'If you kill one person, you go to jail. If you kill 40 people, they put you in an insane asylum. But if you kill 40, 000 people, you get a comfortable exile with a bank account in another country, and that’s what we want to change here', thus Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch. Dutch documentary maker Klaartje Quirijns made a film about this American human rights lawyer. He wants to prevent former dictators from getting off easy and not answer to the judge for the horrible crimes they commited during their stay in power. One of his targets is Hissène Habé
, the former Chad leader from 1982 to 1990. His government during that time is said to have carried out 40.000 politically motivated murders. The man is now living comfortably in Senegal. Brody does not leave a stone unturned to get him extradited and tried in court. Quirijns followed him on this quest. Her documentary The Dictator Hunter
will be shown on the Amnesty Filmfestival is soon available on dvd.
Maybe it's because I know his song Saudades by heart from the music that a Mozambican friend gave me just before I left Maputo last time. The incredibly popular Angolan singer Matias Damásio is coming to the Netherlands, and although my taste in music normally is a bit heavier I am looking forward to his performance a lot. On March 29 in Rotterdam: A Noite de Luanda. Just in time, because two days later I'll already be in Luanda, Angola, for a month of in depth research on Angolan night life... Of course I'll also be covering social economic development, the status of women, informal economy and a thousand other interesting aspects of this Southern-African country that is springing to it's feet after years of war.