Pax! Pace! Peace! Peace be with you!
Every morning during Mass, we greet one another, "Peace be with you," wishing the lasting peace to be present among us and in the world. We always sincerely and urgently pray for peace to come true in our society.
Peace seems to be the most important value or issue in our global communities these days. Peace is not a simple virtue without inner struggle or conflict; the peace of the Lord is something more essential and fundamental from the perspective of believers.
Even though our ultimate hope is peace in the world, the world is divided and torn apart into many pieces due to the struggling confrontation and the never-ending competition. Peace is such an urgent issue to pursue and witness in our daily lives.
Considering the continuous tension between the South and North on the Korean Peninsula, the conflict of Turkey and Kurdistan, the refugees from Syria, war-torn places in the Middle East, the demonstration in Chile, various signs of hostility and violence, the 6th Catholic Film Festival (CaFF), organized by Catholic Filmmakers Association, was held from Oct. 24 to 27 at Daehan Theater in Seoul with the theme "Our Peace."
During the recent festival, 46 films (15 long films and 31 short films) from 16 countries, were introduced. These 46 titles had been carefully selected from 495 films. At the same time, 6 World Premiers (one long film and 5 short films) and 14 Korea Premiers (5 long films and 9 short films) were presented for the public as well.
The opening short film, "Admissions" (translated as "Heavens' door" in Korean) shows a parable of the after-death encounter of three people, a Palestinian man and an Israeli couple in the Admissions Room for the afterlife.
After suffering tragic endings, they are waiting to enter the Heavens. They have only 15 minutes left to make up their minds, whether to reconcile and forgive one another or to remain in a sense of confrontation and revenge.
Written by John Viscount and directed by Harry Kakatsakis of the United States in 2011, this 21-minute film talks about the primary condition of forgiveness and lasting peace before entering into the Heavens.
The clerk in Admissions Room says, "The past and the future don't really exist. The only thing you need to be concerned with is right now."
As some examples of Classics dealing with the theme of peace, "Don Camillo in Moscow," directed by Luigi Comencini in 1965, "Jean De Florette" and "Manon des Sources," directed by Claude Berri in 1986 were presented as well.
Among CaFF choices of long films were "Forbidden Fatherland," directed by Kim Lyang in 2018, "The Birdwatcher," directed by Siobhan Devine in 2015, "Let There Be Light," directed by Marko Skop in 2019, "With Santiago," directed by Cho Jun-hyung in 2019, "Still Human" directed by Oliver Siu Kuen Chan in 2018, and "All About Me," directed by Caroline Link in 2018.
Short films included "Love is a Sting," directed by Vincent Gallagher in 2015 and "The School Uniform" directed by Shunn Lei Swee Yee in 2017.
Fr. Cho Yong-jun, a member of the Society of Saint Paul and the commissioner of CaFF, said in the opening address, "Peace comes when we understand and accept the hearts of others well. Peace comes when we live with the value of co-existence in spite of diversity."
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