15th. Human Rights Watch International Film Festival : 23 March to 1 April / 2011

Returning to London from 23 March to 1 April, the 15th edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival brings to UK audiences a powerful line-up of 16 documentaries and 5 dramas — many attended by filmmakers and film subjects.

We are delighted to welcome back the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in its 14th year.

This year’s Festival is built around three themes: Accountability and Justice; Development and Migration; and Closed Societies: Iran and North Korea.

As part of the Accountability and Justice strand, we will screen ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE, exploring an individual survivor’s quest for justice; IN THE LAND OF THE FREE…, a shocking revelation of abuse in America’s largest prison; and the exceptional WAR DON DON, charting the complexities of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.

Focusing on Development and Migration, GOOD FORTUNE uses Kenya as a case study for a critique of current development models; MRS GOUNDO’S DAUGHTER follows one mother’s trials in the US immigration system; and HONEYMOONS takes us through issues related to economic migration.

And reflecting the Closed Societies theme, we bring you IRAN: VOICES OF THE UNHEARD, NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS and THE RED CHAPEL.

We are also thrilled to be hosting the UK premiere of Raoul Peck’s MOLOCH TROPICAL on Thursday 18 March, with the director in attendance for a Q&A.

Claiming Aleksandr Sokurov’s MOLOCH as his own, Peck takes us to a hilltop fortress in Haiti where we watch the nation’s president disintegrate before our eyes – destroyed by a combination of his own paranoia and an increasingly absurd political situation. A brilliant synthesises political analysis, Shakespearean drama and a certain Caribbean approach to tragedy.

And last but not least, the festival’s Closing Night reception and screening will also take place at The Ritzy, showcasing THE SUN BEHIND THE CLOUDS: TIBET’S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM, a seminal documentary weaving together the major themes and players of the Tibet debate, with the filmmakers in attendance.

MORE INFO OR Full listings

 

  • !Women Art Revolution
    Forty years in the making, !Women Art Revolution is artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s remarkable tribute to the feminist art movement, delving deeply into a rich cultural history that raises vital questions about gender politics, equality, and freedom of expression.Director: Lynn Hershman LeesonYear of Production: 2010Running time: 83m
  • 12 Angry Lebanese: The Documentary
    In Lebanon’s largest prison, inmates stage a version of Reginald Rose’s play 12 Angry Men. Revealing the tremendous dignity and despair of the prisoners, Zeina Daccache’s inspired theatre project transforms their lives, offering an extraordinary experience for the audience.
    Director: Zeina Daccache Year of Production: 2009 Running time: 78m
  • A Small Act
    One good deed can transform an entire life. When Hilde Back sponsored the primary school education of Chris Mburu from her home in Sweden, his life in Kenya was forever changed. Director: Jennifer Arnold Year of Production: 2010 Running time: 88m
  • Familia (UK premiere)
    A poignant and powerful documentary, Familia sensitively observes one matriarch’s decision to go to work as a hotel maid in Spain and the impact that choice has on her extended family in Peru. Director: Mikael Wiström and Alberto Herskovits Year of Production: 2010 Running time: 82m
  • Granito (UK premiere)
    Part political thriller, part memoir, Granito takes us through a haunting tale of genocide and justice that spans four decades, two films, and filmmaker Pamela Yates’s own career. Director: Pamela Yates Year of Production: 2011 Running time: 100m
  • Illegal
    Based on actual events, Olivier Masset-Depasse’s award-winning film vividly depicts the harsh reality for those detained in Belgium’s detention centres. Director: Olivier Masset-Depasse Year of Production: 2010 Running time: 95m
  • Impunity
    What is the cost of truth for families immobilised by Colombia’s violent past? In 2005, Colombia started gathering evidence about the horrific violence being carried out by illegal paramilitias in a highly controversial Justice and Peace process. Director: Juan José Lozano and Hollman Morris Year of Production: 2010 Running time: 85m
  • Incendies – Opening Night Film and Reception
    Masterfully adapted from the acclaimed play by Wajdi Mouawad, Incendies brings to life a moving and epic tale through the unravelling of one woman’s mysterious past.
    Director:
    Denis Villeneuve
    Year of Production:
    2010
    Running time:
    130m
  • Life, Above All (Chanda’s Secret)
    Life, Above All (Chanda’s Secret) reinvents the coming-of-age story when a young girl must maintain the facade of a normal life amidst utter instability.
    Director: Oliver Schmitz
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 105m
  • Lost Angels (UK premiere)
    Los Angeles, California has been designated the homeless capital of America, with an estimated 48,000 individuals living on the streets. Thomas Napper’s empathetic but tough-minded documentary invites us into a part of the city that many choose to ignore — downtown’s Skid Row.
    Director: Thomas Napper
    Year of Production:
    2010
    Running time: 77m
  • Pushing the Elephant (UK premiere)
    An intimate family drama set against the backdrop of the 1998 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pushing the Elephant tells the story of Rose Mapendo, who was separated during the conflict from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire.
    Director: Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 84m
  • The First Grader – Closing Night Film and Reception
    Based on real events, The First Grader recounts the rousing tale of one man’s pursuit of education in Kenya and the universal desire to better one’s life.
    Director: Justin Chadwick
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 103m
  • The Green Wave (UK premiere)
    From the widespread hope of political change in Iran through the 2009 elections to the brutal suppression of the mass protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, The Green Wave recounts the dramatic events of the most severe domestic crisis in the history of the Islamic Republic.
    Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 80m
  • The Oath
    Unfolding like a gripping novel that constantly subverts expectations, The Oath shows the interlocking drama of two brothers-in-law, Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan, whose associations with al-Qaeda in the 1990s propelled them on to two divergent paths.
    Director: Laura Poitras
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 96 mins
  • The Pipe
    Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s engrossing and provocative documentary follows a four-year campaign to prevent Shell from laying a gas pipeline in County Mayo, Ireland.
    Director: Risteard Ó Domhnaill
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 83m
  • The Team (UK premiere)
    A group of Kenyans breach social barriers to produce The Team, a TV soap opera, hoping taboo storylines can bridge deep ethnic divisions as their country struggles to recover from the violence after the 2007 elections.
    Director: Patrick Reed
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 80m
  • The Whistleblower – Benefit Film and Reception
    Based on true events, this compelling political thriller recounts the story of Nebraska police officer Kathryn Bolkovac, who discovers a deplorable cover-up and launches an indomitable fight for justice in the former Yugoslavia.
    Director: Larysa Kondracki
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 111m
  • This Is My Land… Hebron (UK premiere)
    Featuring interviews with both Israelis and Palestinians living in Hebron, as well as activists on both sides, members of the Israeli parliament and prominent Ha’aretz journalists, This Is My Land… Hebron lifts the lid on Hebron as it is today – a city fraught with violence and hate.
    Director: Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 75m
  • When the Mountains Tremble
    In the early 1980s, death squads roamed the Guatemalan countryside in a war against the unarmed indigenous population that went largely unreported in the international media. A unique group of filmmakers threw themselves into the task of bringing the crisis to the world’s attention.
    Director: Pamela Yates
    Year of Production: 1983
    Running time: 83m
  • When We Leave (UK premiere)
    No longer able to stand her husband’s violent ill-treatment, Umay flees from Istanbul with her five-year-old son Cem to seek shelter in the arms of her family in Berlin. But as the reality of Umay’s defiant actions sets in, the family’s reputation at home and abroad is threatened.
    Director: Feo Aladag
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 119m
  • You Don’t Like the Truth – 4 Days Inside Guantanamo (UK premiere)
    You Don’t Like the Truth – 4 Days Inside Guantanamo is a stunning documentary based on security camera footage from an encounter in Guantanamo Bay between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr, then a 16-year-old detainee.
    Director: Luc Côté and Patricio Henríquez
    Year of Production: 2010
    Running time: 99m
  • Youth Producing Change Youth Producing Change presents stories from teen filmmakers across the globe as they turn the camera on their own lives and invite audiences to experience the world as they do every day.

    Director: Various filmmakers

Running time: 72m
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