‘Camp 72,’ an Award-Winning Documentary on the Impact of War, Screened at Art Museum of South Texas

October 09, 2015

‘Camp 72,’ an Award-Winning Documentary on the Impact of War, Screened at Art Museum of South Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A screening and panel discussion of the award-winning documentary, “Camp 72: An Unprecedented Look at the Impact of War through the Eyes of Survivors and Former Fighters,” was held Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Art Museum of South Texas. To view the film’s trailer, click here.

“It is recent images – like the young boy washed up on the shore of Turkey – that make many of us stop and think about the human toll of war,” said Seema Mathur-Hopkins, Director of “Camp 72” and Director of Communications & Public Affairs at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “While ‘Camp 72’ documented a quest for justice and healing after war in Liberia, there were many parallels in terms of the human spirit’s quest for survival.”

"Camp 72"  followed a young woman named Gladys who survived the Liberian Civil War. She was forced to watch the brutal murder of her mother by a rebel fighter. The same fighter held her captive as a sex slave for years. The nightmare started in an area Gladys refers to as “Camp 72.”

In 2006, the country began a Truth and Reconciliation Process, where commissioners collected testimonies from thousands affected by or involved in the war.

“The hope was there would be a death blow to impunity and that we would visit our violent past no more,” said Cllr. Jerome J. Verdier, former Chairman of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Human Rights Lawyer, who attended the screening. “The search for justice can be a slow, enduring process, which at times produces a form of unintended healing with the lapse of time, but we can only hope that eventually, there will be true justice that brings closure to the nightmare.”

That death blow to impunity has yet to come. The rebel who raped Gladys and killed her mother lives in freedom only miles away from her, as no one in Liberia has been prosecuted for their war crimes. The film illustrated how many Liberians find hope in the worst of circumstances and how they came to terms with their wounds of war in spite of no legal justice.

“One can’t intrinsically know about a problem and do nothing about it,” said Mathur-Hopkins.

After witnessing the day-to-day difficulties many survivors currently face in their war-torn country, Mathur-Hopkins has committed 72 percent of profits from the documentary and related events to the education of survivors of war.

Following the screening, a discussion between the audience and panel was held. The panel was moderated by Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at A&M-Corpus Christi. Panelists included Verdier, Mathur-Hopkins, and Dr. Kaitlin Nelson, Professor of Political Sciences at A&M-Corpus Christi and Scholar of Transitional Justice. To view photos from the screening event, CLICK HERE.