Radical Democracy Stories | Local Heroes

‘Koit has experienced life under Russian occupation, war and poverty’, says Maria Kivirand about her protagonist, an elderly woman called Koit. The experience hasn’t made her subdued – on the contrary. ‘All that has made her strong, careful, conservative and cautious.’

Local heroes come in all shapes and sizes and through the category Local Heroes, it has been truly inspirational to meet some remarkable people that are overlooked or stereotyped by mainstream media.

Like for example in KOIT FROM LAUKÜLA. Kivirand met her ‘local hero’ Koit in a small, impoverished Estonian village. ‘The film opens up a door to opinions, life and people we tend to forget, especially the younger generation. It is important for me that the ordinary people can also have their voice heard.’ Kivirand wants to highlight the plight of Koit’s generation. ‘Politicians tend not to care or lend their support. It is a sad and avoided topic.’

In THE UNKNOWN SIDE OF FREEDOM, Afra Rigamonti portraits Bhurmese refugee Kumara to reflect on the meaning of freedom. And to appreciate rather than distrust the experience of individuals like him. ‘The values of individuals from other cultures can be enriching. Their experiences and knowledge shouldn’t be underestimated.’

Velianna Kasheva made TIMEHEROES, an Audience Choice finalist about a classic volunteer cause: planting trees. ‘Bulgaria is the most problematic country in the EU, as we perfectly know. All the time I see people complaining about the problems here, but I rarely see people like these – solving the problems here.’

Talking about being overlooked and stereotyped: people taking part in the Gezi Park protests know all about it. Anger and frustration about the silent national media inspired Ayce Kartal to make animation BACKWARD RUN. ‘During the protest days, an old man came to me and asked “What is this crowd? What is happening? Did we win the World Cup?” I felt very very VERY sad, I was shocked and got very angry. That was the exact moment I decided to make a film about the press problem and the miserable situation of ordinary people in Turkey during the protests.’

To meet more Local Heroes, go to the Videos section and click on the ‘Local Heroes’ button.

//17.05.2014 09:53

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