The world is currently focused on the shocking war tactics that Isis uses like decapitation and rape. These tools of warfare are not new; they were used extensively during the Liberian Civil War. In her documentary Camp 72, Director/Producer, Seema Mathur gains unprecedented access to former warlords and asks them why they raped civilians and committed other atrocities. She also hears from survivors who are working to heal the wounds of war.
Seema Mathur says, “It is my hope that Camp 72 will not only offer insight into the impact of war, but also ignite discussion and solutions that move us towards a more peaceful, compassionate and understanding world.”
The discussion is timely as world combat terrorism. Lovetta Tugbeh, Executive Director of the Liberian Coalition for justice says, “Should we be satisfied that the perpetrators of Liberia’s 14-year civil war have gotten away with murder, mutilation, and rape under the pretense of peace? Mankind has a responsibility to sustain peace by building a solid foundation of justice, as peace and justice are intertwined and one cannot exists in the absence of the other”
That fragile peace and quest for justice is documented in Camp 72. It follows a young woman named Gladys. She was forced to watch the brutal murder of her mother by a rebel fighter. The same fighter then held her captive as a sex slave for years. The nightmare started in an area Gladys refers to as Camp 72.
In 2006, the country began a Truth and Reconciliation process where commissioners collected testimonies from thousands affected or involved in the war. “The hope was there would be a death blow to impunity and that we would visit our violent past no more,” says Jerome J. Verdier, former Chairman of the TRC and Human Rights lawyer.
That death blow to impunity has yet to come. The rebel who raped Gladys and killed her mother lives in freedom only miles away from her as no one in Liberia has been prosecuted for their war crimes.
What Critics Are Saying About Camp 72:
Mairead Maguire/ Nobel Peace Laureate “To understand something you have to go back to its very beginning. With great courage and sensitivity, in her documentary Camp 72, Director and Producer Seema Mathur takes us to the roots of the Liberian Civil War. This documentary gives us an insight into why some people kill and how a genocide could be carried out upon the Liberian people. There are many lessons we need to learn if we are to through education and preemptive measures, prevent future violent ethnic/political conflicts and wars, and this documentary will make a great contribution to our understanding and peacemaking actions.”
Jeff Newton/ CBS 60 Minutes Producer “Camp 72 is the kind of film seldom being done anymore because it takes so much time and is so complicated that most television and movie producers are loathe to tackle the nuanced content. But here, Director and Producer Seema Mathur delves into not only the complicated subject of what makes people kill, but it also gives voices to the voiceless — Africans whom the world has forgotten but whom desperately need to be heard. If genocides are to come again or be allowed to continue, it is because people forget. Camp 72 reminds us not to forget and to remember our collective humanity.”
LaDawn Haglund/ Chair, Arizona State University Section on Human Rights “This remarkable film manages to be both bold and sensitive in exploring a complex and profound social tragedy lived by the people of Liberia. At the same time, it allows viewers to witness and experience the transformation and healing that can emerge with time and forgiveness. Unforgettable.”
Micheline Muzaneza/ Viewer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo “Gladys gave me hope. Before, because of what I went through I had no hope, but Gladys has made me change the way I think and now I have hope. These are tears of hope.”
Best Foreign Documentary
San Diego Black Film Festival, February 2015
Pan African Cannes Film Festival, April 2015
Amnesty International Human Rights Award
Festival de Cinema i Drets Humans – Barcelona, December 2015
Best Documentary, Audience Choice Award, We Are All In This Together
Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase, July 2016
Tryon International Film Festival, October 2016
Camp 72 was acquired by Journeyman Pictures in February 2017 for international distribution. https://www.journeyman.tv/film/6978/camp-72
WHEN: 10:00am – 11:30am Saturday April 29, 2017
WHERE: California State University, Sacramento/ Redwood Room University Union/ 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819
WHAT: The 26th Annual Africa & Diaspora Conference Focuses On Social Justice
- Interview with Camp 72 documentary director, Seema Mathur, in Sacramento Friday April 28 – Saturday April 29
- Phone Interview can be scheduled prior to screening: 512-297-4832 firstname.lastname@example.org