“The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.”

The Anti-Semite and The Child

Alain Cohen and Michel Simone in Claude Berri’s The Two of Us


“I believe in America. ”

Chameleon Days

Woody Allen as Leonard Zelig in his masterwork ZELIG

Sergio Vieira de Mello

Vieira de Mello knew he would have to figure out a way to work with, through, and around the United States. In his speeches he chipped away at notions of American exceptionalism, arguing that the tendency to violate rights was as universal as the rights themselves. “There does not exist on this earth a paradise for human rights,” he said. “It is too tempting to divide the world into zones of light and zones of shadows, but the truth is that we all sail between the two.”

He sought to balance respect for a country’s right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks with efforts to make sure that it respected international rules in the process. He thought human rights organizations that condemned Bush at times sounded as though they were defending terrorism. In his public remarks he stressed that it was important to delve into “root causes” but asked, “Are there not justifications for every crime and every atrocity?” He continued, “The sadist has his reasons just like he who is pushed by madness. There were economic motivations for slavery,” he said. “We have the right to live without this fear of dying, no matter where, at any moment.” He urged his staff to remember to denounce terrorist acts with every bit the fervor with which they criticized human rights violations by states. He did not want to alienate the United States before he had a chance to influence it behind the scenes.”

Chasing The Flame by Samantha Power

Thus Have We Made the World

Scene 1
ALTAMARINO: What did the boy say?

FATHER GABRIEL: He said he will not return to the jungle. The devil lives there.
ALTAMARINO: (delayed)…And what did you say?
FATHER GABRIEL: I said I will stay with him.
Father Gabriel turns and walks away, leaving His Excellency alone by the mission.
Scene 2
HONTAR: You have no choice, your excellency. We work in the world. The world is thus.
ALTAMARINO: No, Sir Hontar. Thus have we made the world. Thus have I made it.
–From “The Mission”
Written by Robert Bolt
Directed by Roland Joffe


“Anyone seriously interested in making film should find as much money as he can as quickly as he can and go out and do it.”

“You are not a realist unless you believe in miracles.”
— Sadat

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