As we take a break from our busy lives this festive season, let us pause to consider the many in our world who – even at this very moment – must contend with the harsh realities of acute poverty, conflict, displacement and other crises that threaten their dignity and security as human beings. Over the past year, the Human Security Centre has been at the fore in addressing many of these issues; and we are grateful for your support without which our endeavours would not have been possible.
While we recognise the importance of communicating to a wide audience some of these harsh realities, both to raise awareness and to mobilise support, we also realise that constantly inundating an audience with gory images and stories may serve simply to desensitise or depress rather than achieve any positive outcomes. We believe that it is just as important to convey true stories about hope, peace, reconciliation, unity and goodness, not just to paint a more accurate picture about the state of humankind, but also to present a more powerful case for why certain actions can indeed make a positive difference.
So as to put our philosophy into action, the Human Security Centre joined the New York Times and the Red Cross earlier this year in partnering with the film producers, Ann Shin and Melanie Horkan, in their latest venture, ‘My Enemy, My Brother’. My Enemy, My Brother is a 2015 Canadian documentary film about two former enemies who become blood brothers for life when they meet 25 years after the Iran–Iraq War. The remarkable story of Zahed Haftlang and Najah Aboud beautifully demonstrates how the enemy is also one’s neighbour – a flesh-and-blood human being who is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s husband – and that the quality of humanity extends beyond political borders, even in the most existential of crises.
Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that this 16-minute op-doc has already been shortlisted for an Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We warmly welcome this development as it directs much-deserved recognition to a film that is ultimately a positive story about hope and reconciliation, while also providing invaluable triggers for thought and discussion about the many important issues touched upon in the film, such as the mental health of war survivors, the challenges faced by families whose members have gone missing in action, and the use of child soldiers.
Hence, following a year of grim tales of conflict and division, we, at the Human Security Centre, are delighted to present to you this Christmas a short film about hope and reconciliation that we feel exemplifies the Christmas message. We very much hope you enjoy the film and, on that note, would like to take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
To watch the full movie please visit the official website.