EN - In the decades that followed and as the 'art' of warfare further developed (technologically in the first place), this first treaty was adapted and refined – or completely new treaties were signed… About aerial bombardments for instance - first from balloons and then from airplanes… About landmines… About mustard gas and other chemical weapons… About the protection of citizens and the concept of genocide. The question arose: What about civil wars? What about resistance or guerrilla fighters? What about the uniformed personnel used by some armies today at their army barracks - personnel that officially are not part of the armed forces? What rules should govern wars against terrorists?

Info

Title War Is Not a Game
Original title A la guerre comme à la guerre
Original language Russian, Hebrish, Spanish and English
Status Completed
Category Docs
Year 2010

Credits

Photography Hans De Bauw, Philippe Lavalette
Editing Anne-Laure Guegan, Linda Ibbari
Music Serge Laforest, Martin Roullard

Technical specs

Running time film 87'
Release format Beta Digit
Aspect ratio 1:1.66
Sound format Cédric Mariotti, Arnaud Derimay, Martin Desranleau, Yannick Dox
Colour Colour and black/white

Partners

Supported by

Lichtpunt, YLE TV1, Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel, Media Programme, Belgacom, Arte, Radio Canada

Festivals

War Is Not A Game was selected for IDFA 2011 in Amsterdam. It received the DOXA Film Festival Award for Most Creative Documentary in Vancouver and the YFF Best Historical Documentary Award in Yorkton. The film was nominated for the Prix Europa in Berlin and also won an award in France : l’Etoile de la Scam – the French author’s rights organization.

The DOXA Film Festival described the film as follows: “Lode Desmet’s film is a scrupulous examination of the morality of combat. The interview subjects include former soldiers, mercenaries, guerrillas and peacekeepers; female bomber pilots serving in Afghanistan; and a Jewish-American lawyer who prosecuted Nazis at the Nuremberg tribunals. The interviews are deeply moving and provocative, as we hear tales of combat that complicate the notion of strict ethical codes. The film's subject is the intersection of abstract law and personal context, and Desmet pursues this dynamic across a broad swath of history, from World War II to Bosnia to the War on Terror. This is a disturbing, illuminating film that applies big questions to personal contexts, and vice versa.”

Sales

Lichtpunt - Belgium
ARTE France
RTBF
RTS
DLA - Latin America
Free Spech TV - USA
CBC - Canada
The Documentary Channel - USA
DBS Satellite - Israël
Telekanal Oykumena - Russia
Telefonica Argentina

War Is Not a Game on tour of duty in Canada

Flemish documentary filmmaker Lode Desmet is currently touring in Canada with his film War Is Not A Game (A la guerre comme à la guerre). After its recent selection for the prestigious IDFA 2011 line-up, Desmet was invited for a screening tour by the Canadian Office National du Film.

The documentary will be shown at 12 venues across the country, two of which are military bases. The film enjoyed a winning streak in Canada at the end of last year, grabbing awards at two fests: the NFB Colin Low Award for Most Innovative Canadian Documentary at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver (6-15 June 2011) and the Golden Sheaf for Best Documentary on History at the Yorkton Film Festival (26-29 May 2011).

Published on Wednesday 15 February 2012

French Award for War Is Not a Game

Lode Desmet’s documentary War Is Not A Game has won the Étoile Award presented by Scam, the French Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (Scam). The news follows a series of awards in Canada and an invitation for this year's IDFA.

still from Lode Desmet's docu War Is Not A GameA scrupulous examination of the morality of combat, War Is Not a Game takes the recent 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions as its starting point and considers whether the treaties have succeeded in making wars more civilised. Today, over a hundred treaties about the waging of war exist, but the Geneva Conventions remain the most important.

Published on Monday 31 October 2011

IDFA presents Flemish doc bonanza

A record-breaking haul of eleven documentaries and four docu projects from Flanders have been selected  for this year’s IDFA, the international Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (16-27 November). Works from Jeremy De Ryckere and Kristof Bilsen, who recently graduated from RITS and NFTS (UK) respectively,  are shown in the Student Documentary competition. The other entries feature in the Reflecting Images: Panorama, Paradocs section and IDFA pitching Forum.

Still from Jeremy De Ryckere's The HeirBoth Jeremy De Ryckere’s The Heir and Kristof Bilsen’s White Elephant compete for the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary, worth €2,500. The Heir tells the story of a father, Raf, and a son, Dominique, and their relationship to their passion: horse racing, a long family tradition. White Elephant is a documentary about the Central Post Office and its employees in Kinshasa, DR Congo. This grandiose relic of a colonial past has trapped its employees in a frozen timewarp from which they are planning their escape. Last year the Award for Best Student Documentary went to the Flemish doc What’s in a Name by Eva Küpper.

Published on Thursday 27 October 2011

Winning streak for War Is Not a Game in Canada

Lode Desmet’s innovative documentary War Is Not a Game has been enjoying a winning streak in Canada, recently grabbing awards at two of the country's fests: the NFB Colin Low Award for Most Innovative Canadian Documentary at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver (6-15 June) and the Golden Sheaf for Best Documentary on History at the Yorkton Film Festival (26-29 May).

Still from War is not a GameThe jury of the DOXA Doc festival praised War Is Not A Game for how it ‘successfully transitions between "big picture" history and startlingly intimate, revealing personal portraits of individual soldiers. The film never wavers in its penetrating focus and never, throughout its entire length, departs from the highest standards of excellence in cinematic storytelling. This film has a personal narrative not only in the words spoken by the subjects, but the intimacy in which it is delivered.’

Published on Wednesday 8 June 2011

War Is Not a Game sees double in Canada

Lode Desmet’s contemplative documentary War Is Not a Game is set to visit Canada this May, as it has been selected for two Canadian film fests: Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival (6-15 May) and the Yorkton Film Festival (26-29 May). In Yorkton, the film is nominated for the Golden Sheaf Awards in the categories Best Documentary History and Best Research.

DOXA describes War Is Not a Game as 'a disturbing, illuminating film that applies big questions to personal contexts, and vice versa'. The subject of the doc is the intersection of abstract law and personal context, and Desmet pursues this dynamic across a broad swath of history, from World War II to Bosnia to the War on Terror. After an initial festival run, the documentary is set for a Belgian preview in early June.

Published on Monday 2 May 2011

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Last edited on 4 September 2014

Short info

Director Lode Desmet
Producers Kathleen De Bethune
Writers Lode Desmet
Contact

Simple Production
Kathleen De Bethune
Rue de la Sablonnière 29
1000 Brussels
Belgium
T +32 2 217 47 30
simple.production@skynet.be
www.simpleproduction.be

Sales

Maryse Chapdelaine
3155 Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse
H4N 2N4 Québec
Canada
T 514-283-9321
m.chapdelaine@onf.ca
www.onf.ca/

Preferential partners