"Problema" - Asking The Questions To Spark Global Dialogue

I saw a documentary at the Chicago Film Festival on Saturday that has inspired today's post. It was a class project because the Director was to be at my class on Monday to talk to us about his movie but, I got a lot more than knowing the movie to know a little bit about the movie-maker.

There are global issues for which everyone has questions but, no one dares ask in public. Many reasons can be given in answer to why people do not ask these questions: fear that no one will listen, no idea who to ask, what will happen if the question is asked, and so on. Ralf Schmerberg found himself asking some of those universal questions eight years ago ("What is my voice? What is free speech? What is free media?") and feeling "discriminated against by the world power." He also wondered if "the government can make the right decisions" for him.

Seeing the futility in his own efforts to make sense of the world events that gave rise to these questions, and catapulted by his feeling of immense "anger and powerlessness," he decided to use his talents as a filmmaker to create a medium where ordinary people can pose their questions. Thus, Dropping Knowledge was born. Unprecedentedly, people from all over the world and all works of life posted thousands of questions from which 100 were chosen to be answered on September 9, 2006, by individuals from different countries of the world in what was called, The Table Of Free Voices.

Ironically, the event was held at Bebelplatz in Berlin, the same place where an attempt was made to stiffle knowledge and thought by the burning of books. The ensuing documentary of the event was titled, "Problema" with 17 of the questions posed to the panel. It was very profound and got me to listen to my own questions because like many people on this planet, I took the "oh, what's the use" route and silenced them. With questions like, "are you scared?" and "does everyone have the same definition of freedom?", the global dialogue has begun.

Now, some may say that this movie is one-sided. Remember that the auteur is a filmmaker and was inspired by his own questions to himself about world issues. And maybe, part of the problem is that we do not voice our questions when they arise. Schmerberg said he made the documentary to get people to start talking, and one can see why after watching it. Then maybe one day, the world leaders will see our questions and try to answer many, if not all of them. It will be interesting to see how they will react and if these questions will affect some of the decisions they make.

This planet is ours and we are all created with the spirit of perception, independent of other people's. Let's come together as one and use them, let's start with talking with one another, not at each other, then somehow, and somewhere in there, will the answers we seek emerge.

So, let the dialogue begin. You can go here to register and post your questions or you can gather your peers and make it a party. Schmerberg also said the documentary will be available for free download on Dropping Knowledge website on December 6, 2010.

Peace to all HUMANITY!!!