Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy

Documentary Films

SIFF Says:

Traveling five continents, Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers Of Democracy profiles a dozen men and women whose job, obligation, and clear source of joy is to distill the chaos of world politics into a few vivid pen strokes and a pithy quip. The grand tradition of political cartoonists speaking (or rather drawing) truth to power is continued by these artists, from French cartoonist Plantu’s merciless portraits of Sarkozy’s anxious inefficiency to the plump, contentedly smiling cats with which Nadia Khiari satirizes the lazy arrogance of Tunisia’s leadership. Such caricatures haven’t sat well with all their targets, of course, and many of the interviewees have tales to share of censorship, imprisonment, or worse. Not one of which, happily, has led any of these cartoonists to despair or silence. Instead, their determination to call out corruption and hypocrisy only seems strengthened by such attacks. Perhaps because they realize, having to suffer such blows from both Left and Right, they’re not fighting ideologies so much as a simple inability to laugh at oneself. As one of the more pointed cartoons on display baldly puts it, “A government without a sense of humor isn’t democratic.”

Stranger Says:

Graceful, weary, wry, intelligent, and amazingly uncynical, these dozen cartoonists (plus the original begetter of the Danish Muhammad cartoons) are a joy to spend time with. Yes, the film is a tiny bit preachy, but how could it not be? Go in order to refresh your democratic spirit; after you’ve seen it, write to your senator, inscribe some inspiring graffiti, tweet a rousing tweet, let your voice be heard. (BARLEY BLAIR)
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Film Credits
Director
Stéphanie Valloatto
Cast
Nadia Khiari, Michel Kichka, Baha Boukhari, Rayma Suprani, Jeff Danziger
Festivals
SIFF 2015