Face2Face with David Peck
War Flowers - Viveka Melki
Viveka Melki talks about her art exhibition War Flowers, our human tendency toward war, and the importance of telling the story.
War Flowers is a multi-platform exhibition that will provide visitors with a unique immersive experience. It draws on letters written during World War I. Each letter home included a flower, poppies from Flanders and daisies from the Somme, picked from a battlefield and pressed between the pages. The letters written by Lt Col. Cant lie to his wife and children in Montréal, link to nine other key figures and provide perspectives on the Canadian contribution to the war effort. It is the story of humanity’s unfailing ability to find beauty in war.
War Flowers: A Touring Art Exhibition curator Viveka Melki is a Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter. She has lived, worked and traveled in cultures where repressive regimes are dominant. From these experiences are born her projects around conflict - and the capacity of the human spirit for resilience. Reflecting on the subject of war, she says: “I dislike war because it runs in our blood and then our blood runs. My goal as an artist is to tell history in our time, with our voice as artists in this era. I bring my film experience into all my work so, in the end, I am a storyteller. I always ask one question when looking at Canadian history - what did it feel like? And if we can capture a fraction of that and bring you into that experience, then we have succeeded.”
Born in The Gambia, West Africa of Brazilian/Lebanese descent, and educated in the UK before immigrating to Canada, Melki sees the world through a multi-cultural lens. In 2014, she directed the two-part series War Correspondence (Radio-Canada, RDI). Her feature-length documentary After Circus (2015) received acclaim after screenings at several North American film festivals, including Hot Docs in Toronto and the Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal, as well as at the prestigious Sunny Side of the Doc Festival in La Rochelle, France. It was broadcast across Canada on CBC’s documentary Channel in June 2016.
In April 2017, Viveka’s new documentary, Carricks: In the Wake of the Irish, aired on Radio-Canada & RDI. It is the tragic story of the Carricks shipwreck in 1847 and one family’s quest to find the truth – a quest that becomes the journey of the Francophone-Irish in Quebec. Viveka is currently working with the New Chapters Canada Council for the Arts on her new film, Alouette, about the Japanese POW camps during the Second World War.
With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Image Copyright: Viveka Melki. Used with permission.
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608. Propaganda, Poetry & Justice39:28Roman Liubyi and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Iron Butterflies, cultural diplomacy, artistic interpretations, poetry, war crimes, human rights, justice, propaganda, and creating monuments on screen.TrailerSynopsis:On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. While worldwide shock was immediate, failure to lay categorical blame would only amplify the tragedy. Filmmaker Roman Liubyi meticulously presents the intercepted radio communications, uploaded videos, and irrefutable evidence of Russia’s guilt.But it is the film’s artful meditation on Russia’s incredible denials that powers its real indictment—by not immediately holding the guilty accountable and by allowing a Dutch court to provide the only international reprisal of the Russian state eight years later, the international community tacitly allowed the war in Ukraine to continue.From sombre dance sequences at the plane’s wreckage to a recurring vignette of a child’s hands playing with butterfly-shaped shrapnel, Liubyi sounds the alarm over what should have been the world’s wake-up call to a war that was already underway.About Roman:Roman Liubyi is a Ukrainian director, editor, and animator working in screen arts, theater, and music. His debut feature documentary, War Note, is a surrealist cinematic journey to the front line of Ukraine’s war with the Russian Federation, edited from found footage shot by Ukrainian soldiers in 2014. Since 2013, Liubyi has been a part of the Babylon’13: Cinema of Civil Society film collective.Image Copyright: Roman Liubyi and Babylon 13F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Andrew McCarthy, Success & Family38:14Andrew McCarthy and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new book Walking With Sam, fear, success and the 80’s, relationships and isolation, acting, travel and family, generosity, finding our way back home and why it’s so revealing and important to take one step at a time. More about Andrew here and the book is Available now!Photo credit: Jesse DittmarAbout the Book:An intimate, funny, and poignant travel memoir following New York Times bestselling author and actor Andrew McCarthy as he walks the Camino de Santiago with his son Sam.When Andrew McCarthy's eldest son began to take his first steps into adulthood, McCarthy found himself wishing time would slow down. Looking to create a more meaningful connection with Sam before he fled the nest, as well as recreate his own life-altering journey decades before, McCarthy decided the two of them should set out on a trek like few others: 500 miles across Spain's Camino de Santiago. Over the course of the journey, the pair traversed an unforgiving landscape, having more honest conversations in five weeks than they'd had in the preceding two decades. Discussions of divorce, the trauma of school, McCarthy's difficult relationship with his own father, fame, and Flaming Hot Cheetos threatened to either derail their relationship or cement it.Walking With Sam captures this intimate, candid and hopeful expedition as the father son duo travel across the country and towards one another.About Andrew:Andrew McCarthy is a director, an award-winning