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 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have published a selection of thoughtful comments below.
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
This calls for
This is a tribute of passion
Fashioned thru the cries of the desolate
Whipped into submission by
Corporate slave masters
Sucking the life from our countries of birth
We are not worth the dirt that we stand on
to get its hands
On our minerals
Casting us to the peripherals
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 www.culturesofresistance.org, 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.
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.
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.