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SIGNIS –WACC Human Rights Award 2015 goes to "Censored Voices"

Tuesday 29 March 2016, by SIGNIS

Brussels, Toronto, March 29th, 2016 (SIGNIS/WACC) - Censored Voices, directed by Mor Loushy (Israel, 2015) receives the SIGNIS-WACC Human Rights Award 2015. A feature-length documentary that highlights an unknown side of the history: the Six-day War in 1967. The film already won the Best Documentary Award at the Israeli Film Academy 2015 and the Best Debut Film Award and Research Award at the Israeli Competition in the DocAviv Film Festival 2015.

Between June 5 and 10, 1967, the Israeli armed forces took on and defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, whose numerical superiority in men and equipment over the Israelis was so disproportionate that the confrontation seemed a repetition of the biblical episode of David and Goliath. As a result of what would be called the Six-Day War, Israel occupied Gaza, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights and – symbolically most important – the Arab sector of Jerusalem, bringing the entire city under Israeli control. The victorious warriors came back home as heroes, in an atmosphere of national euphoria and worldwide admiration.

In Censored Voices, Israeli Writer-Director Mor Loushy presents us with a starkly different, dark, side of that story, which began to surface when Writer Amos Oz and Editor Avraham Shapira interviewed their fellow kibbutznik combatants just returning from the front.

In this powerful documentary, we can listen to those testimonies, 70% of which were originally censored by the Israeli government in the 1960’s. The audio recordings have been masterly spliced with archival footage of the war and present day takes of some of the men listening to their own voices from almost five decades back. They reveal the emotional scars left by the horrors of war on these men who found themselves killing other human beings, sometimes enemy soldiers, sometimes innocent civilians and committing atrocities.

Shocking at times, profoundly unsettling throughout, Censored Voices is unconventional in its approach to this episode of recent history, dressed up by ideology as a shining triumph of justice, but revealed here in all its brutal ugliness. Produced in Israel by Israeli filmmakers, its exemplary honesty makes it stand as irrefutable proof that in war, the first casualty is the truth.

Last year the 2014 WACC-SIGNIS Human Rights Award went to the film Taxi directed by Jafar Panahi (Iran, 2014), a feature-length documentary highlighting the contemporary society in Iran.
For more information, please visit the SIGNIS Website (signis.net) or the WACC Website (waccglobal.org/).

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