travel writer, and—of course—an actor. He made his professional début at 19 in Class, and has appeared in dozens of films, including such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Than Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. His memoir chronicling this time, BRAT: An ‘80s Story (order here), became a New York Times Bestseller in 2021.Andrew has directed nearly a hundred hours of television, including The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, and many others.For a dozen years Andrew served as an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Time, Travel+Leisure, Town & Country, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others. He was named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers, as well as serving as guest editor of the prestigious Best American Travel Writing anthology.Andrew is the author of a travel memoir, The Longest Way Home, Brat: An 80’s Story, and a Just Fly Away — all New York Times bestsellers. He lives inNew York.Image Copyright: Jesse DittmarF2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Family, Corruption & Justice27:39Robert Osbourne and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Malcolm is Missing, tenacity and passionate commitment to a cause, justice and corruption, family and why sometimes pushing back against the system is necessary.TrailerWatch on CBC GemSynopsis:Malcom is Missing, from Canadian documentarians Robert Osborne and Jari Osborne, is an affecting and suspenseful portrait of a daughter who wouldn’t give up, and a corruption-riddled system of justice - a country where 100,000 people go missing every year and 95% of violent crimes are never solved. In between the moments of investigative discovery, Malcom is Missing paints a picture of a strained but loving family, a man-child of a father who left Brooke’s life early, but maintained a bond that compelled her to find out his fate. We see his odd collection of miniatures, including a mechanical “Curiosity Shop,” and gradually get a sense of a man who’s a curious combination of guarded and suspicious yet oddly naïve and trusting. "I am always amazed and inspired by how passionate and articulate so-called “ordinary” people can be,” says co-director Jari Osborne. “Brooke is no exception. In fact, in every way, I find Brooke remarkable--as is her story. Malcom is Missing is certainly a true crime thriller. But at its heart, beats the story of a brilliant, elusive--and flawed—father, and the daughter who would rescue him and find herself profoundly changed." On April 14, 2023, four-and-a-half years after he disappeared, Malcom’s killers were finally convicted in a Mexican court—Marcela, Martin and Andres each received sentences of 56 years.About Robert:Robert Osborne is the Senior Producer of Dam Builder Productions. He brings to the table more than 30 years of working in long format television. For much of that time he was an investigative journalist working for CTV, CBC and Global Television.In 2012 Robert changed course and began to work exclusively in the field of documentaries--combining his experience as a journalist with new expertise he acquired as a Director, Producer and Writer. The amalgamation of those skills have led to a pair of well-regarded investigative documentaries.Robert has won more than half a dozen RTNDA Awards, a CAJ Award and an Award of Merit from the Governor General. He has been nominated several times for Gemini awards and been part of a team that won two. In 2012 he was nominated for a CSA Award for Unlocking Alex. In 2018 he won a CSA for best writing in a documentary.Image Copyright: Robert Osbourne & Dambuilder Productions.F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Armageddon, Politics & Prophecy43:13Tonje Hessen Schei and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film Praying For Armageddon, the power of persuasion, our addiction to certainty, hope, empire and power, fundamentalism, extremism and violence, and the power of the people.Watch the Trailer.Synopsis:Praying for Armageddon is a political thriller that reveals the power and influence of U.S. fundamentalist Evangelicals, as they aim to fulfill the Armageddon prophecy. With close quarters journalism, this feature documentary embeds with American believers who prepare for The Holy war and exposes how powerful megachurch pastors call for the 'final battle' that they believe will trigger the Second Coming of Christ. A deep dive into power and policy, this film unveils how politicians driven by faith embrace Israel as the key to their prophetic vision for the end of days. At any cost.Praying for Armageddon investigates the dangerous consequences of the fusion between Evangelical Christianity and American politics. Stark and gripping in approach, this film not only reveals how structures of fundamentalism weaken the very fabric of American democracy, but also highlights the devastating impact religion wields on U.S. foreign policy. Praying for Armageddon uncovers how the Evangelicals fuel the volatile situation in Israel and Palestine - ultimately escalating the spirals of violence in the Middle East. From the grassroots to megachurch empires and the dark backrooms in Washington D.C., this film goes inside a movement that ultimately aims to destroy our civilization.About Tonja:Tonje Hessen Schei is an award-winning documentary director who has worked with independent documentary since 1996. Her films mostly take on international issues that questions systems of power that shape our world. With political thrillers Tonje has investigated the CIAs drone war, the artificial intelligence revolution, and the consequences of the influence of Evangelical fundamentalists in the US.Tonje is the director of Praying for Armageddon, a political thriller on the fundamentalist U.S. Evangelical ́s power and influence as they work to speed up the end times and fulfill the Armageddon prophecy. She is also the director