The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
The Third Annual HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH TRAVELING FILM FESTIVAL
Human Rights Watch is widely recognized for our in-depth investigations, informed policy recommendations, and ability to generate intense pressure to confront human rights abusers and defend basic freedoms. Through vigilant monitoring and advocacy in over seventy countries, we are dedicated to advancing the protection and promotion of human rights for all. Since its inception, The Human Rights Watch's International Film Festival has embodied the power of film to make a difference. Courageous and committed filmmakers produce impressive documentary and feature films, which stimulate passionate conversations about human rights and inspire new generations of human rights activists. Once again, The Facets Cinémathèque is very proud to present this annual event, using the universal language of film to share individual stories of suffering and of strength across both physical and philosophical borders.
OPENING NIGHT BENEFIT SCREENING AND RECEPTION
at the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
FILMMAKERS ALISON MACLEAN AND TOBIAS PERSE IN PERSON!
PERSONS OF INTEREST
"No documentary was more timely or disturbing...The film never raises its voice to propagandize. It doesn't need to." -Newsweek
"Going where most major media has feared to tread..." -Variety
"A film guaranteed to raise the righteous indignation of anyone with a favorable opinion of liberty, freedom or the Constitution." -Newsday
"Beautiful, powerful, and moving interrogation." -Village Voice
"Eye-opening...their treatment sounds sickeningly familiar -- like stories about the Taliban, or the secret police behind the Iron Curtain" -The Onion
Ashcroft calls them terrorists. They call themselves Americans. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, more than 5000 people, mainly non-U.S. nationals of South Asian or Middle Eastern origin, were taken into custody by the U.S. Justice Department and held indefinitely on grounds of national security. Muslim immigrants were subject to arbitrary arrest, secret detention, solitary confinement, and deportation. Many were denied access to legal representation and communication with their families. During a period when the State Department has made every effort to depersonalize these detentions, refusing to reveal the names or even the number of immigrants detained, the voices of those affected - their testimonials and experiences - become our only window into the human costs of post September 11th immigration policies. Following an unconventional format, Persons of Interest presents a series of encounters between former detainees and directors Maclean and Perse in an empty room which serves both visually and symbolically as an interrogation room, home, and prison cell. Through interviews, family photographs, and letters from prison, the directors have fashioned a compelling and poignant film, allowing those affected a chance to tell their own stories.
Directed by Alison MacLean and Tobias Perse, U.S.A., 2004, BetaSP, 63 mins.
With Special Guests, Carroll Bogert, Associate Director, Human Rights Watch
Alison MacLean and Tobias Perse, Directors of Persons of Interest.
Four years ago, high school student Duc Ta was arrested for driving a car from which a gun was shot. Although no one was injured, and Duc was not a member of a gang, had no priors, and was 16 years old, he received a sentence of 35 years to life. This is a riveting look at a world most of us will never see: the world of juvenile offenders who are serving incomprehensibly long prison sentences.
Directed by Leslie Neale, U.S.A., 2004, BetaSP, 66 mins. In English.
Fri., May 6 at 6:30 & 9 pm
Wed., May 11 at 8:30 pm
Recommended "Gripping" -Chicago Reader
Filmmaker Nurit Kedar spent a year convincing the military authorities in Israel to allow her to interview Israel Defense Force snipers. Snipers are part of every combat unit and have been used for targeted killing. One Shot focuses on snipers still serving in the Israeli Army and for the first time ever, they speak about their killings, their feelings, and their morality.
Directed by Nurit Kedar, Israel, 2004, BetaSP, 60 mins. In Hebrew with English subtitles.
Fri., May 6 at 6:30 & 9 pm
Thurs., May 12 at 7 pm
Recommeded "rich with political history, moral argument, and raw emotion" -Chicago Reader
"Heart-wrenching...though sober and straightforward" -The Onion
"Deadline is a prime example of advocacy journalism...a chance to ruminate on some crucial questions of human error, justice and life-and-death." -Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Deadline is all the more effective because it is calm, factual and unsensational." -Roger Ebert
On the eve of his departure from office, George Ryan -- longtime conservative Republican, supporter of the death penalty, and governor of Illinois -- surprised the nation by commuting the sentences of all 167 prisoners on Death Row. Directors Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson bring us directly into the debate and the legal process that is set into motion when a group of Northwestern University journalism students uncover evidence that many people on Illinois' Death Row are innocent, undermining the credibility of the state's entire capital justice system.
