Monday, June 9, 2014

Human Rights Watch Film Festival starts this week

This year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival starts Thursday. We’re going to have a bunch of reviews running this week and into next week the festival runs to the 22nd. As in years past the films are a mix of dramas and documentaries highlighting human rights issues around the world.

Where in years past we’ve attacked the festival with gusto and wrestled it to the ground, this year we’re taking a more relaxed approach, due to the fact that we’ve been running around with too many other things and were not able to get to as many screenings as we would have liked.

While we have seen a number of films, and we're wading through several more,  I did want to point out a few that you'll want to see.

The first must see is Scheherazade's Diary, the closing night film. It’s a wonderful portrait of a group of women in prison putting together a theatrical performance based in part on their lives. While you may have seen films about similar subjects you haven’t seen these ladies which makes this film a must see. I loved it.

I also want to point out the opening night film Private Violence which is a kick in the chest look at domestic violence. Trust me you want to see the film, though be warned you'll feel like its sucked all the air out of your chest. It will leave you beaten down and deeply moved.

Two more to get tickets to if you don't have them already are Return to Homs about the civil war in Syria. Its one of the best films of the festival. Also one of the best is the small gem A Quiet Inquisition about the complete lack of abortions in Guatemala which is just a damn fine film regardless of the subject matter.

I should point out that I saw Siddharth last year at the South Asian Film Festival and I liked it. My review can be found here.

This is a super year and if you care about good movies you'll want to get yourself to the festival. For details on the films (which are split between Lincoln Center and the IFC Center) go to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival website.

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