Human Rights Watch Film Festival goes digital for 2020
- Katherine McLaughlin
- 22 May 2020
Nine films to be streamed to audiences via Curzon Home Cinema, with live Q&A webinar discussions
In its 24th year, the UK edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival has gone digital for the next two weeks. A selection of documentaries and dramas about global injustices are available to stream, and there's also the opportunity to join live interactive Q&As for every title with the filmmakers and special guests. Here, we list our top picks from the programme.
I Am Not Alone
Garin Hovannisian's inspiring, multi-award-winning documentary about Armenia's 2018 'velvet revolution' kicks off the festival followed by a webinar. It tracks journalist and politician Nikol Pashinyan on his walking journey to Yerevan, as a protest against the possible election of the country's two-term president to prime minister. Tense and engaging, Hovannisian gained access to not only Pashinyan and his personal footage, but also interviewed the opposing side, giving a clear and balanced picture of the revolution.
Watch I Am Not Alone.
Born In Evin
A deeply personal documentary from actor and filmmaker Maryam Zaree who turns the camera on herself to find out more about the circumstances surrounding her birth in Iran's most notorious political prison. Her mother would prefer not to talk about it, but Zaree continues to try and prise her open. Her investigation leads her to speak to family members and a multitude of women who were detained in the prison resulting in a powerful depiction of trauma, and the different ways people cope with it.
Watch Born In Evin.
A fascinating portrait of three unmarried women over the age of twenty-seven in China who are considered to be 'sheng nu' or 'leftover'. With enormous pressure from the government to settle down, including a sponsored annual blind-date event, single-dom is portrayed as hugely shameful. This documentary tracks the women through major decisions in their lives as they attempt to reach for personal happiness with the ticking time-bomb of marriage a constant worry.
Watch Leftover Women.
In My Blood It Runs
At the time of filming, 100 percent of the youth in Alice Springs' notoriously brutal detention centres were Aboriginal. Maya Newell's intimate and gorgeously shot documentary follows the life of ten-year-old Dujuan, whose school truancy and rebellious behaviour pushes him closer to the reality of being placed behind bars. The long-lasting impact of colonisation on the Northern Territory's Indigenous population in Australia is confronted with a combination of archive news clips and personal testimony spliced with verité footage of Dujuan's coming-of-age in an education system that dismisses his voice and erases his culture. Newell has crafted a vital and heart-breaking doc that also illustrates the beauty of the bush and the power of a defiant spirit.
Watch In My Blood It Runs.
Stream a selection of nine hand-picked documentaries on Curzon Home Cinema from Fri 22 May–Fri 5 Jun, co-presented with partners Barbican, Curzon and Regents Street Cinema. For details on how to join the live webinar / Q&A sessions, see Human Rights Watch Film Festival's Streamed Q&A schedule.