Human Rights Watch Film Festival starts Thursday at Lincoln Center and the IFC Center. The annual look at films that highlight the struggles of people across the globe is always one of the highlights of the film year. Never mind that the festival highlights subjects that we need to be discussing and fighting for, the festival is ultimately a place where you can simply see great films. In all seriousness they don’t program bad films. I have been covering the festival for the better part of a decade and I cannot remember a truly bad film in the bunch. Yes there were films that didn’t click with me, but they were never bad.
This year’s selections maintain that. From THE APOLOGY to RESISTANCE SAGA and everything in between all of the films are really good. While there are some films I liked more than others none of the films were bad. I recommend everything. I say that every year but it's always true.
The best thing to do with the festival is simply look at the schedule find something you might like and just buy a ticket.
To help you with buying tickets beyond the statement buy anything I give you the reviews of films we've reviewed previously:
City of Ghosts
When the Mountain tremble
BLOOD ON THE DOORSTEP is a troubling look at the shooting of unarmed Dontre Hamilton in 2014 and what followed. Its a great film and I rally should review it to say more than that but some films you just have to say "This is great. See This". and then press a copy in to the persons hands. Since I can't buy everyone a ticket - you'll have to do it yourself.
I am embargoed from doing more than mentioning two of the best films at the festival so here are my mentions:
Deeply moving story of young Muhi and his grandfather who left Gaza to seek treatment in an Israeli hospital for an immune disorder but now can’t leave due to immigration issues. Trapped in the hospital for a decade the pair survive thanks to the kindness of the hospital staff. This is a wonderful bittersweet film that will put a smile on your face as it breaks your heart. A must see.
Penetrating look at Jessica Gonzales, whose life was shattered when her three daughters were kidnapped and killed by their father who violated an order of protection. It’s a look at unimaginable grief and the process to make changes so that it might never happens again.
For tickets and more information go here.
The Lighthouse Film Festival on Long Beach Island New Jersey was put on my radar by an acquaintance of mine who thought I should cover the festival. Regrettably I am unable to attend (it’s too far into New Jersey for a quick jaunt). However they are running some really good films so I highly recommend you make an effort to go. Below are the films we’ve seen so far. For tickets and more information go here
King of Peking
Gaza Surf Club
If you love film and live in the New York City area you realize quickly that every week there are at least three or four film festivals of various sizes going on. I do not always know about many of them until the day of or after when someone mentions this one or that one.
The Lower East Side Film Festival is a fest I only recently learned about. I had discovered it when a PR person sent me a random email to a private email account having nothing to do with Unseen. A short time later I was sent a film, WHAT CHILDREN DO by Dean Peterson. Intrigued by the film I investigated the festival further and was intrigued. They are showing some good films and I’m trying to arrange my schedule next weekend in order to get to Landmark Sunshine in order to cover it.
So far I’ve seen Nana and I have a review of WHAT CHILDREN DO coming but I am hoping to get to the actual fest. You however shouldn't wait for me- you should just check the schedule buy tickets and go.
For tickets and more information go here.
The Final Girls Film Festival in Berlin starts Friday and it looks to be a great fun. While I have someone whose floor I could crash on if I went I don't have money for the airfare. That said this female centric festival looks great. While they are only showing a handful of features they are showing a ton of shorts and they all look wonderful. I'm hoping to be able to post a ton of reviews...
For now I'll give you links to the films we've reviewed:
Women who kill
Roger Ballen’s Theater of Apparitions
And say that if you are in Europe and Berlin specifically go buy tickets and go. For more information and tickets go here.