Human Rights Watch 2021: Documentary Overview

The 32nd Human Rights Watch Film Festival

May 19-27

Nine recent documentaries are included in the lineup of the NYC edition of this well-respected event.

Director: Jennifer Redfearn
In the Midwest, plagued with opioid abuse and rising incarceration rates for women, three unforgettable mothers return home from prison to rebuild their lives after years of separation from their children.

Bajo Fuego (Under Siege)
Director: Sjoerd Van Grootheest, Irene Vélez-Torres
Colombian coca farmers mobilize to protect their livelihoods after the government instructs them to destroy their crops as part of their “war on drugs.”

Daughter Of A Lost Bird
Director: Brooke Pepion Swaney
A woman, raised by an adopted white family since she was a baby, discovers her Native identity.

Forget Me Not
Director: Olivier Bernier
The director and his wife fight to include their child with disabilities in integrated classes in NYC’s public school system.

In the Same Breath
Director: Nanfu Wang
An investigation of the dual forces of propaganda and patriotism in the response to the coronavirus outbreaks in both China and the US.

A Once and Future Peace
Director: Eric Daniel Metzgar
An exposé of the failings of the criminal justice system, and the promise of a more transformative approach through restorative justice and the Peacemaking Circle movement.

The Return: Life After ISIS
Director: Alba Sotorra Clua
Women who uprooted their lives in the West to join ISIS in Syria, now infamous and reviled in the media, yearn for absolution and the homelands that bar their return.

Tacheles: The Heart of the Matter
Director: Jana Matthes, Andrea Schramm
A painful confrontation with history opens up old family wounds, leading 21-year-old Yaar to wonder what relevance the Holocaust has for him.

Director: Ashley O’Shay
Fed up with misdeeds committed by Chicago law enforcement and a political system unwilling to hold anyone accountable, two passionate young Black women take action. 


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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