Editorial 2019

Isabelle Gattiker
General and Artistic Director

A world in upheaval

Many of us can quote the beginning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born Free and equal in dig­nity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience." What comes next is much less known, "and they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood''.

Who are these human beings? We are... but which "we" do we speak of? A smooth "we", in which we are all interchangeable? By "free", must we understand the freedom of the alpha Male, built on ignorance, the freedom to insult, threaten and destroy whatever stands in our way?

We are living through an unprecedented assault on everything we believed we had won: our fundamental freedoms, freedom of expres­sion, the protection of artists and journalists, solidarity, labour lows... Everything is being called into question. For the first time since the end of the Second World War, Western Europe is entering an era of unrest.

Of this unrest we choose to make our strength. There is beauty in accepting the uncertainty and fragility of the world. The "we" we choose to defend is that of a society full of life, made up of unique personalities who don't necessarily agree with each other, but who are willing to live together and help one another. We present films that celebrate commitment, courage, creativity, joy, sensitivity and intelligence with panache. To being right, we prefer thaughtfulness, understood as an open debate in which we carefully chisel out our arguments, listen to those of others and open ourselves to the possibility of changing our mind.

To a world that appears ever more frozen, this 17th edition of the FIFDH brings a flame. lt burns with its openness, its constant questioning, its reaffirmation of fundamental values and its freedom of tone. lt burns with the filmmaker's desire, it burns with the passion of activists who make their voices heard to express, loud and clear, their refusal of an unacceptable situation. These artists and activists stand up and resist, suggest, listen, encourage and research every day so the light can pierce through. These 10 days are here so these voices may be heard and to vigorously interrogate the artistic, cultural and political resistance.

We wish you a wonderful edition of the Festival!

Further reading