Human Rights Film Festival

From Mississippi to Morocco, from Brazil to Burma, human rights abuses are all too common. Although the perpetrators may try to hide their offenses from public view, documentary filmmakers around the world record the horrors and bring them into the light. Yale University will screen a series of new and recent films on human rights abuses between March 26 and April 21, as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Selections are chosen for their artistic quality and subject matter by members of Human Rights Watch, a global organization that investigates abuses around the world. All eight programs will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

From Mississippi to Morocco, from Brazil to Burma, human rights abuses are all too common. Although the perpetrators may try to hide their offenses from public view, documentary filmmakers around the world record the horrors and bring them into the light. Yale University will screen a series of new and recent films on human rights abuses between March 26 and April 21, as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Selections are chosen for their artistic quality and subject matter by members of Human Rights Watch, a global organization that investigates abuses around the world. All eight programs will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

The first film, “Hunters of Utopia,” will be shown on Wednesday, March 26, in the Luce Hall auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave. Directed by David Blaustrin, “Hunters of Utopia” features 33 protagonists from Argentina recounting the political movements of the 1970s. The film will be preceded by a talk titled “International Human Rights Through Film” by Charles Norchi, visiting lecturer in international affairs and political science at Yale and co-chair of the International Centre for Humanitarian Reporting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The other offerings in the series will be:

Monday, March 31 – “Mass Grave,” directed by Joao Godoy, the story of “disappeared” political prisoners who were buried in an illegal mass grave in Sao Paolo, Brazil; and “Yellow Wasps: Anatomy of a War Crime,” directed by Ilan Ziv and Rory O’Connor, examining “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia by focusing on a Serbian paramilitary group that unleashed a campaign of torture, murder and deportation in 1992. Rm. 127, Law School, 127 Wall St.

Wednesday, April 2 – “Lost in Mississippi,” directed by Jim Chambers, examining the mysteriously high suicide rate among the state’s prisoners. Rm. 127, Law School.

Monday, April 7 – “Intezaar,” directed by Rashid Masharawai, focusing on the refugee camps established in 1948 as a temporary solution for Palestinians who had lost their homes in what became the state of Israel; “All Hell Broke Loose,” directed by Amir Feldman, looking at the survivors of a car bomb attack on a bus in northern Israel; and “119 Bullets + Three,” directed by Yeud Levanon, exploring the historical conflict in Israel between religious and secular Jews since Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Luce Hall auditorium.

Wednesday, April 9 – “Days of Democracy,” directed by Attiyat El-Abnoudi, a tragi-comic look at the campaigns of women candidates running for the 1995 People’s Assembly in Egypt. Luce Hall auditorium.

Monday, April 14 – “Devil’s Children,” directed by Annie Arnou and Stev Van Thielen, investigating the use of rape as a “weapon” against women in Rwanda during the genocide of 1994; and “How the Hell Did They Survive?” directed by Trix Betlam, the story of three brothers who were held for 18 years in Moroccan prison camps without ever having charges brought against them. Luce Hall auditorium.

Wednesday, April 16 – “The Flor Contemplacion Story,” directed by Joel Lamangan, telling the story of a mother of four who went to Singapore to find work as a maid, only to be hanged for the murder of another Filipina maid and her ward, a 6-year-old Singaporean boy. Rm. 127, Law School.

Monday, April 21 – “Our Burmese Days,” directed by Lindsey Merrison, a story about the director’s voyage from England to Burma, the land of her birth, that explores what it means to live uncomfortably between cultures and classes.

The campus screenings are sponsored by the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, the International Affairs Council, the Schell Center for International Human Rights at the Law School, and the programs in East Asian, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, Latin American, and Russian and European studies. For further information, call 203/432-6253.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325