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 9th Annual
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL
May 25 and June 1-9
"Stories revolve around war, and the unchanging, unrepentant and frighteningly eternal twin Gorgons of unbridled corporate expansion and government corruption. Justice continues to be elusive and human misery undeniable, yet what emerges from these films -- and from the filmmakers -- are refreshing expressions of humanity. It is that optimism, and an unshakable belief in the transformative power of cinema, that inspires every Human Rights Watch Festival" -Film Journal
Human Rights Watch is widely recognized for their 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 International Film Festival has embodied the power of film to make a difference and The Facets Cinémathèque, in collaboration with The Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee, is very proud to present The 9th Annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which showcases the heroic stories of activists and survivors from all over the world. The works featured help to put a human face on threats to individual freedom and dignity, and celebrate the power of the human spirit and intellect to prevail. We seek to empower everyone with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a very real difference and these courageous and committed filmmakers have produced impressive documentary and feature films, which stimulate passionate conversations about human rights and inspire human rights activists. Through the universal language of film, we connect the experiences of survivors and activists with our own experiences.
For more information about tickets and other opportunities to support Human Rights Watch call 312.573.2451 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to our Groupon purchasers: You will redeem your Groupon at the screening – please present your certificate at the box office at least five minutes prior to the screening start time. If you have purchased tickets to multiple films, make sure to bring the correct voucher. Seating is general admission, so come early to snag the best seats.
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE AND DETAILS
For showtimes, descriptions, trailers, and more information about this year's festival films, scroll down, or click here to use our interactive infographic.
IN THE LAND OF THE FREE...
"The tale astounds" -Chicago Sun-Times
Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King -- the Angola 3 -- have spent a combined century in solitary confinement in Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Targeted by prison officials for being members of the Black Panther Party and for fighting against terrible prison conditions, they were convicted of the murder of a prison guard, a verdict they continue to challenge and for which new evidence continues to emerge. In the Land of the Free... presents their ongoing story as dramatic events continue to unfold. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Film courtesy of The Mob Film Company.
Facets Cinémathèque screening:
Thurs., June 9 at 7 pm
THIS IS MY LAND... HEBRON
"Fascinating and revealing" -Chicago Reader
"Powerful...It provides a palpable sense of life on the ground" -TimeOut Chicago
Hebron is the largest city in the occupied West Bank, home to 160,000 Palestinians. It is also home to one of the first Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the only one right in the heart of a Palestinian city. It now resembles a ghost town, as a colony of 600 Israeli settlers have a garrison of more than 2,000 Israeli soldiers to defend them. The cultural and economic life of the town is being suffocated and war between neighbors is waged on a daily basis.
Featuring interviews with both Israelis and Palestinians living in Hebron, as well as activists on both sides, members of the Israeli parliament and prominent Ha'aretz journalists, This Is My Land... Hebron shows life in Hebron as it is today -- a city fraught with violence and conflct.
Directed by Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson, Israel/Italy, 2010, 75 mins. In English and Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.
Simcha Leventhal (founding member of Breaking the Silence) and Tom Porteous (HRW Deputy Program Director) will be here for a Q&A after the 7:00 screening on Wednesday, June 1st.
Wed., June 1 at 7 pm
Fri., June 3 at 8:30 pm
A SMALL ACT
½ "Heartwarming" -Roger Ebert
"The film couldn't be more heartening — yes, individual actions do make a difference. But it's bittersweet as well" -New York Times
One good deed can transform an entire life. When Hilde Back sponsored the primary school education of Chris Mburu from her home in Sweden, his life in Kenya was forever changed. Now a prominent human rights lawyer, Mburu hopes to replicate the generosity he once received by founding a scholarship fund to aid a new generation of Kenyan children. The brightest students in Mukubu primary school are poised to become the next leaders of Kenya, but they cannot afford to pay school fees to continue their education. The future of their families rests in the hands of the scholarship committee, but with limited income, how many students can Mburu's fund help as violence erupts around Kenya's elections, affecting all involved.