Directed by Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson, U.S.A 2003, BetaSP, 90 mins. In English.
Sat., May 7 at 1 pm
Sun., May 8 at 4 pm
WHAT THE EYE DOESN'T SEE
Recommended "Francisco Lombardi's direction is taut, the cinematography excellent, and the cast superb" -Chicago Reader
Acclaimed filmmaker Francisco J. Lombardi delivers his most ambitious project to date with the political psychodrama What the Eye Doesn't See. Set in the final days of Alberto Fujimori's presidency in Peru, the film explores the corruption plaguing many Latin American governments as seen through the eyes of everyday people.
Directed by Francisco J. Lombardi, Peru, 2003; 35mm, 149 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Sat., May 7 at 3 pm
Mon., May 9 at 7 pm
On the campus of Montreal's Concordia University, an announcement is made that Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel, will speak, and it has sparked heated debate among the students, some of whom are Pro-Palestine, others Pro-Israel, and still others non-aligned free speech advocates. By the end of the day, the debate has exploded into violent confrontation, and the riot has made international news, from CNN to Al-Jazeera. Charting the turbulent progress of three young campus activists,this provocative documentary asks what role international politics, religion and culture can and should play in the lives of our college students.
Directed by Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal, Canada, 2004, BetaSP, 71 mins.
Both political tale and love story, Goodbye Hungaria begins in a refugee camp in Hungary, home to hundreds of men, women and children fleeing war and oppression from every corner of the globe. To the refugees, Eastern Hungary is a cold and unwelcoming place; Asylum is rarely granted, and there are few opportunities for work. For most, the only way out of this legal limbo is through a thriving underground smuggling ring. Jon Nealon's cinema verité documentary chronicles the lives of Abed Al-Sahli a Palestinian refugee who acts as advocate and de facto translator for the camp's Arab population, and Charu Newhouse, an American volunteer.
Directed by Jon Nealon, USA/Hungary 2003; BetaSP, 56 mins.
Sat., May 7 at 6:30 & 9 pm
Freedom of Expression Award Sundance Film Fest
Recommended "Explores an ideological and personal mess, bravely refusing to simplify or preach." -Chicago Reader
In the spring of 1992, documentary filmmaker Dong-won Kim met Cho Chang-son and Kim Seak-hyoung, two North Koreans arrested by South Korean authorities years before. Convicted of spying for the North, they were incarcerated and spent thirty years as political prisoners. These men, and many others like them, underwent conversion schemes in prison that involved torture and those individuals who renounced their communist beliefs were released from prison early. The others, known as "the unconverted," served their full terms. None could return home to the North, however, until the turn of this century, when tensions between North and South eased significantly. Director Dong-won Kim followed these men for ten years, documenting how they survived, both physically and psychologically, the dehumanizing time spent in prison, and their quest, once released, to finally go home.
Directed by Dong-won Kim, South Korea 2003, BetaSP, 149 mins. In Korean with English subtitles.
Sun., May 8 at 1 pm
Tues., May 10 at 7 pm
SAINTS AND SINNERS
Best Documentary Q Cinema Film Fest
"One of the most effective, intelligent, mature and romantic love stories to come across the screen recently." -Film Threat
"Quietly persuasive and very timely documentary" -New York Post
Saints and Sinners follows the emotional journey of a devoutly Catholic gay couple determined to marry in a Catholic church. Caring more about formalizing their seven-year union within the Catholic tradition than with legal recognition by the state, Edward DeBonis and Vincent Maniscalco pursue their dream, despite the expected rejection from the local church hierarchy. Saints and Sinners is a timely vision of love and commitment, which demonstrates that the struggle for equal rights is not just about legal benefits, but the aspiration to find acceptance and affirmation.
Directed by Abigail Honor and Yan Vizinberg, U.S.A, 2004, BetaSP, 71 mins.