Beyond Tragedy: Understanding a World in Conflict: The Search for Common Ground Film Festival

In 2002, the University of Missouri – Columbia hosted a film festival to commemorate the anniversary of September 11th. It was hosted by Search for Common Ground, which is a campus-wide coalition and organization. This film festival consisted of eight films followed by panel discussions about the ongoing political disputes represented in the films. More than 2,000 people of all ages attended the film festival.

This multi-disciplinary and cross-campus event brought attention to the complex issues that underlie global conflicts. Films about the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Africa, South Asia, and the Balkans were shown. Topics included interracial marriage, nuclear war, ethnic cleansing, religious conflict, racism, terrorism, and peace-seeking efforts. Panel discussions centered on our national sense of security, the impending war on terrorism, and the magnitude of these worldwide conflicts. The Missouri Humanities Council was proud to sponsor this event as it provided an open forum space for people to learn about and debate ongoing political and global issues.