Imagine someone coming into your house, turning off the lights, and hiding your food, forcing you to flee. The plight of whales and dolphins, which seem to be fleeing increasingly noisy oceans and seas only to end up on the beaches, is just one of the issues presented at this year’s Global Justice Film Festival at the University of Winnipeg on October 27 and 28.
From farmers in Ethiopia to soccer-playing grandmothers in South Africa and a service dog training program in a New York prison, the films at the 15th annual Global Justice Film Festival showed many of the issues that people and the animals around them are facing.
For most people, the troubles of the world’s ocean animals are somewhat remote, but “Sonic Sea” helped to put that into perspective, noting that “the ocean throughout history has made it possible to live.”
The lunchtime film “Alive and Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa” was a lighthearted look at how the Vhakegula Vhakegula (“Grannies Grannies”) soccer group in Limpopo is breaking down social barriers between people.
Breaking down barriers and keeping people informed about the issues that affect their world are important goals of the Global Justice Film Festival.
“I always get emotionally involved with the films, and I usually find a personal connection,” said participant Katharine Bergbusch.
That personal connection is part of what encourages students and members of the community to return to the Global Justice Film Festival year after year. While some of the films dealt with international issues, others dealt with topics that are very close to Canadians, including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program which caused such a controversy a few years ago.
Several organizations are part of bringing the Global Justice Film Festival to Winnipeg each year, including the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation and the University of Winnipeg’s Global College. The purpose of the film festival is to inform people about important issues and to help start conversations about making the world a better place.
People have not always found ways of applying what they learn at events such as the Global Justice Film Festival. However, Gloria Gilbert Stoga of the Prison Dogs program said, “I believe in second chances,” and the festival gave participants that kind of chance.