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The War Prayer

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Uploaded on Apr 13, 2011

Featured at Animation Film Screening at OSA Archivum in Budapest, Hungary to commemorate UN Human Rights Day, December 9, 2010.

From OSA Program:

The War Prayer (Markos Kounalakis, USA, 2006, 14 min)
Based on Mark Twain's piece "The War Prayer," a short story written in the heat of the Philippine-American war of 1899-1902 offering a poignant reflection on the double-edged moral sword implicit to war.

Followed by discussion with Markos Kounalakis, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and President and Publisher Emeritus of the Washington Monthly. Moderator -- Oksana Sarkisova, Film Historian, OSA Archivum.

From Wikipedia Notes:

"The War Prayer," a short story or prose poem by Mark Twain, is a scathing indictment of war, and particularly of blind patriotic and religious fervor as motivations for war.

The structure of the work is simple, but effective: an unnamed country goes to war, and patriotic citizens attend a church service for soldiers who have been called up. The people call upon their God to grant them victory and protect their troops. Suddenly, an "aged stranger" appears and announces that he is God's messenger. He explains to them that he is there to speak aloud the second part of their prayer for victory, the part which they have implicitly wished for but have not spoken aloud themselves: the prayer for the suffering and destruction of their enemies. What follows is a grisly depiction of hardships inflicted on war-torn nations by their conquerors.

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