CENDEP Human Rights Film Festival

Oxford Brookes University Annual Film and Music Festival

The 6th annual Human Rights Film Festival: 29 Feb – 9 March 2008

Friday 29th February 2008

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University

Film Still

Favela Rising 2005, Brazil
(Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary)

7pm, Favela Rising (Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary)
2005, Brazil, 80mins

Favela Rising documents, Anderson Sá, a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro's most feared slum. Through hip-hop music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.

Followed by a performance by Brazilian band Illustrious Sambistas


Saturday 1st March 2008

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University

2pm, Rain in a Dry Land (Anne Makepeace 2006, Kenya/USA, 82 mins)

"Rain in a Dry Land" chronicles, in their own poetic words, the first 18 months of the American lives of Arbai Barre Abdi and her children and Aden Edow and Madina Ali Yunye and their children. Beginning with "cultural orientation" classes in Kenya, where they are introduced to such novelties as electric appliances and the prospect of living in high-rise apartment buildings, the film follows the Muslim families on divergent yet parallel paths as they learn that the streets in America are definitely not paved with gold, especially for poor immigrants.


3.30pm, Lumo  (Bent Jorgen Perlmutt, Nelson Walker III 2007, Eastern Congo, 72mins)

Lumo is a young woman who, living in war-torn Congo, is raped by soldiers, left with a fistula - which leaves her incontinent and possibly unable to give birth - and rejected by her family and her fiance. She finds her way to a hospital for rape survivors, where "the mamas" show her love, give her practical help and offer a way forward.

Sunday 2nd March 2008

The Regal, Magdalen Rd, East Oxford

2pm Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick, 2006, Sierra Leone, 137 mins)

An ex-mercenary turned smuggler. A Mender fisherman. Amid the explosive civil war overtaking 1999 Sierra Leone, these men join for two desperate missions: recovering a rare pink diamond of immense value and rescuing the fisherman s son, conscripted as a child soldier into the brutal rebel forces ripping a swath of torture and bloodshed across the alternately beautiful and ravaged countryside.


Film Still

Video Letters 2004/2005
Katarina Reiger and Eric van den Broek

4.30pm, Video Letters (Katarina Reiger and Eric van den Broek 2004/2005, Bosnia Herzegovina/ Slovenia/ Macedonia/ Croatia/ Serbia and Montenegro - 75mins)

This is a series of 20 shorts. In each episode, two people of different nationalities, who before the war were friends, neighbours or colleagues, send each other a video letter. This stunning series of films literally reaches across the emotional and physical divide to open up a new path for the future

Monday 3rd March 2008

The Jericho Tavern, Walton St, Oxford

6pm, Fatherhood Dreams (Julia Ivanova, 2007, Canada, 55mins)

Fatherhood Dreams follows the day-to-day lives of Scott, Steve, Randy and Drew, who are fathers through surrogacy, co-parenting and adoption, and the issues and battles they have to deal with. These men represent a new possibility, showing how in a modern world gay fatherhood can transform from a distant dream into a reality.


7pm Caramel (Nadine Labaki, 2007, Lebanon, 96mins)

Layal works in a beauty salon in Beirut along with 2 other women. Each one has a problem: Layal has a relationship with a married man, Nisrine who is no more a virgin, will soon be married, Rima is attracted to girls. Jamal, the regular and close customer, is worried about getting old. Rose, a tailor with a shop next to the salon, is an old lady who devoted her life to taking care of her older sister Lili, has found her first love.


Tuesday 4th March 2008

The Jericho Tavern, Walton St, Oxford

6pm Murderers on the Dancefloor: Jailhouse Rock (Channel 4 First Cut series, 2007, Phillipines, 25mins)

Nine million have viewed a clip of 1,500 inmates of a Filipino prison dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Sarah McCarthy finds out why the prisoners dance to 80s pop.

6.30pm Shooting Dogs (Michael Caton Jones, 2005, Rwanda, 115mins)

This deeply moving and critically acclaimed drama, which emotionally retells the tragic events that took place at L'Ecole Technique Officielle during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Joe Connor has come to teach in Rwanda because he believes he can make a difference. When the school becomes a haven for thousands of Rwandans fleeing the escalating violence, Joe promises his brightest pupil, Marie, that the UN soldiers will protect her from the hordes of extremist militia baying for blood outside the school. But when the UN abandons the refugees, Joe and the school;s headmaster, Father Christopher, face an agonising dilemma: should they leave or should they stand firm with the Rwandans?


