A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE U.N. AND THE CONGO
A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE UN AND THE CONGO is a documentary about the struggle for peace in the DRC.
Thanks to the digital revolution, we are more vividly exposed to images of violent conflict in remote corners of the world than ever before. Yet, even though 2016 is the 70th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations , few people in the world are aware that that there are currently 16 active United Nations Peacekeeping Missions and 126,247 U.N. Peacekeepers on the ground, with a total budget of $8.47 billion, trying to resolve these conflicts and protect civilian lives,
This is a serious deficiency, because UN Peacekeeping is acting in the name of the international community, and the international community should know what it being done in their name. There is no question that UN Peacekeeping is becoming of increased importance in countries of the world in need of rule of law and stability to recover from the ravages of armed conflict, Indeed, it is safe to say that the international community has learned from past mistakes that unilateral interventions are neither viable nor sustainable, as we can now see in Iraq.
For political and structural reasons, the UN lacks the capacity to produce documentaries which can explain the nuances and complexities of each UN Peacekeeping mission. Fortunately, there are some decision makers in the UN who recognize the deficiencies of the organization, and they usually support documentarians who try to provide this service.
The same cannot be said for the corporate media entities who ; instead of producing quality documentaries themselves on UN peacekeeping efforts around the world, they prefer to deride UN efforts as simplistic propaganda.
As a result, to the best of our knowledge, there is currently no feature documentary on the market which shows any U.N. Peacekeeping mission in action.
The goal of this documentary feature is therefore to tell the untold story of the largest and oldest of these missions, MONUSCO, the United Nations Stabilization Mission to the Congo. A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE CONGO is a featuredocumentary (c. 90 min ) about the Sisyphean struggle ofMONUSCO to bring peace and stability to the Congo. This will not be an official UN History, but a personal narrative about individual UN Peacekeepers and Congolese working on the ground, based on our many years in the Congo as members of theMONUSCO Video Unit, and will be told in a personal, reflexive style. The documentary will be in 5 parts, and narrator Clarke Peters will introduce the themes of each part. (Please see https://vimeo.com/97417755 for teaser)
We believe that a documentary revealing the complexities and challenges confronting the world’s largest and oldest UN Peacekeeping mission would be an ideal program to help commemorate the 70 th Anniversary of the United Nations anywhere in the world.
Producer Ted Folke worked in the Congo as Chief of the MONUSCO Video Unit from 2007-2012, and has thus had the benefit of an extensive period of research on the ground, as well as an opportunity to produce a great deal of original material for this documentary. All of this material can be used in the final documentary free of charge, thanks to the MONUSCO Department of Public Information, which has a mandate to support all independent documentaries on the mission and its activities. A written release from MONUSCO PID has already been granted.
This original material will serve as the basis for this documentary, along with a series of interviews with UN and MONUSCO officials, past and present. Those interviewed include former U.N. and DPKO administrators such as Kofi Annan, Jean Marie Guehenno, William Lacey Swing, and Abdallah Wafy, along with current administrators such as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, DPKO ASG Herve Ladsous, MONUSCO SRSG Martin Kobler, MONUSCO Force Commander General Santos Cruz, ASG Leila Zerrougui, and Chair of the U.N. Panel on Peacekeeping,Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta, and Kambale Musavuli of Friends of the Congo.
UNTV has generously donated the use of their state of the art new television studios for this production, thus saving us the expense of a trip to the DRC, and post-production with editor Meriton Ahmeti in London is scheduled for September, 2016.
Ted currently is looking through 100 hours of original MONUSCO material for the film on hard drives and DVDS, and is preparing to start a paper cut.
We are seeking to raise $20,000 through Indie GoGo to make it possible to have this film ready for international distribution by the end of 2016.
The timing is critical because the Congolese Presidential elections scheduled for November of 2016 are looming ahead as a moment of truth both for the UN and the DRC. The Congolese Constitution strictly limits the president to two terms in office, and current President Joseph Kabila is scheduled to turn over power to a new president after November’s election. Unfortunately, in spite of pressure from the international community, President Kabila,like some African colleagues, appears intent upon remaining in power as long as possible. The crisis caused by his apparent decision has already begun, and will only escalate in the coming months.
If you look at the Perks section, you will see links to a number of rare videos about the DRC and UN-related subjects available for $10 each. Everyone who contributes $10 or more can chose a link, and we will send you the password. All video files can then be shared, embedded or downloaded at your discretion.
We recommend you start with our Featured Perk, HUMAN RIGHTS, which is a complete 33 minute sample chapter from A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE U.N. AND THE CONGO, and is a powerful profile of the work of the MONUC Human Rights Division. On May 24th of this year, the Rosendale Theatre in upstate New York showed HUMAN RIGHTS to launch their New Artists’ Series, and audience response was positive and passionate.
We have set $20,000 as the goal for this crowdsourcing campaign, because that is the minimum we need to complete post-production and still feed our families. However, where there is a will, there is a way, and we are resolved to find the backing we need and finish this important film on schedule.
Whatever you can contribute will be gratefully appreciated, and , if you can contribute nothing, please just share and spread the word. Thanks to organizations like #FriendsoftheCongo and #StandwithCongo, the country is beginning to get the buzz it deserves.
Many thanks – and , as they say in Timor Leste,” A LUTA CONTINUA!”