Tolerance festival gets under way in Ljubljana

Ljubljana, 13 November - The 9th House of Tolerance festival is getting under way at Ljubljana's Mini Teater on Monday with a screening of Liebe Angst (Dear Anxiety), a documentary in which Sandra Prechtel talks about a mother-daughter relationship that is shaped by a traumatic experience of the Holocaust.

The logo of Mini Teater, a theatre troupe.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The festival, organised by Mini Teater in cooperation with the Ljubljana Jewish Cultural Centre, will feature more than 20 films, two exhibitions and several other events until 21 November.

Ahead of the opening, the festival's director Robert Waltl noted that the festival is being held against the backdrop of the continued war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war.

He called on Hamas to immediately and unconditionally release all the hostages that it abducted on 7 October and to stop using civilians as a shield.

In a message he also wrote that Israel must not endanger the lives of Palestinian civilians and must clearly demonstrate that this is a war against Hamas, not a war against the Palestinians or a war for territory.

"Israel must promise to recognise Palestine as a state and the Palestinians must recognise Israel," he wrote, appealing to the international community to start drawing up a Marshall Plan for a new, more peaceful and economically viable reality for the Middle East.

He also called on the leading Gulf states to participate in the forthcoming diplomatic process and to oversee the reconstruction of Gaza after the war.

He said the festival "aims to reinforce the ideas of humanism, democracy and a balanced development of the human race in harmony with all beings on our planet" through film screenings, talks and educational programme for young people. He also noted persisting hatred against marginalised groups.

The opening screening of Liebe Angst, which talks about the anxieties of a woman whose mother was traumatized by her experience of Auschwitz and whose brother took his own life, will be attended by Sandra Prechtel, who directed and co-wrote the script for the film.

The other feature films, documentaries, shorts and animation films to be screened focus on topics such as tolerance, human rights, the relationship between the individual and the state, and topical issues such as war, refugees, media propaganda and the culture of remembrance.

A part of the festival is aimed at school students. They will be shown the films Where Is Anne Frank, Letter to a Pig and My Father's War, followed by discussions on the Holocaust, human rights and tolerance.

Visitors are also invited to an exhibition Anne Frank - a History for Today, and the permanent exhibition the Holocaust in Ljubljana.

Chansonnier Vita Mavrič and the Quartet Akord will give a concert of Jewish Klezmer chansons, while a theatre production of the Anne Frank Diary will be performed in Radovljica.

All the events are admission-free.

© STA, 2023