Thursday, June 13, 2019

Human Rights Watch Capsules: Está todo bien (It's all good), In Search...., Everything Must Fall, When We Walk and Born in Evin

Está todo bien (It's all good)
This examination of the health care situation in Venezuela is a mixed bag. A vitally important film that highlights the insanity in the country (the financial and political instability has driven most of the doctors from the country and made it nigh impossible to get any sort of prescription drugs) the presentation, a discussion with various people caught in the mess, doesn’t quite work. Yes the horrible plight is showcased but I couldn’t help but think I would have liked this as something more straight forward- it didn’t need to guild the lily.

In Search....
Beryl Magoko's film looks at the practice of female genital mutilation which she was subjected to when she was a child. The film follows Magoko's look at the practice and at the lives of women, such as herself, who were scarred as children, as she considers the surgery which will correct damage done to her. It is a moving film that isn't just about the physical practice but about the emotional lives of the women traumatized.  You will forgive the brevity of the review but I feel unqualified to really discuss the film, other than to say it will move you.

Everything must Fall
Portrait of the perfect storm of protests that erupted in South Africa when the colleges and universities began to raise their tuition and fees at an unprecedented rate in the years after the government stopped subsidizing the schools. The students protested seeing the raises not as part of life but a means of bringing back Apartheid. It resulted in clashes with school officials and police across the country. Good look at events I had known nothing about. While I couldn't really connect to some of the details of what was happening (I don't have a grasp of all of the ups and downs of South African politics/society) I could see how the students choice to fight made a difference. Worth a look.

Born in Evin
Director Maryam Zaree attempts to fill in holes in her past concerning the fact that she was born in Evin Prison in Iran where political prisoners, like her parents were held. A good portrait of Iranian society that most people are not aware of the film is also a good look at how we need to know our whole story if we are going to get on with our lives and understand the people around us as well as ourselves.

When We Walk
Follow up to Jason DaSilva's When I Walk, the film follows DaSilva's struggle to remain in contact with his son after his ex takes the boy and moves to Austin Texas. DaSilva is suffering from MS and can not move to Texas without losing the health care he needs to remain alive. This is heartfelt and moving portrait of what one man has to do in order to not only remain alive but also remain connected to the one person who means anything to him, his young son. Definitely worth a look.

For tickets or more information to these or any Human Rights Watch Film Festival films go here

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