Saturday, June 09, 2012

Euro 2012: German Film, Storm

Entry #11 of the Euro 2012 Book & Film Spotlight looks at the single German entry. Ulrich Köhler’s Sleeping Sickness will not be available until later in the summer. Therefore, Hans-Christian Schmid’s Storm will be used for both the first and third group games.

Storm (2009, Hans-Christian Schmid)

Hans-Christian Schmid’s Storm perfectly illustrates why it is so difficult to convict war criminals in international courts. The film outlines how sometimes it can take years to capture some war criminals with the end result being that some of the evidence used in the trials is atleast a decade old. In the meantime, some key witnesses are pressured by opposing forces and therefore afraid to testify while other witnesses’ memories have forgotten certain crucial details. In other cases, witnesses use a relative's word of mouth descriptions as objective facts even though the witness may not have seen the event with their own eyes. The end result is that enough doubt creeps in the prosecutor's witness accounts thereby making it easier for a defense to win the case. The film also shows the background political deal making that goes hand in hand with international trials and how politicians and lawyers often perform favours in one trial in exchange for benefits in upcoming trials.

As an aside, it is more difficult for a soccer team to create a goal scoring chance while it is easier for an opponent to sit back, defend and thwart goal scoring opportunities. In a similar manner, Storm shows how a defense can easily derail years of evidence and creative effort of the prosecution.


Sam Juliano said...

I haven't seen this film, but it sounds most promising. The subject brings to mind the matter of a young Dutch killer named Joran Van der Sloot, who after all kinds of legal wrangles is apparently set for extradition:

Whether this will result in anything conclusive is still yet to be seen, but it underscores the issues that are apparently at the center of STORM. Terrific capsule piece here Sachin!

Sachin said...

Thanks Sam not only for this comment but alerting me to that story.