Composer, writer, Filmmake
Member of the "Société des Gs de Lettres de France”.
Former United Nations staff member, UNICEF "Special Events Officer", Geneva
Assistant of the Cardinal Agostino Casaroli (1991-1995).
From 199l now hedevotes his activities and important work to denounce the effects of the contamination of Depleted Uranium and the war on the Iraqi population (books, films, conferences, interventions at the United Nations). It presented many conferences on Iraq in Europe and Canada. (See biography below.)
French Nationality, born in Salon de Provence in April 1946, resides in Italy since 1974. Composer and director, plays the guitar, the piano and electronic keyboard. Author of numerous classical music, score film and pop music. Since 1966 he recorded 28 records.
Writer and filmmaker.
He is the author of the official “UNICEF Hymn” (Ode to the child), created in Rome in April 1984 (orchestra and choir from RAI) during a live Eurovision broadcast. Paul Mc Cartney has recorded a CD of the "Ode to the child".
Benjamin recorded arrangements and composed for singers in France, Italy, Holland, Germany, England (1973-1988). Composed music for films “La Bible” by Marcel Carné, “Servante et Maîtresse” by Bruno Gantillon, “Padre Pio: The night of the Prophet” and for documentary films.
Some of his compositions of classical music: An oratorio “La creation des Anges” for soloists, mixed choir, male’s choir and orchestra, Madrid (1975), Rome RAIUNO (1984); Symphony Jerusalem, Paris, (1972) performed by the orchestra of Salle Pleyel; Concerto for violoncello and orchestra (Geneva); “Salve Regina” for choir and strings, Rome (1994).
From 1983 to 1988 he served as “Special Events Officer” for UNICEF in Geneva and organized many television programmes in Europe, Japan with the participation of Peter Ustinov, Audrey Hepburn and others. In 1986 he created the “World Philharmonic Orchestra” with Marc Verriere, the orchestra is formed by soloists from 120 orchestras, from 60 countries (concerts in Tokyo, Oslo for the Nobel Prize, Rio de Janeiro, Montreal).
He realized and produced the film “Padre Pio: The night of the Prophet” (fiction with Sergio Fiorentini in the role of Padre Pio). The film was broadcast by RAI UNO on 27 April and 25 May 1999). (Other film see Iraq section below)
In 1993 he presented a play, written by him, on St Francis of Assisi at the Theatre of Kremlin in Moscow, interpreted in Russian and broadcast on the national television.
Between 1969 and 2003 he published 9 books in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland. (Link to books)
In 1988, he ended his activities for the United Nations and his artistic activities to devote himself to theological studies in Rome.
He is ordained priest on 26 October 1991. From 1991 to 1994 he is assistant to Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, (Secretary of State to the Vatican).
Mars 2011 – He produced and realized the film “Tareq Aziz –The other truth-. A few months previous of the attack and invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-American forces in March 2003, Jean-Marie Benjamin releases an exclusive interview of Tareq Aziz, former Vice Prime Minister of the Government of Saddam Hussein, about Iraq from 1990 to 2002. In this film, Tareq Aziz reveals the hidden story of the Gulf war, the activities of the CIA in Iraq, the manipulations of the United Nations staff and of the public opinion, the influences and strategies of the United States of America in Iraq and in the Middle East.
February 2003 - He organizes the visit of the Iraqi Vice prime minister Tareq Aziz to Italy (13-16 Feb.). In the hope to avoid another war against Iraq and more suffering for the Iraqi population, he takes the initiative to invite to Rome the Iraqi Vice prime minister and organizes an audience with Pope John-Paul II. Following coordination with the Secretariat of State of the Vatican for an audience with the Pope John-Paul II (13 and 15 January) he travel to Baghdad and meets the Vice prime minister on 24 January to inform him about the initiative.
June 2002 – he published in Italy a book “Obiettivo Iraq: nel mirino di Washington”.
December 2000 - he co-organized a flight Paris-Baghdad with 118 personalities on board from France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland and Great Britain. Passengers came from all walks of life including politics (parliamentarians, senators, ambassadors), culture, religion, international organizations, non-governmental organisations, artists and news reporters.
November 2000 - he gave a speech about Iraq at the House of Commons in London.
3 April 2000 - he flew from Amman to Baghdad (with Vittorio Sgarbi –European PM-, Nicola Grauso and the pilot Nicola Trifoni) in violation of the embargo.
July 1999 - he presented a report to the Italian Chamber of Deputies which led to questions in parliament in July 2000 with a large majority vote requesting the Italian government to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iraq and to intervene with the UN for the lifting of the embargo.
September 1999 - he published a book in France and Switzerland entitled: "Iraq: l'apocalypse" (Editions Favre, Lausanne, Italy: Edizioni Andromeda, Bologna).
December 1998 - he was in Baghdad during the bombing and, after an international enquiry, made a documentary entitled: "Iraq: journey to the forbidden kingdom" dedicated to the living conditions of the Iraqi population and the impact of radioactive contamination on the population and the environment due to the use of weapons containing depleted uranium.
April 1998 - crossing Iraq with a camera crew (covering over 3000 kilometres), he produced a documentary entitled "Iraq: the birth of time" (RAI UNO).