UNA-NY Screening the Issues
A People Uncounted
Please join us for this special screening to commemorate
HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
co-sponsored with the Department of History at The New School
followed by a discussion with special guest
Human Rights Officer
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Friday, January 31, 2014
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. | Registration
Screening begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.
The New School
66 Fifth Avenue (between 11th and 12th Streets)
New York, NY 10011
REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS CLOSED
Please be advised that this event is over-booked to ensure a full house, and so seating is limited. Please come early — first-come, first-served!
A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED
is the true story of a romanticized and ostracized people, the Roma, whose genocide during the Holocaust has left them struggling to overcome their past — even as they face a frightening resurgence of racism and persecution in present-day Europe.
The film tells the little-known story of the Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies — a people who have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture, politics, and the arts — from Cher and Shakira to Bizet's Carmen. The Roma have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution in Europe, most notably the Holocaust genocide where an estimated 500,000 were murdered. But the Roma persevere, even as they have been singled out for intolerance and persecution throughout Europe. Seen as outsiders, and lacking the kind of social hierarchy and political power that could otherwise advocate collectively for their rights and tell their history, the Roma struggle with chronic poverty and disenfranchisement.
Encompassing 11 countries and interviewing dozens of Roma — including Holocaust survivors, artists, historians, musicians, and intellectuals — A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED documents the culturally rich but often difficult lives of the Roma taking us back through history to the little-known story of Roma genocide at the hands of Nazis during World War II. The Roma and their history come to life through the interplay of their poetry and music, along with compelling first-hand accounts from survivors of concentration camps.
"For a complete understanding of the Holocaust, we must teach the story of the Roma," said the film's director Aaron Yeger. "It's disappointing that there is rarely any understanding of how the Roma came to be in their present situation and rarely any genuine sympathy.
"This film reveals much about our common humanity. Any person of any cultural background can become a victim or a perpetrator of genocide. Racism is a common problem, not specific to any one group. Furthermore, the film highlights the fact that multiple perpetrators, not only the Germans, were responsible for the Holocaust and that people in many countries harbored racist attitudes that enabled the genocide. Only when the Holocaust is understood in this broader context is it possible to deal with the high probability that such tragic events can happen again."
As ethnic intolerance flares up across Europe, A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED sheds light on this unique culture while reminding us, through the story of the Roma, that ethnic minorities all too often fall prey to racism and genocide.
Mr. David Marshall is currently a Human Rights Officer in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). His areas of expertise are rule of law and transitional justice.
Prior to his work as a Human Rights Officer, he worked as a Transitional Justice Advisor in OHCHR, working on Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as Sudan, where he was acting director of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions Support Office in the UN Mission in South Sudan. He has extensive policy and operational experience with the United Nations, co-managing the largest rule of law initiative in the UN, the creation of the UN Rule of Law Indicators.
He also developed a series of UN rule of law policy tools for post-conflict states, focusing on national prosecutions of mass crimes and best practices relating to truth commissions and vetting. In addition to South Sudan, Mr. Marshall has been the legal advisor to the OHCHR in Nepal, acting legal advisor to the OHCHR Special Envoy on Darfur, and Senior Human Rights Advisor to the UN leadership in Kosovo.
Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Marshall was a criminal law litigator in the UK and the U.S. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales, the New York Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court bar. His pro bono work includes acting as legal consultant to Amnesty International on U.S. criminal justice issues, including the death penalty.
Mr. Marshall attended Leeds University and Harvard Law School.
Critical Praise for A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED
"Profoundly moving… Toronto director Aaron Yeger hits hard with his first film, a powerful documentary on the plight of the Roma people through history… an expansive essay on prejudice and the resilience of the human spirit." Montreal Gazette
"Illuminating… offers a vivid mis of visual evidence, historical commentary and survivor testimonies." Variety
"Needed no star power to keep me glued to the screen…A virtually unknown piece of history, and a fascinating, hyperbole-free inquiry into what one recent study determined is the most discriminated-against group in all of Europe." Filmmaker Magazine
"Never loses the fine balance between portraying harrowing expiriences while maintaining its optimistic tone. It is very stirring and helps carve a niche for the Roma community in history. A must-watch." Box Office India
UNA-NY is grateful for the generosity of the The New School, for allowing our organization the booking of their premises for our film-talk series, Screening the Issues.