Greta Stocklassa

Czech Republic

Greta Stocklassa


Blix, Birds and Bombs

In March 2003, the whole world watched a nail biting drama, which took place on the stage of world politics and in the spotlight were the American president George W. Bush and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In the midst was an unremarkable, inconspicuous man - Hans Blix. As U.N.’s chief weapons inspector he was sent to Iraq in order to find out whether the suspicions concerning the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction were founded or not. After three months, Blix presented his final report: his team of experts did not confirm the existence of the nuclear weapons in Iraq. Despite Blix’s report, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and other allies decided for a military intervention, starting the Iraq War.

Today, Hans is 93 years old and he is still very sharp and focused. He knows that his time in this world is nearing the end and he is in the process of döstädning (death cleaning) – sorting out his possessions and his relationships with the family. That's when he is approached by Greta, a young filmmaker, who wants to understand what happened those crucial days in 2003 and how it's been affecting the way the world looks today. They put up a studio in Hans' apartment and there, sitting in his favourite armchair, he starts to tell, in extreme detail, his story for the first time. He describes his meetings with George W. Bush and Tony Blair, his frustration when Colin Powell held his speech in the Security Council and his feeling of emptiness, when the US started the invasion, despite his reports.

The dialogue between the director and Hans Blix resembles a conversation between a grandfather and his grandchild. Together they polemise about diplomacy, civil service, professional duty and personal responsibility. Could Hans have prevented the war and changed the course of history? Could his correct, clerical approach mean that he betrayed his own conscience, his moral autonomy? Is doing nothing wrong the same as doing the right thing?
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