For the 2012 Human Rights Film Series, all films will be shown at the American University Katzen Arts Center with discussion to follow in the Abramson Family Recital Hall.
All films are free and open to the public. For information on previous years' Human Rights Film Series, please see the links located to the left of the screen.
Give Up Tomorrow (2010)
Filmmaker: Michael Collings
Thursday, September 27, 2012
As a tropical storm beats down on the Philippine island of Cebu, two sisters leave work and never make it home. That same night, hundreds of miles away in Manila on a different island, Paco Larrañaga, 19, is at a party, surrounded by dozens of reliable witnesses. The missing women, Marijoy, 21, and Jacqueline Chong, 23,are pretty and innocent Chinese-Filipinos, a group that has formed a traditional underclass. Paco, accused of their rapes and murders, is part of a prominent mestizo political clan that includes a former president. Beefy and tough, with a past of petty offenses, he neatly fits the role of privileged thug – and that is how he is cast by a frenzied media circus that swarms his arrest and trial, and cheers his eventual sentence to death by lethal injection. Reflecting schisms of race, class, and political power at the core of the Philippines’ tumultuous democracy, clashing families, institutions, and individuals face off to convict or free Paco.Their irreconcilable versions of reality and justice play out in a case that ends a country’s use of capital punishment, yet fails to free an innocent man.
½ Revolution is a personal, intimate story from the Arab Spring: a group of friends living in downtown Cairo struggle to stay together during the first chaotic days of the Egyptian Revolution. As waves of protests escalate in their neighborhood next to Tahrir Square, directors Omar Shargawi and Karim El Hakim take to the streets to capture the historical events unfolding around them. But as the violence and uncertainty builds, Karim and his young family's apartment becomes an epicenter of activity as worried friends and neighbors flock together in a bid to survive the counter punches thrown by police and the armed gangs of pro-Mubarak thugs swarming the streets under their balcony.
In an unmarked office at the end of a dirt track, veteran activist David Kato labors to repeal Uganda’s homophobic laws and liberate his fellow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women, or “kuchus.” But David’s formidable task just became much more difficult. A new “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” proposes death for HIV-positive gay men, and prison for anyone who fails to turn in a known homosexual. Inspired by American evangelicals who have christened Uganda ground zero in their war on the “homosexual agenda,” the bill awaits debate in Uganda’s Parliament. Meanwhile, local newspapers have begun outing kuchus with vicious fervor under headlines such as: “HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in the City.”
David, Uganda’s first openly gay man, is one of the few who dare to publicly protest state-sanctioned homophobia. Working with an idiosyncratic clan of fellow activists, David fights Uganda’s government and tabloids in the courts, on television, and at the United Nations. Because, he insists, “if we keep on hiding, they will say we’re not here.”
Filmmakers: Peter Kinoy + Pamela Yates + Paco de Onís
Thursday, October 18, 2012
GRANITO is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s past, and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation’s turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. In GRANITO our characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present. Each of the five main characters whose destinies collide in GRANITO are connected by the Guatemala of 1982, then engulfed in a war where a genocidal “scorched earth” campaign by the military exterminated nearly 200,000 Maya people. Now, as if a watchful Maya god were weaving back together threads of a story unraveled by the passage of time, forgotten by most, our characters become integral to the overarching narrative of wrongs done and justice sought that they have pieced together, each adding their granito, their tiny grain of sand, to the epic tale.