Freedom women by Giancarlo Bocchi

Women have played a fundamental role in the twentieth century, but for a long time the battle for human rights was predominantly male. At the beginning of the third millennium, history changed radically. Now it is mainly women who risk their life to fight injustice and abuse of power in the name of the common good. Here and there around the world, they stubbornly pursue the dream of a better life, one that is more just, virtuous, full and safe. They fight for people’s rights, for values like freedom, equality, and civil coexistence, which, although recognized as being superior to States’ rights, are continuously violated by those same States. In doing so, the women become vulnerable, they face violence, torture, even death: all consequences of political action in extreme conditions that they accept with a steadfastness, courage and understanding of pain that is utterly feminine. They are conscious of their duty, and precisely because of their gender, have to work harder for everyone to have their rights recognized and be able to exercise them, but they thirst for justice. They know that seeking good is a grand enterprise, but in their mind it is those who share and spread the beauty of their own dream who are particularly called upon to take part.

The stars of this series of film documentaries are of different nationalities and cultures, and speak different languages. They are winning in Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Chechnya, Kurdistan, and the Western Sahara, six of the most dangerous areas in the world, thousands of miles apart. They are allied by the same universal, profuse and feminine struggle to eradicate inequalities, abolish discrimination and achieve a special revolution that is warm and generating: to conceive, nurture and grow, like some tender new creature, a project for a better future.


La figlia del Caucaso

Regia | Director Giancarlo Bocchi
Fotografia | Photography Giancarlo Bocchi
Montaggio | Editing Giancarlo Bocchi
Produzione | Production IMPFILM
Italia, 2019 50’ v.o. sottotitoli in italiano e inglese | o.v. Italian and English subtitles
Riprese | Shooting in full HD Russia – Caucaso (Circassia, Inguscezia e Cecenia)

Loosing her mother in her first days of life, Lidia later escaped from the orphanage thanks to her maternal aunt, who lived in a large house in the country near Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. She studied for the Bar becoming a lawyer and joining the team of investigators of the federal DA’s office on the eve of the first Chechen war. On the outbreak of the separatist skirmishes in Chechnya, Lidia’s brother, a police officer, was assassinated after uncovering and reporting a major arms trafficking operation. In 1991, the then thirty-year-old Lidia, an eyewitness of the Chechen tragedy, took the decision to defend the human rights of the people who were oppressed by both sides in the conflict, by setting up a branch of the Memorial society in Chechnya. Defined by Amnesty International as “one of the most courageous women in Europe”, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.


La piccola guerrigliera

RegiaDirector Giancarlo Bocchi
FotografiaPhotography Giancarlo Bocchi
MontaggioEditing Leonardo Rigon
Produzione Production IMPFILM
Italia-Birmania, 2013 42’, inglese-birmano sottotitoli in italiano e in inglese| English-Burmese with Italian and English subtitles
RipreseShooting in full HD Londra, Mae Sot, Thailandia, Stato Karen – Birmania (Myanmar)

Until the age of fourteen, Zoya Phan lived in the Burmese jungle, “the green land” of the Karen, among the guerrillas of the KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) who, for sixty years, have been fighting the longest armed resistance in contemporary history. Zoya’s family venerated the spirits of the forest, the rivers and the moon. Her mother commanded a female guerrilla unit. Her father, an important figure in the KNU, the Karen political wing, chose her untraditional name, evocative of a marked destiny. From an early age, Zoya honoured her namesake, the heroic Soviet partisan who fought against the Nazi-Fascists. She has dodged bombardments and attacks, and the risk of being slain by the troops of the Burmese generals. After the umpteenth bombardment and a blaze in her hut, Zoya joined the thousands of fugitives and spent two years living in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her father, who had become the political head of all the Karen, was killed in February 2008 at Mae Sot in Thailand, by assassins of the Burmese regime. Hunted by the military, Zaya escaped and requested political asylum in the UK. From that moment, she became one of the most formidable opponents abroad of the military dictator-ship. Here adventuresome autobiography, Little Daughter, which is a best-seller worldwide, proved the Burmese military regime’s guilt in the terrible non-stop violations of human rights, for the massacres, cases of rape, deportations and the enlisting of child soldiers.


La ribelle del Sahara

Regia | Director Giancarlo Bocchi
Fotografia | Photography Giancarlo Bocchi
Montaggio | Editing Giancarlo Bocchi
Produzione | Production IMPFILM
Italia, 2019 50’ v.o. sottotitoli in italiano e inglese | o.v. Italian and English subtitles
Riprese | Shooting in full HD Algeria, Tindouf – Sahara, al-Ayoune  

 

The daughter of a nationalist dignitary of the Western Sahara who died in a car crash in ambiguous circumstances, Aminatou Haidar is the most famous human rights activist of the Sahrawi people. Born in 1967, resident in El Ayoun (capital of the occupied territories of the former Spanish Sahara), and a graduate in modern literature, since the ’80s Aminatou has fought tirelessly against Morocco’s colonial occupation of her country. This struggle is completely different from the armed one of the Polisario in the Free Zone of the Sahara. In the territory that is still occupied, there is a pacific Intifada consisting of protest demonstrations and underground resistance. A resistance movement that the Moroccans fear and repress with every means. Arrested in 1987, Aminatou was swallowed up until 1991 by the “Black Prison” of El Ayoun, where she was subjected to unspeakable torture and violence. After her release, she did not give up the struggle for her people’s freedom, as her husband wanted, and she organized a movement for prisoners’ mothers and daughters. In 2005, during a peaceful demonstration in El Ayoun she was attacked by soldiers and badly beaten up. Hospitalized for her wounds, she was arrested and locked away once more in the Black Prison. Tortured again, she was sentenced to seven months in prison but from that moment, she hit the headlines as a symbol of the peaceful Sahrawi resistance against the Moroccan military occupation. On regaining her freedom, she took up the struggle once more, despite the price of breaking up with her husband.


Le ragazze della rivoluzione

Regia | Director Giancarlo Bocchi
Fotografia | Photography Giancarlo Bocchi
Montaggio | Editing Giancarlo Bocchi
Produzione| Production IMPFILM
Italia, 2019 50’ v.o. sottotitoli in italiano e inglese | o.v. Italian and English subtitles
Riprese| Shooting in full HD Iraq Kurdistan, Makhmur, Sinjar, Kirkuk

 

Tamara was born during a war. Ever since she was a small child, she has watched Turkish enemy ferociously attacking the Kurd people. For her, to become part of the armed struggle was not a choice, but a necessity. She began fighting when she was sixteen, ten years ago. The first promise she made to herself and her companions was to offer resistance, because she believes that struggle is resistance. After taking up arms in her country, Turkey, against the military regime and then Erdoğan’s Islamic one, she is now fighting in Kurdistan against the militants of ISIS, the international Islamic terrorist group. Tamara has sacrificed a lot for her ideals. She has had to forget her personal dreams for a collective one: freedom for Kurdistan. She has imagined and awaited it for ten years. She watched other girls getting married and setting up a family, no longer trying to free their country. Tamara took the opposite decision. She forsook family and children for freedom. Tamara commands an all-female squad which defends, just a short distance from the front line near Makhmur, the “secret” capital of the PKK in Kurdistan, where the families of twelve thousand political refugees live. She spent a long time at the Qandil base in the mountains between Turkey and Kurdistan. She faced ISIS in the trenches of Kirkuk. She has been involved in fighting that is impressed in the Kurds’ memory.


Sorella libertà

Regia | Director Giancarlo Bocchi
Fotografia | Photography Giancarlo Bocchi
Montaggio | Editing Giancarlo Bocchi
Produzione | Production IMPFILM
Italia 2019 50’ v.o. sottotitoli in italiano e inglese | o.v. Italian and English subtitles
Riprese | Shooting in full HD Kabul-Afghanistan

 

Malalai Joya spent much of her childwood and adolescence in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan, to escape from the wars that had devastated her homeland, Afghanistan, for decades. After the Taliban had been defeated, she returned to her city of origin, Farah, in the south west of her country, where a passion for politics turned into a devotion. After a hard electoral fought contest, in 2003, at the age of just 26, she was elected to the National Assembly, a body entrusted with drafting a new Constitution. Right from her first speeches in the chamber, young Malalai was a thorn in the side of the old Afghan petty politicians, many of whom were in collusion with the Taliban regime. In one speech, which subsequently became famous and was to be rebroadcast on TV, she denounced the crimes of warlords well represented in Parliament in front of the stunned exponents of Afghan patriarchal power. She was consequentely deprived of her seat in Parliament and since then she has lived under escort and is subject to constant death threats. Today she is head of an association that deals with promoting women’s and children’s rights, she organizes free literacy and professional training courses. She meets with and comforts women who have suffered abuse, brutality and atrocious bullying, who are liable to be arrested and subjected to harsh sentences for turning their backs on family violence. She has been honoured by prestigious international awards for her work to defend human rights in her country, but in Kabul, she still live hidden.


Sfida per la libertà

Regia | Director Giancarlo Bocchi
Fotografia | Photography Giancarlo Bocchi
Montaggio | Editing Giancarlo Bocchi
Produzione | Production IMPFILM
Italia, 2019 50’ v.o. sottotitoli in italiano e inglese | o.v. Italian and English subtitles
Riprese | Shooting in full HD Colombia, Bogotá, Popayán, Tierradentro del Cauca, Barrancabermeja

In South Colombia, between the cordillera of the Andes and the Pacific, lies the Cauca department. Inhabited by indigenous communities, it is a land of great natural beauty, devastated by a war as ferocious as it is mysterious. For years, this has been one of the most dangerous areas in the world, a place where cocaine is produced and trafficked, a battlefield of drug dealers, police forces, state paramilitaries, narco-guerrillas of the FARC, the Colombian army. The Cauca natives are victims of the various opposing forces. They are often killed by the army claiming that they are guerrillas. The accusation is false, but it yields a cash reward for the soldiers. Fighting with more courage for the rights of the populations is the indigenous leader Aida Quilque, forty years old, and among the main councillors of the Consejo Regional Indigena del Cauca (CRIC). Aida has organized demonstrations and protest marches, like that on Cali in 2008, in which over 45 thousand Cauca natives took part. Several times she had no qualms about publicly confronting Alvaro Uribe, when he was President of Colombia, forcing him to humble himself in the Santa María Resguardo del Cauca, and discrediting him in front of the natives and Colombian media for his secret policy of supporting the paramilitaries. For her courageous work in favour of her people’s rights Aida has had to pay an extremely high price. Her husband Edwin Legarda was assassinated 50 kilometres from Popayán, the capital of the Cauca department, while walking along a deserted street.


 

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