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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Events


Complicity 2: Film Series

Complicity 2: Film Series
Introduced by: Dr Mihaela Mihai # University of Edinburgh
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
1st Feb 2019 18:00 - 22nd Feb 2019 18:00
Grassmarket Community Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

How are we to judge actions, inactions and rationalisations of people who find themselves in a murky grey zone of complicity with violence? What does ethics demand of us in dreadful, even impossible, situations? The film series explores cinematic depictions that bring the thorny issue of complicity to the fore, focusing on Communist Romania, Nazi-occupied France, Argentina's Dirty War, and apartheid South Africa. In selecting these four critically acclaimed films, we aim to provoke reflection on ambiguous aspects of violence and human rights abuses. A guiding premise of the event is that reckoning with such experiences is essential to learning from past atrocities and preventing future catastrophes.  

The films will be introduced by academics and will be followed by Q & A sessions with the public. There is no entry fee; please book your free tickets here. 

The event is organized within the ERC Strating Grant GREYZONE, financed by the European Research Council.


1st February 2019, 6 pm 

The Escape/Quod erat demonstrandum (2013, Andrei Gruzsniczki) 

Director’s statement:

“In any type of society there’s a constraint. Constraints generate compromise that we either accept or not. Betrayal, as a particular form of compromise, is not contained within a certain society. Anytime and anywhere, people wish for a better life for them and their family. But at what cost? Careers, feelings, freedom, everything is at stake…

The placing of the story of the story during Communism is not a critical element of it. But it does provide a particularly sensitive context for revealing universal truths”. (Andrei Gruzinski)

Introduced by Dr Diana Popa (University of Edinburgh) 

8th February 2019, 6 pm 

A Self-Made Hero/Un héros très discret (1996, Jacques Audiard) 

French lad Albert leaves his hometown for Paris after Nazis leave his village. There he meets "The Captain," a Resistance hero. The Captain teaches Albert how to change his identity to a courageous war hero. He manages to keep it up for a while, but soon everything falls apart. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Introduced by Professor Margaret Atack (University of Leeds) 

15th Feburary 2019, 6 pm 

The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis/La larga noche de Francisco Sanctis (2016, Francisco Márquez and Andrea Testa) 

Buenos Aires, 1977. During the military dictatorship, Francisco Sanctis receives information about two people sentenced to “disappear.” A quiet middle-aged family man without any political ties, Francisco is stunned by the urgency of his situation. That night he must make a crucial decision: whether or not to risk his own life to save others. (IMDb)

Introduced by Dr Mauro Greco (University of Edinburgh) 

22nd February 2019, 6 pm 

Mapantsula (1988, Oliver Schmitz) 

Mapantsula tells the story of Panic, a petty gangster who inevitably becomes caught up in the growing anti-apartheid struggle and has to choose between individual gain and a united stand against the system. (IMDb)

Introduced by Dr Maša Mrovlje (University of Edinburgh) 

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