July 6, 2010– Last night I watched the documentary, Disarm. Here is the description from Amazon.com:
Evocative, visually stunning, and utterly unforgettable, DISARM spans a dozen countries to look at how, despite a global ban, millions of antipersonnel mines continue to claim victims daily in countries around the world. Co-directed by Mary Wareham, a leader of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), and photojournalist Brian Liu, DISARM features striking footage smuggled out of the isolated nation of Burma, scenes from a war-ravaged community in Colombia, footage from minefields in Iraq, and exclusive scenes shot by Afghan and Bosnian deminers.
Defined as a conventional weapon, antipersonnel mines inflict destruction upon civilian populations for decades after the initial conflict has ended. Despite thousands of casualties a year, mines continue to be used and stockpiled by governments and rebel groups. DISARM juxtaposes government and public opinion, that of outspoken Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, diplomats, mine victims, deminers, soldiers, and aid workers, to explore the issues that both hinder and further the case against antipersonnel mines.
The filmed shed light on the real, on-going threat of landmines laid by governments and rebel groups after the conflict has ended. It dared to ask, What would have happened if Iraq had signed the ban and destroyed its stockpile of landmines and cluster munitions, just as Belarus and other countries has? Would civilians and soldiers now be injured by IEDs and road-side bombs? And more broadly, what does a country do with its weapons after it is no longer at war?
According to Jody, “The landmine cannot tell the difference between a soldier or a civilian – a woman, a child, a grandmother going out to collect firewood to make the family meal… once peace is declared the landmine does not recognize that peace. The landmine is eternally prepared to take victims.”
Currently, there are 37 countries that have not signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Is your country one of them?
For ways to get involved, please visit the web site for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Thank you.
Director & Producer, The Eyes of Thailand