With clarity and grace, A Small Act bears cinematic witness to the ripple effect a single action can generate even in the midst of persistent poverty and political turmoil.
Directed by Jennifer Arnold, U.S.A., 2010, 88 mins.
Neela Ghoshal of the Kenya Research for Human Rights Watch will be here for a pre-screening reception at 7pm on Monday, June 6th.
Wed., June 1 at 9 pm
Mon., June 6 at 8:30 pm
LAST BEST CHANCE
"[Senator Kennedy] makes some of the most stirring and eloquent speeches in a film that brims with heartfelt and moving oratory" -Slant Magazine
Last Best Chance brilliantly presents a political legend, Senator Edward Kennedy, in his final battle for comprehensive immigration reform in the US. Seeking legislation that he believes would best serve US interests and provide greater security and dignity to many of the 20 million people currently living in the shadows, Senator Kennedy joins forces with talented allies on the outside to marshal fellow Senators, including Obama, Clinton, and McCain toward a "Grand Bargain." However, below the level of strategy and protocol, we find a moral tale of modern American politics. Ted Kennedy, one of a handful of people who through his personal efforts truly changed the face of America, is forced to decide how much he wants this deal and what he is willing to trade for his greatest legacy.
Directed by Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson, U.S.A., 2010, 100 mins.
Mary Meg McCarthy of the National Immigrant Justice Center will be here for a Q&A after the 7:00 screening on Thursday, June 2nd
Filmmakers Michael Camerini and Shari Robinson will be present for the screening on Wednesday, June 8th.
"Like Claude Lanzmann's Holocaust documentary Shoah (1985), this poses one of the most difficult philosophical questions—what it means to live with the legacy of genocide—and it shares with that film a fundamental respect for the viewer's intelligence" -Chicago Reader
Enemies of the People follows the project of Thet Sambath, whose parents were among the approximately two million people who perished under the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. With unprecedented access and groundbreaking confessions from the notorious "Brother Number Two," Nuon Chea, and from numerous grassroots killers, he uncovers terrifying personal explanations for the genocide by allowing the perpetrators to speak for themselves.
Directed by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, Cambodia/UK, 2009, 94 mins. In English and Khmer with English subtitles.
Dary Mien from the Cambodian Association of Illinois will be here for a Q&A after the 9 pm screening on Thurs., June 2nd.
Thurs., June 2 at 9 pm
Tues., June 7 at 9 pm
12 ANGRY LEBANESE
"Heartening" -TimeOut Chicago
"The movie has a fleet, impressionistic sensibility" -Chicago Reader
In Lebanon's largest prison, inmates stage a version of Reginald Rose's play 12 Angry Men, revealing the tremendous dignity and despair of the prisoners, as Zeina Daccache's inspired theatre project transforms their lives, while offering an extraordinary experience for the audience. For nearly a year and a half, 45 prison inmates found themselves working together to present their version of the play, here renamed "12 Angry Lebanese". The drama therapy sessions, the interviews with the inmates, and the interaction with both Daccache and the audience convey an extraordinary message of trust, forgiveness, and change. Daccache exposes the complex layers of each actor's personality as well as the remarkable evolution they experience as a group.
Directed by Zeina Daccache, Lebanon, 2009, 78 mins. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Meade Palidofsky of Storycatchers Theatre will be here for a Q&A after the 7 pm screening on Fri., June 3rd.
Fri., June 3 at 7 pm
Sun., June 5 at 4 pm
YOUTH PRODUCING CHANGE
Total running time: 67 min.
Teen filmmakers turn the camera on their own struggles for human rights and invite audiences to experience the world as they do. Youth Producing Change shares eleven powerful stories made by teens from across the globe as they share their vision of change.
Including the following films:
Hands of Love Produced by 14 youth filmmakers from Voiceless Children in association with Listen Up! and Adobe Youth Voices.
For David Were and his community in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, having access to simple facilities like a bathroom can be a matter of life and death. After a devastating attack on his father, David and his friends know their work to provide security, latrines, and clean-up projects is more than a struggle for a healthier environment - it is part of ensuring the survival of their community. Kenya, 2008, 8 mins. In Kiswahili with English subtitles.
