On Monday 19 December Carlos Gonzáles introduced his new film at the Centre for Ideas at Victorian College of the Arts, part of Melbourne University in the presence of its director, Dr Elizabeth Presa (see photo
Entitled “Robbed of Truth”, the documentary examines the claim in the earlier Australian film “Stolen” that slavery is widespread in the Saharawi refugee camps. Carlos, who had been the camera man during the second visit of the Australian filmmakers of “Stolen”, retraces their steps meeting the main characters in the film such as Fetim Salami and her family to find out how the film he thought would be about family reunion turned into a film about slavery.
‘Robbed of Truth’ – Australian Media Premiere
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19TH, 2011 – 1PM
Victorian College of the Arts
School of Film and TV – Federation Hall
234 St.Kilda Road, Melbourne
This screening has been endorsed by The Center for Ideas, University of Melbourne
“Robbed of Truth: The Western Sahara Conflict and the Ethics of Documentary Filmmaking” will be introduced by its director and producer Carlos González.
Flyer about event >>
Facebook page about event and film >>
Festival Reports in Issue 55
by Bérénice Reynaud
….The controversial Australian documentary Stolen (which received PAFF’s Best Feature Documentary Award) argues that slavery still exists in the Polisario camps in Western Sahara – an assertion that was violently criticised during the post-screening panel discussion, that unfortunately degenerated into a screaming match between (and among) the Festival’s organisers and some members of the audience. (….continued)
Read full report >>
Australia Western Sahara Association has updated its detailed critique on the documentary Stolen to reflect the recent publicity and commentary on the film. This updated edition is now published as the 3rd edition.
Download the critique 3rd edition June 2010 >>
13 July 2010
The Embassy of the Saharawi Republic to the United Republic of Tanzania welcomes the decision by Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), to remove the so-called “Stolen” film from the program of its 13th Festival which is taking place in Zanzibar on 10-18 July 2010.
ZIFF’s Board decided not to screen “Stolen” during the Festival after close and thorough consideration of all the information and representations made by the Saharawis affected by the film including the family of Fetim Sellami a key figure in the film.
Press Release >>
Friday 26 February, 2010
Almost all the truly contentious issues in documentary can be collected around the one phrase: documentary ethics. What happens when a group of documentary filmmakers discuss their private morality in a public space?…….Tom Zubrycki’s reactions are revealing when questioned about the documentary ‘Stolen’ which contains re-enactments in Cronulla and Bondi golf course. He acknowledges the tapes were never buried in the
desert thus making a mockery of one of the central tenets of the so-called ‘drama’ that our intrepid adventurers (sic.) violeta and dan found themselves caught up in…….
Read Natasha Phillips’ report >>
Just How Far Has The Envelope Been Pushed?
OPINION, by Philippe Mora
The Business of Film, AFM Feature November 2009, p20
Over the last decade or so the art of Documentary storytelling, once confined to the intelligencia, has blossomed. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth thrust the genre firmly into the limelight of feature films as a highly regarded and permanent ‘must’ on any serious film aficionado diary. However a worrying trend has taken root in which the unprincipled of bending the truth has surfaced far more often than is good for the industry or the public at large….. The documentary Stolen, purportedly about Slaves (…cont.)
Read Philippe Mora’s article >>
President Jose Ramos-Horta supports Western Sahara independence
The President of Timor Leste and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, Jose Ramos-Horta headlined a discussion on the status of Western Sahara, Africa s last colony, in Melbourne, Australia on 23 July 2009.
View Jose Ramos-Horta’s presentation >>
The Spectator Australia, 29 August 2009
Philippe Mora writes: ‘I was in Sydney’s Chinatown, enjoying delicious steamed lobster with ginger and attending the recent Film Festival, when I got a dramatic phone call. An old friend and cameraman for three of my films, Carlos Gonzalez, was calling from Los Angeles to say that a West Saharan woman, Fetim, from Tindouf refugee camp in Algeria, was flying in to Sydney to denounce a film portraying her as a slave…
Read the rest of Philippe Mora’s article >>.
The Second Edition of the detailed critique of the documentary Stolen has now been published. This updated edition reflects the more recent publicity, information and events surrounding the screening of the documentary at the Melbourne Film Festival on 31 July.
The critique investigates the questionable methods and unethical practices from pre to post production used in the making of Stolen, directed by Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw and produced by Tom Zubrycki.
Download: Critique of Stolen II