of iHUMAN, a political thriller from the inside of the AI revolution, which premiered at IDFA 2019, with sold-out theaters and a Doc Talk with Edward Snowden. iHUMAN won Best Norwegian Documentary at HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival, 2020. The film had special high level panel debates at the Berlinale and Cannes 2019 and has screened at the UN and EU.Tonje directed Drone, Play Again and Independent Intervention, which both won several international awards. The films have been screened on all continents in over 100 countries and are used by schools and universities globally.Image Copyright: UpNorth Films and Tonje Hessen Schei.F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Uganda, Trauma & Justice31:54Emil Langballe, Lukasz Konopa and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new film Theatre of Violence, Christianity and conflict, radicalization,nature versus nurture, restorative justice, government oppression, and why retributive justice doesn’t work.Watch the trailer here and head to Hot Docs for more information.Synopsis:Can you be an executioner and a victim at the same time? At the age of 9, Ayena's client, Dominique Ongwen, became one of at least 20.000 children abducted by rebel leader Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. Ongwen was brainwashed by Kony, who used a combination of Christianity, witchcraft and torture to turn the children into loyal LRA soldiers in the rebellion against president, Yoweri Museveni.Ongwen quickly learned that it was a matter of kill or be killed - and he rose to the rank of commander before one day surrendering to the authorities and the following prosecution in The Hague. He is charged with 70 different counts of crimes, including torture, rape and murder. But his defence lawyer, Ayena, wants him acquitted because he believes Ongwen is not responsible for the way his life turned out. In addition, the outcome of the trial threatens to reopen old wounds at home in Uganda seeing that Ongwen and the LRA are part of the Acholi people of northern Uganda, where Kony founded his brutal army in response to the equally brutal crackdown on the Acholi people by the incumbent president, Museveni. Personally, Ayena has a lot at stake. He must not only get justice for his client and his people - but also try to explain to the Western-based International Criminal Court what kind of country Uganda is, and what the potential consequences of the verdict might be.About Emil and Lukasz:Lukasz Konopa has a master’s degree in Documentary Film Directing from the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) and an MA in sociology from the University of Warsaw, Poland.His documentaries have been featured at festivals, such as Hot Docs, Camerimage, Visions du Reel and SXSW. His film After won the CILECT Best Documentary film award, which is chosen by the association of the world’s major film and television schools. Currently splitting his time between Tel Aviv, where he works as a cinematographer on documentaries produced by one of Israel’s top production companies, Heymann Brothers Films; and Denmark where he has just completed his first feature length documentary with Made in Copenhagen.Emil Langballe graduated from UK's National Film and Television School in 2013. His graduation film Beach Boy was honoured at such film festivals as Karlovy Vary, Thessaloniki, Tampere and Hot Docs. The Wait premiered at IDFA. His latest films Q's Barbershop and A Married Couple both premiered in competition at CPH: DOX.Image Copyright: Emil Langballe, Lukasz Konopa & Dogwoof Films.F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Nintendo, Family & Pure Joy28:24Christian Einshøj and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film The Mountains, Super Nintendo, anxiety, depression, memory, family photography andtrauma, existentialism, expectations and the experience of pure joy.Watch the trailer here and head to Hot Docs for more information.'Synopsis:Two decades after the tragic death of his brother, the director Christian Einshøj's family is falling apart. But when his overworked CEO dad is unexpectedly let off anddecides to sell the family home, Christian goes back home in a final desperate attempt to assemble the family and recover what is lost.Armed with 30 years of home-video, 75,000 family photos and three tightly fit superhero costumes, he ventures into landscapes of long-lost time, in an attempt toconfront a 25-year-old tragedy, and the hidden wounds left in its wake. It's a story of fathers and sons, of vast collections of stamps and amateur videography, of longdistance business-class flights and all the other ways in which we flee, instead of talking about that which hurts – and of the redemption that can follow when thesilence is eventually breached.About Christian:Christian Einshøj is a self-taught director and film editor born in Denmark in 1985 but raised in a Norwegian suburb. His editing credits include Bodil and the award winning Q’s Barbershop.In 2018 his short doc Haunted was awarded Best International Short at HotDocs and went on to play at festivals around the world. The Mountains is his first feature film.Image Copyright and Credit: Christian Einshøj.F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Truth, Conspiracy & Lies40:36Lewis Cohen and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new show Truth and Lies, Conspiracies, Propaganda, the supposed Age of Reason, facts and Fake News, history and how it repeats itself and why we need to be on our guard.Watch the series here.Blurb:Since the dawn of civilization, people in power have played with the truth, danced with deception, and altered reality to suit their interests. Truth and Lies is an ambitious new TVO documentary series that explores the most dramatic present-day and historical examples of facts being bent, twisted and reshaped as a means of achieving influence and control.About Lewis:Lewis Cohen is