Kamran's Story Kamran Safi of Kent Refugee Action Network
Drawing from a series of dramatic life-changing events, Kamran, a 14-year-old asylum seeker, narrates the story of his courageous escape from Afghanistan and his unaccompanied journey to the United Kingdom. UK/Afghanistan, 2008, 3 mins. In English.
Migration Eddy Perlaza, Cinthya Durán, and Sinchi Chimba of Agencia de Comunicación de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes (ACNNA)
Young people find themselves on their own when they seek refuge from violence in Colombia - or when parents are forced to seek work in other countries to support their families. Migration provides a new take on immigration, from the perspective of children left behind. Ecuador, 2008, 5 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.
An Average Congolese Diet (Alimentation d'un congolais moyen) Sylvain Koko of UNICEF Oneminutesjr. Project.
For 14 years, Congo has been ravaged with conflict. Food insecurity remains the norm and millions have died, mostly due to malnutrition and lack of access to basic medicine. The simple truth for children in Congo - having a meal isn't always a given. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2007, 1 min.
17 & Unidentified Alicia Wade of Global Potential
Born in Batey Cuchillia, Dominican Republic of Haitian descent, Deivei was never provided with a birth certificate. Without it, he cannot continue his education, find a job, marry or travel. Dominican Republic/U.S.A., 2009, 5 mins. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.
Growing Up in India Produced by 17 youth filmmakers from Free the Children
In the northeastern desert state of Rajasthan in India, Sangita feels the limitations of her culture's caste system when she decides she must forgo an education to train as a dancer in order to support her family. Canada/India, 2009, 9 mins. In Hindi with English subtitles.
Babica Martina Hudorovic of DZMP/Luksuz Produkcija
The Roma people have been the target of persecution and discrimination for centuries. A Roma grandmother shares her hopes for future generations as she prepares bread with her granddaughter. Slovenia, 2008, 8 mins. In Roma with English subtitles.
Hudud Produced by 12 youth filmmakers from Camera-etc
Being 16 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories today is to have one's life dictated by curfews, clashes with soldiers at check points, arbitrary searches and arrests. Hudud (an Arabic word for restriction) illustrates the challenges that Israeli construction of the "separation barrier" or wall pose for Palestinian youth. Occupied Palestinian Territories, 2008, 8 mins. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Mariposa Espie Hernandez, Wendy Sandoval, and Luna Serna of ImMEDIAte Justice Collective
As Espie prepares for her quinceañera, a traditional rite of passage celebrating a 15-year-old Latina's debut, her family adjusts to Espie's decision to "come out" in a different way. Espie's story embraces the complexity of family tradition and sexual identity with an honest and brave heart. U.S.A., 2009, 6 mins. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.
See, Listen, Speak: Ngarrindjeri's Being Heard (Nukkan.Kungan.Yunnan) Edie Carter, Rita Lindsay, Victor Koolmatrie, Melanie Koolmatrie and Veronica Wilson from Change Media
After water is diverted from natural streams and lakes in the rural Coroong community and delivered by pipeline to larger cities, the aboriginal Ngarrindjeri face a disastrous water crisis, threatening their way of life. Ngarrindjeri youth speak out to protect their culture and traditions. Australia, 2009, 6 mins. In English.
Image of Contamination Elizabeth Gonzalez and Antonio Rodriguez of SAY Sí in association with Listen Up! and Adobe Youth Voices
The course of Air Force enlistee Diana López's life changes forever when she learns that toxic waste has been seeping off nearby Kelly Air Force Base and into her community's ground water. Realizing this pollution is likely responsible for cancer and birth defects, Diana decides to fight for her community's right to clean water, soil, and air. U.S.A., 2008, 8 mins. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.
