Human Rights are still an issue around the world

Feb 7, 2003

The Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival will be at Kettering University Thursday, Feb. 13 through Sunday, Feb. 16.

The Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival will be at Kettering University Thursday, Feb. 13 through Sunday, Feb. 16. Eight films highlighting human rights issues around the world, including Israel, the United States, Lebanon, Palestine, Chile, Afghanistan and Rwanda will be shown in McKinnon Theatre, located in the Academic Building at the corner of Third and Chevrolet avenues.

Bringing The Human Rights Watch (HRW) Traveling Film Festival to Kettering University was the brainchild of Dr. Badrinath Rao, assistant professor of Social Science. "Since I started teaching at Kettering, I noticed a majority of my students have little awareness of human rights issues," Rao said. In an effort to increase awareness among students and throughout the local community, Rao and the Liberal Studies Department at Kettering decided to bring the HRW Traveling Film Festival to campus.

Each film will be followed by a discussion/question and answer session. Moderators include Kettering faculty, filmmaker Jon Osman, Justifiable Homicide, Dr. Ananth Aiyer, Anthropology, UM-Flint, and Dr. Mark Ensalaco, director of International Studies and Human Rights, University of Dayton. Audience participation is encouraged.

Through the eyes of committed and courageous filmmakers, HRW films showcase 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. HRW seeks to empower everyone with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a very real difference.

Started in 1978 as Helsinki Watch, Human Rights Watch is the largest human rights organization based in the United States. Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world, presses for the withdrawal of military and economic support from governments that egregiously violate the rights of their people, provides up-to-the-minute information about conflicts while they are underway. All the "Watch" committees were united in 1988 to form Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch believes that international standards of human rights apply to all people equally, and that sharp vigilance and timely protest can prevent the tragedies of the twentieth century from recurring.

The films showing at Kettering are:

Thursday, Feb. 13 - 6:40 p.m.
The Last Just Man -
Produced in Canada, 2001. In just 100 days 800,000 Rwandans were killed by machete and machine gun - and it all happened on the watch of Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission overseeing the peace treaty between warring tribes. The Last Just Man shows a haunted Dallaire seven years later still questioning whether he could have done more to stop the genocide. 70 minutes

Friday, Feb. 14 - 3:25 p.m. AND Sunday, Feb. 16 - Noon
Afghanistan Year 1380 -
Directed by Alberto Vendemmiati and Fabrizio Lazzaretti, 2002. Medical personnel trying to keep a hospital open in Afghanistan the week following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Life from the perspective of Afghan people during this extraordinary time, including treatment of Taliban prisoners of war in Northern Alliance jails. 54 minutes - graphic scenes

Friday, Feb. 14 - 7:15 p.m.
The Pinochet Case -
Directed by Patricio Guzman, 2001. Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, and for many years his name has been associated with human rights violations. This film documents the proceedings prior to the Chilean leader's arrest, his house arrest in Chile and accounts from victims of his regime's torture and interrogation. A powerful insight into human suffering and survival. 110 minutes

Saturday, Feb. 15 - 12:45 p.m.
Gaza Strip -
Produced in Palestine and the United States, 2002. In Cinema Verite style without narration, the film focuses on ordinary Palestinians struggling with the day-to-day issues of Israeli occupation. Shot during the time Ariel Sharon was elected Israeli Prime Minister when violence erupted, the film features a range of people and events for three months following the election. 74 minutes

Saturday, Feb. 15 - 2:45 p.m.
Justifiable Homicide -
Directed by Jon Osman, 2001. Based on the murder of cousins Antonio Rosario and Hilton Vega, two Puerto Rican men shot by New York Police detectives in the Bronx in early 1995. One was Mayor Giuliani's bodyguard. The film builds a powerful argument for a cover-up at the highest levels. Follow Margarita Rosario as she becomes a community activist. 86 minutes

Saturday, Feb. 15 - 7 p.m.
War Photographer -
Produced in Switzerland, 2001. In one of the world's countless crisis areas, surrounded by suffering, death and chaos, award-winning photographer James Nachtwey searches for the picture he thinks he can publish. Considered one of the bravest and most important war photographers of our time, he doesn't fit the stereotype of macho war photographer. 2002 Academy Award nominee for best feature-length documentary film. 96 minutes

Sunday, Feb. 16 - 1:30 p.m.
August -
Produced in Israel, 2002. August is a month of optimism for many Israelis, but for Mograbi, the month constitutes a metaphor for whatever is hateful in the state of Israel. In August of 2001 he takes to the streets with a video camera and captured more than he bargained for. A chilling portrait of the emotional state of Israel today. 72 minutes.

Sunday, Feb. 16 - 3:15 p.m.
In the Shadows of the City -
Directed by Jean Khalil Chamoun, 2000. This drama explores the complexities of Lebanon's 15-year long civil war that ended in 1990, as seen through the lives of Rami, a 12-year-old boy, and his family. Escaping the civil war between Christians and Muslims they move to Beruit, only to have the war follow. The family struggles with unemployment, death and the disappearance of loved ones. 100 minutes

For more information, or directions to McKinnon Theatre, contact Rao at 762-7810.

Written by:
Dawn Hibbard, director of Media Relations and Communications