War without Trace named Best Film at One World Brussels
by Martin Kudláč
- The documentary about the current situation in Chechnya has taken the top honour at the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Brussels
The One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Brussels has successfully wrapped its ninth edition. The non-governmental, non-profit organisation People in Need brought a condensed version of the Czech One World Documentary Festival to the Belgian capital, programming 18 documentaries out of a record number of 114 docu-films screened in Prague at the 17th edition of the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (3-11 March).
One World Brussels jury members Maud Qamar of the Goethe Institute in Brussels, Mario Friso of Festival des Libertés, director of Watch Docs IFF Maciej Nowicki and Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Belgium Jaroslav Kurfürst had to decide between eight documentaries in the competition. All of the titles tackled current affairs in the sphere of human rights, such as Children 404 by Pavel Loparev and Askold Kurov, following the consequences of Putin’s anti-gay law for Russia’s LGBT youth; the collective documentary Euromaidan. Rough Cut; a look at young people joining radical Islamist groups in Søren Steen Jespersen and Nasib Farah’s Warriors from the North; and the impact of modern warfare in the Norwegian documentary Drone.
The Award for Best Film will, at the closing ceremony on 12 May, be bestowed upon the award-winning journalist Manon Loizeau for “revealing the gruesome reality of terror and fear behind the shining façade of a rebuilt Grozny” in War without Trace, focusing on the current situation in Russian-supported Chechnya. “Returning to a place that is already far from the attention of the international community, the filmmaker on the one hand carefully observes the ritual façade of the social life, discovering the extent of the Stalinist-like personality cult of Ramzan Kadyrov, while on the other hand – thanks to a thorough documentation – manages to testify to the scale of terror stemming from forced disappearances,” the jury explained. Children 404 received a Special Mention along with Oscar-nominated director Hanna Polak’s time-lapse documentary Something Better to Come [+see also:
film profile], following the protagonist, Yula, for 14 years as she grows up on one of the largest rubbish tips in Europe, Moscow’s Svalka dump.