Sat., June 4 at 1 pm
Sun., June 5 at 1 pm
MOUNTAINS AND CLOUDS
"An IV injection of inside-baseball maneuvering for political junkies" -Slant Magazine
"A particularly eye-opening look at the battalions of aides, analysts and law-writers normally relegated to the shadows" -TimeOut Chicago
With unprecedented access to some of the most powerful members of the US Congress, Mountains and Clouds revisits a seminal moment in the push for immigration reform, with implications for the immigration battle currently brewing for the Obama administration and Congress. August 2001 was the most electrifying time in decades for immigration advocates, with Washington on the cusp of realizing comprehensive reform. Two weeks later, the 9/11 attacks shifted the Capitol's focus completely to national security issues. In response, Senator Ted Kennedy and his unexpected Senate partner, conservative evangelical Republican Sam Brownback, have every intention of passing the security legislation in order to return to immigration. But fate throws up a roadblock as elder statesman Senator Robert Byrd has a star turn holding up the business of the nation; young Senator Brownback begins to have doubts; and the future of immigration reform hangs in the balance.
Directed by Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson, U.S.A., 2010, 93 mins.
Filmmakers Michael Camerini and Shari Robinson, as well as Joshua Hoyt of Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights, will be here for a Q&A after the 6:30 screening on Wednesday, June 8th.
Sat., June 4 at 3 pm
Wed., June 8 at 6:30 pm
CAMP VICTORY, AFGHANISTAN
"Excellent, thought-provoking" -Variety
"This is invaluable boots-on-the-ground journalism" -Chicago Sun-Times
Drawing from nearly 300 hours of vérité footage shot between 2005 and 2008, Camp Victory, Afghanistan skillfully explores the reality of building a functioning Afghan military. Filmmaker Carol Dysinger achieves a remarkable intimacy in telling the story of several US National Guardsmen stationed in Herat, Afghanistan, and the Afghan officers they are assigned to mentor. Although the United States has poured military aid into Afghanistan, money alone does not produce security -- people do. Frustrations are evident as are moments of humor as the film vividly exposes the difficulties faced by men from two very different worlds as they attempt to understand and work effectively together in this monumental endeavor.
Directed by Carol Dysinger, Afghanistan/U.S.A, 2010, 84 mins. In English and Dari with English subtitles.
Filmmaker Carol Dysinger and Colonel (R) Michael Shute (subject of the film) will be here for a Q&A after the 5 pm screening on Saturday, June 4th.
Sat., June 4 at 5 pm
Thurs., June 9 at 8:45 pm
THE GREEN WAVE
"The perspective of victims makes for enraging, wrenching testimony" -Chicago Sun-Times
From the widespread hope of political change in Iran through the 2009 elections to the brutal suppression of the mass protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, The Green Wave recounts the dramatic events of the most severe domestic crisis in the history of the Islamic Republic. In May 2009, the youthful green-clad crowds were enraged and the atmosphere was explosive. Yet Election Day in June was a disappointment on a massive scale. The film recounts the ways in which the authorities violently crushed the protests that took place directly thereafter and exposes the arrests and interrogations that followed in intense detail.
Interweaving animated blogs and tweets, video footage caught by those present, and extensive interviews, The Green Wave is a remarkable portrait of modern political rebellion, an exposé of government-sanctioned violence, and a vision of hope that continued resistance may galvanise a new Iran.
Directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi, Germany/Iran. 2010, 80 mins. In English and Farsi with English subtitles.
Danny Postel, editor of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future, and Kaveh Ehsani of DePaul University will be here for a Q&A after the 7 pm screening on Saturday, June 4th.
Sat., June 4 at 7 pm
Tues., June 7 at 6:30 pm
OUT IN THE SILENCE
"Wrenching, inspiring, and entertaining" -Windy City Times
Out in the Silence captures the controversy that ensues when filmmaker Joe Wilson's same-sex wedding announcement is published in the newspaper of the small Pennsylvania hometown he left long ago. Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a gay teen being tormented at school, Wilson's journey dramatically illustrates the challenges of negotiating the morally charged issue of sexual orientation and the potential for building bridges when people with differing opinions approach each other with openness and respect.
Directed by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, U.S.A., 2009, 66 mins.
Filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer will be here for a Q&A after both screenings.