Anti-Personnel Landmines | Watch My Child, My Land on NFB.ca
This weekend was the UN’s International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, observed every year on April 4th.
Anti-personnel landmines are a troubling reminder of the open-ended ugliness of war. Long after wars are waged and peace treaties signed, these indiscriminate weapons sit underground, waiting to be be accidentally detonated by innocent children, farmers or everyday citizens going about their business.
Landmines are heinous contraptions. They are designed to maim, not kill, victims in order to increase the logistical (mostly medical) support required by its victims. They render land impassable and unusable, jeopardizing agriculture, access to water sources and development in general.
In the early 1990s, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) campaigned successfully to prohibit the use of landmines, culminating in the 1997 Ottawa Treaty (or Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction), but much remains to be done today.
In the past 10 years, over 50,000 people have lost limbs or lives to these weapons. Children account for 46 per cent of all civilian casualties.
In My Child, My Land, filmmaker Francine Desbiens questions our complicity of and complacency towards this horrifying state of affairs. If landmines exist at all, it is because someone invented them, and someone else manufactured them. Can we fathom such barbarity?
(The film contains scenes of violence and is not for children. Viewer discretion is advised.)
My Child, My Land, Francine Desbiens, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
For a different angle on this explosive issue, watch also The Price of Duty, a feature doc that explores the demining efforts of Canadian peacekeepers in former Yougoslavia… not all of whom make it back to the motherland alive.
The Price of Duty, Garth Pritchard, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
I am crying as I write this. I love the PeaceKeeper title that these men wear. Especially, as with Izzy and his Mom’s woolen dolls gave these war traumatized kiddies. I am watching this in 2015, but this happened 20 years ago. Canada has had a respected history as peacekeepers, but since Harper’s been in i see reversed. I am so sad our world keeps tearing apart with wars, prejudice, greed, bigotry, sexism, etc.etc. i was 16 or 17 living in Vancouver and met draft dodgers and deserters. One even beigged my to marry him so he could stay in Canada to avoid going to Vietnam….I think, too, how our Canadian vets are being treated so horrbly from DND or whoever is charge of their financial, emotional support after being in wars. I cry when, so aptly emoted by Izzy’s Mom how, on the news, what is important gets blocked, sidetracked by bullshit. ….sorry about this rant. Thanks for such heart-hitting film!