Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
1 of 3 Events
Co-sponsored with The Sanctuary for Independent Media
Screenings will take place at The Sancutary, 3361 Sixth Avenue, Troy, NY (at 101st Street where Sixth Avenue turns into Fifth).
Since its inception, Human Rights Watch's International Film Festival has embodied the power of film to make a difference. Courageous and committed filmmakers produce impressive documentary and feature films, which stimulate passionate conversations about human rights and inspire new generations of human rights activists. Through the universal language of film, we connect the experiences of survivors and activists with our own experiences--a critical step in influencing public opinion and policy makers.
Tuesday: "The Camden 28" (7 PM screening)
How far would you go to stop a war? Anthony Giacchino's film tells what happened on August 22, 1971, when twenty-eight men and women in Camden, New Jersey, carried out a powerful act of civil disobedience against United States involvement in the Vietnam War. The group was part of a nonviolent antiwar movement popularly known as the "Catholic Left." One of the most dramatic tactics utilized by this movement was breaking into draft board offices to remove and destroy government records that identified young men available for military service. The activists claimed that their actions were meant to show their belief that killing--even in war--was morally indefensible. And by conducting their raids mostly in inner cities, they hoped to call attention to war's damaging effect on some of America's most vulnerable populations. The documentary tells of the activists' covert preparations, government intrigue, a government raid and arrest of the protesters, and an ensuing legal battle which the late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan called "one of the great trials of the twentieth century." Thirty-five years later, key participants openly discuss their motives, their fears, and the tremendous personal costs of their actions. It is a story of resistance, friendship, and betrayal played out against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent periods in recent American history.
Wednesday: "Conversations On A Sunday Afternoon" (7 PM screening)
Composed of an artful blend of documentary and dramatic elements, Khalo Matabane's "Conversations On A Sunday Afternoon" is a revolutionary film for South Africa--breaking with the hard-hitting historical dramas the country has turned out lately and charging right into the world of ideas. The struggle for reconciliation is nudged aside to reveal a country coming to terms with its new status as a promised land. What does a richer African nation owe to its poorer neighbours? How does political crisis shape personal identity? And is the war over now?
Thursday: "Men On The Edge: Fishermen's Diary" (7 PM screening)
A documentary by Israeli film makers Avner Faingulernt and Macabit Abramzon set on an isolated and abandoned beach at the border between Gaza and Israel where, against all odds, Israeli and Palestinian fishermen lived and fished together from 1999 to 2003. The Palestinians were teaching the Israelis ancient fishing techniques transmitted from one generation to the next and the Israelis, by their presence, were enabling the Palestinians to continue to fish in Israeli waters. The film intimately and beautifully documents these four crucial years in the lives of this eclectic group of men from warring cultures, who are brought together by their shared work and the natural threats they face each day in the open sea. Ultimately it is not the harshness of nature that is the greatest obstacle to their work, but the pressures of politics and the fighting surrounding their enclave.