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Joseph, the Rebellious, Priest for the Poor: a Film Review
an article by Kiki Chauvin

In this hard times when avaricious profits increasingly devour our societies, I was pleased to find the values of solidarity in the struggle for dignity in this film, shown by France 3 on October 18. It exemplifies indignation and revolt against social injustice.

Joseph Wresinski, as portrayed by Jacques Weber. Photo : Gilles Gustine/FTV

click on photo to enlarge

I strongly recommend this film to CPNN readers. It is a biography with themes that are doubly appropriate in today's world"
* It speaks of rebellion and indignation
* "Poverty is the work of Mankind, and only Mankind can eradicate it."
By replacing the word "poverty" with the "culture of war", on lays bare the source of the problem!

The following three paragraphs are excerpted from the journal Metro:

"Detesting the practice of charity, the priest, supported by Genevieve de Gaulle, struggled throughout his life to give pride once again to all those who are invisible. Against soup kitchens, he pushed those who are most poor to cultivate their own vegetables, to open a library for themselves and even a salon of esthetics to return to women their lost dignity.

"A certainty animates Father Joseph Wresinski: " Poverty is the work of men, only the men can eliminate it." Men and women of all horizons join the association little by little. Some, coming from many countries, choose to engage their future with the most poor. Thus is born the permanent voluntary organization, the Movement ATD Fourth World.

"Despite its appearance as traditional fiction, " Joseph the Rebellious" is actually a committed telefilm from which a beautiful energy is released . This happens because, in addition to professional actors, the director Caroline Glorion had the good idea to call upon actors who are not professional, but who come from deep poverty in order to play their own role."

The film concludes with the day of 17 october, 1987, when, responding to the call of Father Joseph Wresinski, 100.000 people gathered in the place of Trocadéro in Paris to engrave there the following text in the marble of the square of Human Rights, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on December 10, 1948.

"On October 17, 1987, Human rights defenders and citizen of all countries gathered on this Square. They paid homage to the victims of hunger, ignorance and violence, They affirmed their conviction that poverty is not fatal. They proclaimed their solidarity with those who fight throughout the world to eradicate it. “Wherever people are condemned to live in misery, Human Rights are violated. It is our sacred duty to unite with them and to ensure that their dignity is respected.”

"Father Joseph Wresinski"

As a result, five years later in 1992, the UN General Assembly, decided that this date would mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (resolution 47/196 of December 22).

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Does charity reinforce the status quo , Or can it positively impact recipients in a more lasting way?

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Latest reader comment:

I just re-read the article about Joseph Wresinski after coming back from a demonstration of "Occupy New Haven," one of the hundreds of initiatives associated with "Occupy Wall Street."  The message of both is clear.  Charity is no solution to our problems today.  What is needed is solidarity and indignation!  Charity has enabled the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.  Solidarity and indignation can lead us to a new world of social justice!  We are coming into "interesting times!"

This report was posted on October 22, 2011.