an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and director. His documentaries and television series have been broadcast in Canada, the US, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, South America and China. For the last two years, Lewis has been producing Fighting Words, a globe-trotting feature doc about three pioneering artists pushing back against political polarization. Prior to that, he was a showrunner at VICE, where he wrote, directed and produced 30 episodes of Vice Guide To Film for broadcast in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK; and The Beat, a 20-part doc series with unprecedented access to the police in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His feature docs include, Lovesick, a Gemini Award winner, Best Arts Program, Jews and Money, an investigation into a kidnapping and murder in Paris. Lewis also wrote and directed the 13-part series Cirque Du Soleil: Fire Within, the 2003 Primetime Emmy winner for Outstanding Nonfiction Program and Gemini winner for Best Direction and Best Reality-based Series. It was Bravo’s highest-ever rated show at that time. Lewis is currently completing an autobiographical documentary investigating his obsessive relationship with his dog.Image Copyright and Credit: Lewis Cohen and TVO.F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Institutions, Trauma & Love44:00Barri Cohen, Brian Logie and Face2Face host David Peck talk about Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children, trauma, empathy and love, “othering”, labels and woodcarving, oppression, institutions and junk science, capitalism and dehumanization and why it’s so important to never forget. For more info head here and www.remembereveryname.comBlurb:Filmmaker Barri Cohen leads part detective story, part social history in UnLoved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children as she uncovers the truth about Alfie and Louis, her two long-dead half-brothers. They were institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia in the 1950s, with one brother unceremoniously buried in secret in an unmarked grave as a small child. Their lives were cut short, but their story stands as a microcosm of the immense tragedy of the western world’s 20th century disastrous treatment of intellectually disabled children and youth - a question preoccupies the film: how do we allow ourselves to dehumanize the most vulnerable people in our care?UnLoved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children is a heartbreaking yet redemptive work that moves outwards from a highly personal and painful family secret to an investigation of hidden, searing truths about an entire government-enabled system of institutional cruelty and ugliness against vulnerable children. Yet, humanity is hopefully restored by assembling community and survivor testimony, along with the filmmaker’s insistence that these experiences be fully recognized and memorialized.About Barri:Barri Cohen is an award-winning writer, director, and producer whose career spans over 20 years of making independent documentaries and television series acrossa range of genres from lifestyle to comedy for general and specialty audiences in Canada and around the world. Many of Cohen’s independently produced anddirected works involve health, mental health, and environmental, social justice stories. Among her awards and nominations include those for her feature documentaryToxic Trespass: Children’s Health & The Environment & the recently co-produced Toxic Beauty — Phyllis Ellis’s multiple Canadian Screen Award winning andinternationally nominated feature documentary for White Pine Pictures and documentary Channel which had its premiere at the 2019 Hot Docs InternationalDocumentary Film Festival. Cohen also produced Ellis’s Canadian Screen Award nominated documentary for CBC, Girls Night Out. Cohen is the past NationalExecutive Chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada, past editor and publisher and current columnist of Point of View Magazine and was the co-chair and cofounding member of the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival. She is currently developing a family drama/comedy series, writing a memoircollection with essays, and studying psychoanalysis.Image Copyright and Credit: Barri Cohen and White Pine PicturesF2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound
Listening, Loss & Self Correction40:52Jo Brunini and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new book Never A Cloud, empathy, listening, loss in a marriage, storytelling and self-correction, mysticalencounters, authenticity, and why fighting for your free space is so important.For more info head here.Blurb:Never a Cloud charts the course of three women—Violet, Ava, and Margot— who find their way to a new understanding of home and family at Otyrburn, an estate inrural Scotland. Violet Grey, a child of the sixties, writes from an island in Maine as the novel travels between Scotland, New York City, and Venice, Italy. Otyrburnbelongs to George Lowell and Margot Reid, who is the half-sister of Violet’s daughter, Ava. This is something Margot discovers only when Ava unexpectedly arrives.George, a director at the Metropolitan Museum, finds himself under suspicion for illicit activity as Margot reconnects with her childhood sweetheart, who is helpingrestore the worn-at-the-edges Regency manor, where secrets long forgotten, and those newly discovered, converge.“The novel often feels like the film Gosford Park populated by readers of the London Review of Books... Brunini’s prose is often evocative...”Kirkus ReviewsAbout Jo:Jo Brunini’s paintings and poetry can be found at giovannabrunini.com.Among her regrets are losing the handwritten letter from William Steig and not taking Tasha Tudor up on an invitation to tea.Jo lives in Vermont with her family.Image Copyright and Credit: Jo BruniniF2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.