Learning Other's Dances: The Soft Power of Images and Film

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It is incredibly difficult to stop an idea, but an image (especially a digital image) is almost impossible to stop. Edward Bulwer-Lytton penned the famous quote, "the pen is mightier than the sword." To which General Douglas MacArthur retorted, "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." Today the digital image on Facebook or a film that goes viral indeed appears to be mightier that the sword.

Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim claims that film and images are not only powerful tools of war but can and should be used to build bridges of peace for our global village. In this TED Talk, Noujaim explains her goal to bring the world together for one day using the power of film.

Noujaim says, "we need to learn each other's dances."

In her most recent work, The Square, Noujaim reveals the events in Egypt's Tahrir Square as the Hosni Mubarak regime fell (click here for more).

The Square won the Sundance Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary category earlier this year, and Noujaim and her team are currently seeking funding for the post-production of the film (click here for more).

Discussion starters:

1.     Might a globally shared film experience help us learn each other's dances and bring us closer together?

2.     What power(s) does the camera have that the gun does not? 

 

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