Tonight, Friday, June 10 sees the opening of the 27th New York City edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which uses the power of storytelling to expose and bear witness to human rights issues both internationally and domestically. The event is primarily a nonfiction showcase, with a smaller number of vetted, fact-based fiction features and special panels also included. This year’s lineup offers seventeen documentary features which will screen through Sunday, June 19, including the following highlights:
Several films explore human rights in the United States, such as Michael Collins’ ALMOST SUNRISE (pictured), which follows two veterans as the cross the country by foot as a way to combat the after-effects of war. Other treks are explored in films about crises and migration, including George Kurian’s THE CROSSING, about the flight of Syrian refugees to Europe.
Among the projects addressing issues of accountability and justice are Tatiana Huezo’s consideration of victims of corruption in Mexico, TEMPESTAD (pictured); and Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel’s look at the struggle to have rape acknowledged as a war crime, THE UNCONDEMNED.
Women’s rights are the subject of a number of offerings, including Maisie Crow’s JACKSON, which looks at the battle being waged against abortion clinics in the South; while films focusing on LGBT rights include Eric Juhola’s GROWING UP COY, about a six-year-old transgender girl whose barring from using her school’s girls’ bathroom leads to a civil rights case.