As you know, people all over the world celebrated International Children Day yesterday. We did the same. Kazakhstan with the support of UNICEF organized Children film festival in Astana. The festival aimed to draw people’s attention to the children all over the world and different situations they are in. Children film festival in Astana takes place in Saryarka Shopping and Entertainment Center. It will last for five days and started on the first of June. The first day of the film festival started with the film “All the invisible children”, that consisted of several short films such as:

  • Tanza, by Mehdi Charef (Burkina Faso) tells the story of a child soldier in Africa who dreams of living a normal life and attending school.
  • Blue Gypsy, by Emir Kusturica (Serbia & Montenegro) pictures a gypsy boy in his last day in a juvenile prison in Serbia-Montenegro without any other perspective but returning to prison.
  • Jesus Children of America, by Spike Lee (USA) shows a HIV positive Brooklyn teenager called Blanca, daughter of junkies’ parents with Aids and the cruelty of her schoolmates in school.
  • João and Bilú, by Kátia Lund (Brazil) tells the story of two children who fight to survive working on the streets.
  • Ciro, by Stefano Veneruso (Italy) tells the story of a young boy in Naples who pickpockets to spend money on entertainment.
  • Song Song and Little Cat, by John Woo (China) shows a tale of fantasy, with a homeless orphan and a spoiled wealthy girl.

(For further information follow the link Film Festival in Astana)
Each of those films showed children and their situations from different perspectives. However, combined all of them managed to make people understand that children need our attention and care every time and everywhere. Perhaps, people felt it for majority, who came to watch the film, didn’t want to leave the cinema even when there were no places and they didn’t. I guess, they enjoyed the first day of the children film festival despite discomfort they were forced to deal. (The film festival is free of charge and people were ready to watch it even sitting on the stairs.)

Personally, I was glad to see so many viewers in the hall for it means that there are people, who are not indifferent to the children destiny. Of course, I want to believe that those people didn’t come just to watch a film for free and spend their usual evening with “something not boring”.

The films were so real that I felt compassion to those children. Their life and their destiny was so cruel and it became even worse when the life faced them with the loss of a closer person, fatal disease, coerced act of carrying weapons and shooting, and eking out a living by gathering cans and metals all day long. Doing all these things children are deprived from the childhood. They cannot play outside, they cannot go to school, they cannot feel themselves safe . . .

Sometimes, looking at children playing, I miss my childhood. However, I feel pity for them at the same time.In our childhood our friends were not online, they were outdoors, in the yard. We didn’t call our friends to play by mobile phones, we shouted under their windows calling them for game. We didn’t play computer games all day long, but such games as hide-and-seek and etc. Comparatively, our childhood was real. Still adults can make childhood of their children bright, enjoyable and memorable.

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