November 9, 2011

An Evening with the Prosecutor

SCA Hosts the International Criminal Court’s Luis Moreno-Ocampo

Most presentations at the School of Cinematic Arts feature a media maker, scholar or executive fielding questions from the student body. When SCA hosted the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo on November 6th, the tables were turned when the prosecutor began the evening by issuing a challenge to the students to help him explain to the public how the International Criminal Court was changing the paradigm of global human rights and how the moving image was effecting the process.

Ted Braun, Provost Elizabeth Garrett, Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley and
General Romeo Dallaire
“Before you ask me questions about legal issues, I came here for a chance to discuss movies,” said Moreno-Ocampo. “I’d like a dialogue with you because I’d like to explore what the students of this School can do to better explain what [the International Criminal Court] is doing.”
Moreno-Ocampo’s discussion was part of the joint presentation between SCA and the Gould School of Law calledMoving the World: An Evening with Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
“What happened with the Jewish community in the Second World War was first reported and fully understood in 1959, however, that isn’t when the narrative was formed,” Moreno-Ocampo continued. “What created the narrative was two movies; The Diary of Anne Frank and Judgment at Nuremberg with Spencer Tracey.  The importance of movies in creating narrative can’t be overstated.”
Moreno-Ocampo told students that, while the information about the human rights violations is more available than ever, visual media is becoming more important to reach the masses.
When talking about his earlier career as a prosecutor in Argentina, he referenced how films helped spread the message of his work prosecuting war criminals. “Some of the witnesses’ accounts were so shocking that [their stories] became books and those books became movies. Everyone knows what happened because of the movies,” Moreno-Ocampo continued. “I need these tools to explain what I’m doing.”
The second half of the presentation was a panel discussion with the Prosecutor, Sid Sheinberg, the Vice Chair of the Human Rights Watch International Board of Directors, Jebidiah Jenkins, the Director of Ideology for Invisible Children, SCA Professor Ted Braun, the director of Darfur Now, and General Romeo Dallaire, the former head of peacekeeping troops in Rwanda.
The topic of the panel was how to keep young people interested in international human rights.
“There’s got to be other means besides just the written medium,” said General Dallaire “Leaping into the visual means is absolutely critical for those who find themselves being caught up in a situation before it becomes catastrophic.”
In addition to speaking with the panel, several clips were shown highlighting the USC Shoah

The Ray Stark Theatre at SCA was packed for the event
Foundation Institute and Invisible Children. The panel discussed topics ranging from the use of films to discuss genocide to the idea of using video games to put students in the shoes of international aid workers.
Invisible Children Director of Ideology Jebidiah Jenkins told students that their work as visual storytellers could go much farther today than in the past.
“Storytelling is the empathic nervous system spread around humanity,” Jenkins said. “That is what [Invisible Children] has done. Grief and guilt response from watching cinema is a certain motivator but to drive someone to action but grief and action can only drive someone so far.”
For more information on the International Criminal Court, please visit:
For more information on Invisible Children, please visit:
For more information on Darfur Now, please visit:
For more information on Human Rights Watch, please visit:
For more information on the Shoah Foundation Institutue, please visit: