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Society 30 April 2012 9 172
The violence of the Arab Spring has led to widespread displacement in the greater Middle East. Many people have crossed the Mediterranean trying to find passage into Europe. Italy's island of Lampedusa has become notorious for the massive number of illegal immigrants from Northern Africa passing through it. Life on the Curb shows those trying to escape the aggression in their homelands, or who are just simply searching for a better way of life. The film explains local residents’ conflicting attitude towards migrants and how it affects Europe as a whole.
Kosovo, with NATO’s help, won independence from Serbia in 1999. In 2014 Serbia opened its borders with the young republic allowing tens of thousands of migrants to leave Kosovo for Europe. Disenchanted Kosovars hoped to escape poverty and unemployment by seeking better lives abroad for themselves and their children. The massed departure has come to be known as “the Exodus”.
The shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, unleashed a wave of mass protests that shook the whole of the United States. His death was the catalyst that set off an already highly explosive atmosphere in the town. RTD visits Ferguson to hear what its residents have to say about the issues in their community.
They joined the army driven by a desire to serve their country and its people. However, the wars they were sent to made them re-evaluate everything they believed in. Now, US veterans are trying to come to terms with their past and learn how to live among civilians again. It turns out, they’ve no one to rely on but each other.
Egypt is a land where the concept of gender equality has barely taken root. It’s hard for women to make ends meet and even harder if they happen to be single parents. When Sisa’s husband died, leaving her alone to bring up and feed a young daughter, she came up with a novel solution; she became a man! For the next 43 years she pretended to be male. Now in her 60s, she has no doubts about living that lie, saying it was a far better choice than taking another husband.
“Gender equality gives children a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.” This is the basic idea of the gender-free pedagogy taught in Sweden. Any reference to gender is eliminated from toys, books and even speech. Tanja Bergkvist, a Swedish blogger, shows how this process can reach absurdity.
A stranger in his homeland and a stranger in his adopted country, a former Soviet soldier had to stay in Afghanistan for 29 years after being captured by the Mujahideen and made to fight on the side of his country's enemy. In this film, he finally comes back to his native land, but is he welcomed?
Minister Steve, founder of “Tent City” for the homeless, lost his battle with the authorities and the makeshift settlement was torn down. Now he's built a raft to sail the perilous waters of the Intracoastal Waterway and raise awareness of the problem of homelessness in America. Flying a 13-star Betsy Ross flag, and with conquistador statue for protection, RTD's Aleksey Brazhnikov joins him as he embarks on his odyssey.
Pastor and pilgrim Gennady Mokhnenko - a foster father of 32 former street boys, travels to Africa to sponsor a 33rd son, a boy from the streets of Kenya. He brings along three of his foster sons and a team of volunteers. They work in orphanages and hospitals, bring money to provide medications, food and clothes in their mission to help Kenyan street kids and orphans in their day-to-day struggles. RT’s camera crew follows them in Kenya to hear about their experiences in this troubled part of the world.
An estimated 290,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide in 20 years. Small farms used to be the country’s economic backbone but now, owners struggle to make even a meagre profit and drown in debt. For some, the pressure is too much. Many blame GMO cotton for the failing farms, having cornered the market and replaced organic crops; they have failed to live up to expectations.