DONALD DUCK, I LOVE YOU

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DAY 1 - EARLY IN THE MORNING - BULGARIA

Open your eyes ... come on ... open your eyes. It is 5 AM. Ok. Let’s turn on the radio. It might help:

“Important day for Bulgaria. Today the biggest opposition party is going to speak about the upcoming presidential election. According to unofficial sources, it is about to give out the name of its candidate. The presidential election is going to take place on the 6th of November”

Haven’t they said that yesterday? Hm ... I might be still sleeping ... Let’s go back to bed.

 

DAY 1 - EARLY IN THE MORNING - the USA

Open your eyes ... come on ... open your eyes. It is 5 AM. Ok. Let’s turn on the radio. It might help: 

“The presidential nominee Donald Trump is about to visit Ft. Lauderdale, Florida today. Hillary Clinton will be in des Moines, Iowa. The presidential election is going to take place on the 8th of November”.

Haven’t they done that yesterday? Hm ... I might be still sleeping ... Let’s go back to bed.

 

DAY 1 - LATE IN THE MORNING - BULGARIA

Getting up is an ambitious task. Morning show, please help me! TV is on! First political talk of the day. The special guest in the studio is the chairman of the leading parliamentary party in Bulgaria:

“- ANCHOR: When is your party going to give out the name of the presidential nominee?

- GUEST: Right now in Bulgaria there are more important issues than this one.

- ANCHOR: When is your party going to give out the name of the presidential nominee?

- GUEST: We are still discussing different names, but the person will unite all Bulgarians

- ANCHOR: When is your party going to give out the name of the presidential nominee?

- GUEST: We are going to win the presidential elections!”

No news is bad news. Let’s go to work.

 

DAY 1 - LATE IN THE MORNING - the USA

Getting up is an ambitious task. Morning show, please help me! TV is on! First political talk of the day. Guest what? Donald Trump speaking:

“ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS, he is the founder of ISIS, OK? He’s the founder. And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Co-founder. Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

No news is good news. Let’s go to work.

 

DAY 1 - MIDDAY - BULGARIA

Time to do some work. The press conference of the biggest opposition party is about to start any moment. Are they finally going to give out the name of their presidential candidate?

“We believe in democracy. We will ask all our party member to decide on the names they would like to have as presidential nominees. Afterwards, we are going to choose one of them.”

No news is bad news. The work for today has finished.

 

DAY 1 - MIDDAY - the USA

Time to do some work. Finally arrived in des Moines. Hillary Clinton is about to outline jobs plans:

“How are we going to do that? Well, we’re going to invest in infrastructure. These are good jobs and a lot of them are good union jobs with good pay and benefits. See, I have this old fashioned idea that the middle class of America is what makes America’s economy work.”

No news is good news. The work for today is just about to start. 

 

DAY 1 - EVENING - BULGARIA

Back home. The work for today has finished, even tough it hasn’t really started. Let’s see what our competitors have on their program. TV is on again:

“The Presidential candidates of none of the parliamentary parties are clear yet. According to unofficial sources, all big parties are going to give out their candidates in the end of September. However, some independent nominees are already on the table. Among them Vladimir Kuzov - put on trial in 2009 for having sex with a minor boy.”

It’s time to go to bed.

 

DAY 1 - EVENING - the USA

Back home. The work for today has finished. So tired. We will all go crazy before the 8th of November. Let’s see what our competitors have on their program. TV is on again:

“Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton.”

It’s time to go to bed.

 

DAY 1 - NIGHT CONCLUSIONS - BULGARIA/USA

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. Winston Churchill said that and his quote might be the wrong one, except for no one has said anything better yet.  Democracy is done by the people and for the people.  And the way people vote tells us actually more about the voters than about the candidate they choose. And it is good to know the people who will decide about your future. It is good to know how educated they are, how happy they are with their lives and what illusions they have. The voters in the US had many months to think and decide. I would doubt than any campaign in the past had such an intensive media coverage. The US voters had many months to fall in love ... and love is always good ... even if sometimes you wake up longing for a cartoon character ... be it Donald Duck ... or Trump ...

Good night.

 

Comments

Pink paper on the wall

 

It was September 2015. After two weeks of holiday I started working on my new documentary. It took me back to the times of the Second World War. My film told a story of a girl - today, an elderly woman - who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was a story of courage, loss and survival in times of war. My protagonist had the rare fortune of being among the very few children to survive the ordeal. One million children died. 

 

The fate of children who are forced far too early to leave childhood has always interested me. Throughout the years, not only have I researched the topic, but worked with children myself. But this very documentary made me think again of Janusz Korczak, who was a pediatrician, an author and a director of an orphanage for Jewish kids in the Warsaw ghetto. Despite being offered freedom, he refused, and stayed with his orphans until they all were deported to Treblinka extermination camp. This was because “One’s words,” as he wrote once in a letter to a friend, “have only so much value as one imparts to them by the action of one’s own life.” Janusz Korczak spoke of the need for a Declaration of Children's Rights long before any such document was created. He compiled the rights that he considered most essential. Some of them were:

 

The child has the right to love.

The child has the right to optimal conditions in which to grow and develop.

The child has the right to live in the present.

The child has the right to be himself or herself.

The child has the right to make mistakes.

The child has the right to fail.

The child has the right to be taken seriously.

The child has the right to be appreciated for what he is.

Exactly a year later, in September 2016, this story couldn’t seem further away. But a pink sheet of paper on a wall made me think twice. 

 

 

“Dear Students, 

I trust you.

I believe in you.

You are cared for.

You are listened to.

You are important. 

You will succeed.”

For me this pink paper was the implementation of the list of rights, that Janusz Korczak wrote more than 70 years ago. And the place I saw it was a place of war. The Ron Brown Academy in Brooklyn is a middle school that serves a population consisting of 80 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent Asian students. Teaching there is a challenge. Not only because enrollment is going down and subsequently the money, that the school receives from the state. But because there they teach children, who live in times of war. A war at home. Kids, who don’t know the meaning of the word “parent”, who don’t have their basic needs fulfilled and who change homes more frequent than they change shoes. It was remarkable to see the effort of the whole school staff to save their future: The personal attitude, the pursuit of solutions for situations, that don’t have anything to do with school education, the belief that “you should teach not only to the test, but to the soul”. 

The end of this story is still unclear. Some of the kids have already lost the war. But for many more the hope remains, that their rights will be cared for. Because as Korczak once said:  “Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be. The unknown person inside each of them is the hope for the future.”