Returning tonight, Thursday, June 11, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival showcases 16 films and three special programs addressing a wide range of human rights issues to audiences for its 26th edition in New York City, which will run through Sunday, June 21. The following offers highlights from this year’s thematic programming:
Portraits of Changemakers include: Joey Boink’s look at the challenges faced by Guatemala’s first female attorney general, BURDEN OF PEACE; Gini Reticker’s story of a young village woman’s trials during the Egyptian revolution, THE TRIALS OF SPRING; Beth Murphy’s exploration of an Afghan village’s first all-girls school, WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS (pictured); and Stanley Nelson’s revisitation of African American radical activism, THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION, a Sundance alum screening as the closing night selection.
Explorations of Justice and Peace include several other Sundance alums: Opening night film CARTEL LAND, Matthew Heineman’s look at grassroots responses to Mexican drug violence; 3 1/2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS, Marc Silver’s frank exploration of the Jordan Davis murder case; and (T)ERROR (pictured), Lyric R Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s candid investigation into the work of an FBI counterterrorism informant.
Finally, Art Versus Oppression offers work like Ayat Najafi’s NO LAND’S SONG (pictured), about an Iranian woman’s mission to combat the fundamentalist ban on female singing; and Francois Verster’s THE DREAM OF SHAHRAZAD, which uses THE 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS as inspiration for artistic expression in the wake of the Arab Spring.