by Josephat Seleman Hema from Tanzania

SEXY KILLERS was the first movie in our monthly movie night series. We watched it at Referat Ökumene office (Petrikirchhof 7 in Dortmund) on 11th September from 18:00 hours. It was selected by Dika, one of the volunteers in the volunteers’ house. He is from Indonesia.

Sexy Killers is a 2019 Indonesian documentary film about the Coal mining in East Kalimantan industry, its negative environmental impact and relations with the Indonesian political ties. Coal mining causes substantial societal damages to the nearby populations mostly by ground subsidence as well as deaths of children falling into the leftover pits. Airborne diseases such as chronic bronchitis have resulted as well with a threat of lung cancer emerging. The mining companies seized people’s land, removed rainforests, there hence resulted damage of the coral reefs and surrounding ecosystem. Also obstructing the local agricultural and fishery industries both in Java and Bali where there had been construction of thermal power plants.
The film sparked nation-wide debate in Indonesia since most of people behind the coal mining companies are political figures with their families.

The situation is saddening.

As I was trying to imagine how and why should some people put their economic benefits in favor and endanger others people’s lives, I happened to come across a re-emerging case over disputes settling about the so called Opioid epidemic.

Over the past years the big pharmaceutical companies through their ‘biased’ researches have been assuring the World on the safety of the Opioid analgesics used to treat chronic pains and tried to neglect the potential emergence of addiction and even death due to over dose. The misuse of and addiction to opioids (including prescription pain relievers) is a crisis. For example it is said that every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. Purdue Pharma and its owners, members of the Sackler family are on the verge of filing for bankruptcy Chapter due to the so called “misbranding” of OxyContin; an opioid seen as an early driver of the epidemic. OxyContin was previously said to be reformulated and rendered less addictive. On the other side, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company has been accused to promulgate “false, misleading, and dangerous marketing campaigns” that had “caused exponentially increasing rates of addiction and overdose deaths”.

The question is why has man become so selfish? Why is it that economic gains take over the place of humanity and priceless lives? Just like: Why should Xenophobic-minded South Africans burn downs shops owned by whom they call “foreigners” in their country?

Why?

Is this because of St Paul’s prophecy? ”For men shall be lovers of their own selves…” (2 Timothy 3:2)

We have embraced economic profit and trampled humanity. Should we leave the situation like this? What can we do?

This was one of the questions we had to ponder about soon after finishing watching the SEXY KILLERS movie. We need to be part of the solution, we need to be part of the network. We need to be part of the system. We need to be part of the decision making scheme. This was what Hannah, our Volunteer from India, just said. If politics decides our life, we need to take control of it by being part of it or any other way around. But now, when things have already become so severe, we have got to find and use whatever opportunity to raise our voices and let the whole World be aware of the selfish acts that cost people’s lives.

I, at times, try to image if Politicians and Business people would ever feel the need to repent and turn their hearts to rescue the innocent deceasing souls. Just like how a man in Jericho called Zacchaeus ‘The tax collector’ did about 2000 back, when Jesus visited his house. He paid four fold of the money to all people whom he illegally took money from (Luke 19).

Do we have Zacchaeus today? Do we have, today, people who can admit their evil doings to mankind and agree to pay for the price and promise to make the World a better place? Do we have people who can turn down their selfish ambitions and close down their production industries that make them rich and at the same time deteriorate the World’s climate? Do we have people who would opt to run less profitable but World friendly firms?

Do we have Zacchaeus today?

Maybe we will have other more interesting discussions about the coming movie nights on 17th October and 13th November (both at 18:00 at Referat Ökumene). Next movies will be from Tanzania and Hong Kong respectively. Everyone is warmly welcome.