Thursday, September 21, 2006

You Gotta Give 'em Hope


HARVEY MILK, the first openly gay man elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, made this famous declaration:
You gotta give 'em hope.
Milk was assassinated on November 27, 1978—11 months after taking office—for his political views and his homosexuality. A small-minded and frustrated little man, threatened by inclusiveness and progressive thought, shot Milk and Mayor George Moscone.

The city erupted. Protests, both peaceful and violent, continued for months. The gay community, which had flocked to San Francisco's bohemian, laissez-faire nature, were not going to return to the closets they had escaped because a wretch with a gun thought he could gain power by killing.

Today, no one seems to bat an eye about gays in public office in San Francisco. In fact, it appears that heterosexuality is a liability for candidates running in Districts 5 and 8. Milk's death almost tore apart the city by the bay. Milk's life kept the city together. He gave people hope.


Israel started firing missiles into Lebanon on July 12 this past summer. They were responding to rockets fired by Hezbollah terrorists into Israel, as well as the seizure by Hezbollah of two Israeli soldiers (who may have been illegally in Lebanese territory). The rain of warheads into Lebanon continued for a month. Some
1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, were killed. More than 3,000 were wounded. A million or more lost their homes. Israeli casualties numbered 162, mostly soldiers, dead.

In the rubble of Beirut, a seven-year-old film festival refuses to surrender.
Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya is underway with a reduced program of 40 films instead of the planned 100. Artistic director Eliane Rehab and festival director Hania Mroue have managed to get filmmakers into the shattered nation, and screenings will continue through Sunday, 9/24.

In an
interview with the BBC, Mroue talked about housing refugees in Beirut's only art house cinema, and the importance of presenting films as a defense against fear.

“People continued coming to the cinema the next day, even though war had started," [Mroue] says. “They came. I don't understand how and why they came even though Beirut was being bombed, but they came. And even the third day they kept coming.”—BBC News.


The festival includes features, documentaries, and shorts from around the world. Appropriately enough, Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966) is included. The only film from the United States is James Longley's Iraq in Fragments (2006).

An
earthquake on May 7, 1976, killed nearly 600, injured 1,000 and displaced 800,000 in Italy's northern Friuli region. Without electricity, with food and water in short supply, people were shocked to see a couple of youngsters carrying a portable movie projector and several cans of 35mm film. Piera Patat and Livia Jacob had rescued their personal archives of silent film treasures. Recognizing the power of film to bring a community together in the face of crisis, they set up their projector at night, powered by car batteries or other generators, and showed classic films on the remaining walls. This became a ritual that continued after recovery began. It's now the Giornate del Cinema Muto, the largest and most important festival of silent films in the world.

Films give people hope. The courage of Rehab, Mroue and everyone associated with
Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya should inspire us all.

They've prepared a moving video letter to the world about their situation, and why they are continuing with not just the festival, but their lives as citizens of Beirut, a historically significant cultural capital. Folks with a broadband connection can link here. Dial-up users should use this link.
My hat is doffed to extra-super-special ginchy agent extaordinaire ES for the tip on this item.
From Beirut With Love directed by Wael Noureddine (Lebanon/France, 2005, 16mm).

Text copyright 2006 by Richard Hildreth. All rights reserved.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Achamdinagiadinack said...

are you sure about all that?! "Israel started firing missiles into Lebanon on July 12 this past summer. They were responding to rockets fired by Hezbollah terrorists into Israel, as well as the seizure by Hezbollah of two Israeli soldiers (who may have been illegally in Lebanese territory). The rain of warheads into Lebanon continued for a month. Some 1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, were killed. More than 3,000 were wounded. A million or more lost their homes. Israeli casualties numbered 162, mostly soldiers, dead"
if you rather show it this way, maybe your readers are absolute naive or you are.
please check the internet for a better non one sited resources otherwise you'll be considered a naive... a liar... demagogue.... well I'll let you chose.
peace on you... bro.

oh and if you wanna know what to look for try this:

1. who else got killed (not kidnapped) at the beginning of all this. why and where did they get killed (hint: not a lebanese territory.)

2. number of people in israel got injured. civilians that is.

3. ho you know there are a lot more... but you probably gonna erase this post... just as you rather erase the facts...

9:40 AM, September 22, 2006  
Blogger HildrethR said...

Thank you, “Achamdinagiadinack.” Your poorly typed, shot-from-the-hip rant is emblematic of the discourse that kept me from participating in online discussions for years. Hiding behind the “anonymity” of the Internet to vent juvenile rage is not democracy, not discourse, not debate. Your attack (which, admittedly, is mild compared to many I've seen elsewhere—you don't resort to obscenity—is little more than playground taunting. I do not engage in automatic gainsaying.

For the record, no, I am not sure of my facts. That's why there are links to the Internet sources from which I gleaned the information used in the article. Please note that the numbers of Israeli casualties are from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If your browser doesn't translate the link, cut-and-paste this:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+from+Lebanon-+Hizbullah/Israel-Hizbullah+conflict-+Victims+of+rocket+attacks+and+IDF+casualties+July-Aug+2006.htm

The link leads to an Israeli government report which includes the names, ages, and residences of each casualty. Many are represented with photographs. The figures about Lebanese casualties comes from the BBC, a new source that I trust. That link cuts and pastes as:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5343188.stm

There are no names, no ages, and no photographs of these casualties.

The very first post at Supernatural, Perhaps. Baloney, Perhaps Not used the bombing to demonstrate that war is not an appropriate use of resources. I contended then that most could agree that killing babies is wrong. I don't particularly care who's killing the babies (and by the way, everybody is somebody's baby). It's just wrong. Hezbollah, Hamas, Israeli Defense Forces, the U.S. Army, Shi'ite militias, Al-Qaida, Crips, Bloods, Shining Path, Timothy McVeigh, whoever. It's wrong. Maybe if we stopped using our losses as an excuse to inflict pain, death and suffering on others, everyone might enjoy a moment's peace.

I am not a Christian, but I do find that the words of Jesus are often useful. Reflect on this:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5: 38-39. King James Edition).

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew. 5: 43-44. King James Edition).

Or, if you prefer, take the words of Douglas Adams:

“...one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change...” (1979. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. New York: Harmony Books.)

Peace back at ya, “bro.”

1:08 PM, September 22, 2006  

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