent and commitment!


James B., United Kingdom — Fantastic film and pleased to confirm it was a sell-out success tonight! They were having to turn away people who hadn’t booked tickets.


Moeain W., United Kingdom — Excellent production! It was hard-hitting but left audience with reassurance that there will always be someone who will stand up and take control of their destiny in the face of despair.


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17 hours ago

Cultures of Resistance
Happy World Ocean Day! This commemoration, which takes place every June 8, reminds us of all the work we must do to protect our oceans. One looming threat to the underwater ecosystem is deep sea mining. Deep sea mining companies are currently lobbying to go down several thousand meters below the surface of the ocean to plunder the seabed for metals. In a few weeks, governments around the world will meet at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Jamaica to decide whether to allow this highly destructive industry to operate.It’s not too late to weigh in to stop another extractive industry from damaging our global oceans! Join us in signing this petition organized by our ally, Greenpeace, to stop deep sea a next step, you can become one of the 15,000+ Greenpeace volunteers around the world and take part in ongoing campaigns. Learn how can also read more about how our sister organization, the Cultures of Resistance Network, has supported Greenpeace at: غرينبيس ... See MoreSee Less
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