Cultures of Resistance
Best Documentary, Tiburon International Film Festival
Green Rose Award, Jaipur International Film Festival
Python Audience Prize, Jury Special Mentions, Ouidah International Film Festival
Best Documentary on Human Rights, Steps International Film Festival
Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting change. From BURMA, where non-violent monks take on a dictatorship, to BRAZIL, where musicians transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE celebrates the people standing up to exploitation and violence with artistic expression and creative activism.
Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder of the Caipirinha Foundation, an organization that promotes global solidarity and supports peace with justice projects. Iara is currently working on a variety of initiatives, grouped under the umbrella of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, an activist network that brings together artists and changemakers from around the world. At the center of these initiatives is a feature-length documentary film entitled CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, which explores how creative action contributes to conflict prevention and resolution.
As an activist, Iara has collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts, including the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the New York Philharmonic’s groundbreaking 2008 music-for-diplomacy concert in North Korea and creative resistance projects in Iran, Leban
on, and Palestine. In May 2010, Iara was a passenger on the MV Mavi Marmara, a passenger vessel in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was attacked in international waters by the Israeli navy, leading to the murder of nine humanitarian aid workers. Among the many people who recorded the events on that ship, her crew was the only one to successfully hide and retain most of the raid footage, which she later released to the world after a screening at the UN. Iara is very dedicated to the support of Gazan civilians who have been victims of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during “Operation Cast Lead” and who suffer from the Israeli government’s ongoing acts of collective punishment.
At the onset of the Iraq war in 2003, Iara, eager to understand the conflict better, decided to travel and live in the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa). While residing in Lebanon in 2006, Iara experienced firsthand the 34-day Israeli bombardment of that country. Since then, moved by that experience, she has dedicated herself to the pursuit of a just peace in the region, and is an enthusiastic supporter of those initiatives which strengthen adherence to international law in enforcing human rights. In 2008 Iara lived in Iran and supported a number of cultural exchange projects between that country and the West with the goal of promoting arts & culture for global solidarity.
From 1984 to 1989 Iara was the producer of the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. From 1989-2003 she was based in New York City, where she ran the mixed-media company Caipirinha Productions to explore the synergy of different art forms (such as film, music, architecture, and poetry). Under that banner, Iara has directed short and feature-length documentaries including Synthetic Pleasures, Modulations, Architettura, and Beneath the Borqa.
Iara is a member of the Council of Advisors of National Geographic Society and The International Crisis Group (ICG), long time supporter of Greenpeace International, as well as a trustee to the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), North Korea’s first and only university whose faculty is composed of international professors.
Please visit the director’s website at http://films.culturesofresistance.org/
Watch the trailer: