A Reasonable Argument

  • Lab
    • Autre / Other
  • Production year 2018
  • Production format Multi-format
  • Screening format DCP
  • Duration 1′
  • A Reasonable Argument

  • a Film
  • by Mario Hamad
  • Description (english)

    Combining 35mm photographs, a propaganda soundtrack and found digital images of murdered detainees from the Caesar Files, this film presents an incongruity of views on Syria expressed simultaneously. Featuring political rhetoric, dehumanisation, protest and genocide. Concept: If a project of extermination is to be successful, it requires a narrative component that functions to legitimise the acts of killing being committed. In the case of Syria, this narrative component is a duality of denial and dehumanisation, each contributing towards the overall intention to justify the acts of killing carried out by the Assad regime and its allies. In the first part of this duality, the very existence of the targeted group—a civil democratic opposition—is denied whilst in the second part, the individuals that make up the group’s collective political identity are dehumanised to the extent that their eventual eradication becomes politically and socially justifiable in the eyes of the propaganda’s target audience. This narrative component—manifested in the verbal and literary guise of “reasonable arguments”—is one that has been internationalised by virtue of its outsourcing and targeted dissemination (often multimodal and digitised) by the Assad regime and its allies. Are those who have therefore participated in and sustained this internationalised narrative component to be considered innocent of complicity in the regime’s campaign of genocide? Does not their willing participation in such an endeavour imply an intention on their part to influence global public opinion and the foreign policies of their respective governments towards maintaining a status quo that enables the regime and its allies to exterminate populations with impunity? And as with genocides perpetrated elsewhere, does not their complicity also warrant legal punishment in order to deter them and others from participating in such dehumanisation campaigns elsewhere and in the future?

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