(83 minutes) Congo/USA
Director: Paul Cowan
Producer: Adam Symansky
With unprecedented access to the UN Department of Peacekeeping, The Peacekeepers provides an intimate and dramatic portrait of the struggle to save "a failed state" The film follows the determined and often desperate maneuvers to avert another Rwandan disaster, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC). Focusing on the UN mission, the film cuts back and forth between the UN headquarters in New York and events on the ground in the DRC. We are with the peacekeepers in the "Crisis Room" as they balance the risk of loss of life on the ground with the enormous sums of money required from uncertain donor countries. We are with UN troops as the northeast Congo erupts and the future of the DRC, if not all of central Africa, hangs in the balance. In the background, but often impinging on peacekeeping decisions, are the painful memory of Rwanda, the worsening crisis in Iraq, global terrorism, and American hegemony in world affairs. As Secretary General Kofi Annan tells the General Assembly at the conclusion of The Peacekeepers: "History is a harsh judge. The world will not forgive us if we do nothing." Whether the worldís peacekeeper did enough remains to be seen.
Paul Cowan has chronicled the rise and fall of renegade billionaire Robert Campeau, followed Dr. Henry Morgentaler on his controversial abortion crusade, dramatized Donald Marshall's landmark battle against Nova Scotia's justice system, and stirred up a storm of debate in the Canadian Senate. Cowans filmography includes Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair, winner of the prestigious Futura Berlin Award; Anybody's Son Will Do, awarded the Special Peace Prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival; The Deadly Game of Nations, filmed in the Middle East during an unexpected outbreak of fighting in 1982; and The Kid Who Couldn't Miss, which received a Silver Hugo for Best Documentary at the International Film Festival in Chicago.
National Film Board of Canada
©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)