Wednesday 5th March 2008

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University

6pm, Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations (Rebecca Sommer, 2006, 30 mins)

This straightforward documentary, containing interviews with officials from the UN family, governments, politicians and indigenous communities, was created to raise-awareness on pressing issues faced by indigenous peoples around the world.


Film Still

Rabbit Proof Fence (2002, Australia)
Phillip Noyce

6.45pm Rabbit Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002, Australia, 93mins)

In 1931, three aboriginal girls are separated from their mothers and transported to a distant training school, where they are prepared for assimilation into white society by a racist government policy. The film follows their escape and tenacious journey homeward, while a stubborn policy enforcer demands their recapture. The child actor performances evoke powerful emotions, illuminating a shameful chapter of Australian history while conveying our universal need for a true and proper home

Thursday 6th March 2008 

Jam Factory, Park End St, Oxford

6pm, Hand-in-Hand: Centre for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel (Israel, 30mins)

In 1997, Hand in Hand Centre for Jewish-Arab Education was founded to build peace between Jews and Arabs in Israel through development of bilingual and multi-cultural schools. Many doubted whether the experiment could work. Now there is demand for new schools, partnerships in new communities, and higher enrolment in the established programs. 

6.30pm West Beirut (Ziad Doueiri, 1998, Lebanon, 105 mins)

It is Beirut, 1975. Tarek, Omar, and May are teenagers roaming the streets, listening to pop music and making super 8 films. School has been closed, and the city has been split into the Christian-controlled East Beirut and the Muslim militia-controlled West Beirut, where the teens live. They are forced to grow up faster in ways they had not expected as violence seizes the city and their worlds become smaller as parts of their familiar surroundings are suddenly declared "off-limits."

Friday 7th March 2008

Jam Factory, Park End Street, Oxford

6pm A Stranger in her Own City (Khadija Al-Salami, 2005, Yemen, 30mins)

Insolent and carefree, 13 year old Najmia is known by everyone in the old town of Sanna, Yemen, for not wearing her veil. Openly showing her curls in the sunlight, is a living challenge to centuries of ancestral and Islamic traditions.

6.45pm Amina (Khadija Al-Salami, 2006, Yemen, 75mins)

This documentary follows the story of Amina, who at the age of 11 was married in an arranged union to a man many years her senior. At the age of 14, she was found guilty for mudering her husband and sentenced to death. Amina, tried without proper legal representation has always strongly argued her innocence. Amina s story used as an example of the legal and societal abuses heaped upon Arabic women, as well as telling the story of a girl who has struggled to survive in the face of overwhelming odds.

Presented by the Director Khadija Al- Salami and Leila Ingrams(Yemeni Film festival)

Saturday 8th March 2008

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University

2pm, We'll Never Meet Childhood Again (Sam Lawlor and Lindsay Pollock, 2007, Bucharest, 80mins)

This is the remarkable, uplifting story of a courageous group of Romanian foster parents who adopted the children referred to as 'Ceausescu's babies' - infants infected with HIV in Romanian hospitals and orphanages during the late 1980s, then left there to die. We'll Never Meet Childhood Again beautifully illuminates notions of family, parenthood, death and love - and reveals the societal hurdles and concerns of the children - now adolescents - as they arrive at the time when every child must mature, form their own identity and sexuality, outgrow their family, and aspire to create their own life and, possibly, their own family.

3.30pm Return to Chernobyl (Duncan Stewart. 60mins)

Duncan Stewart revisits the projects developed by Chernobyl Children;s projects after his accident two years previous. The Chernobyl Children's Project International is an Irish based organisation which develops, facilitates and affects long-term sustainable community-based solutions, and provides effective medical and humanitarian assistance to the victims and survivors of Chernobyl.


Film Still

Repatriation (2003, South Korea)
Dong-won Kim

4.30pm, Repatriation (Dong-won Kim, 2003, South Korea, 149mins)

This film follows two North Koreans for ten years, documenting their arrest by South Korea and how they survived - both physically and psychologically - the dehumanising time spent in prison, and their quest, once released, to finally go home.

Sunday 9th March 2008  

The Regal, Magdalen Rd, East Oxford

2pm, Abya Yala: This Land is Ours, (Bolivia)

Abya Yala is a fascinating look at the social and indigenous movements behind Bolivian President Evo Morales - 'Movement Towards Socialism' (MAS) party.  The documentary explores the history of the struggle against poverty and oppression in Bolivia and charts the emergence of a new kind of politics and leadership, showing how these forces have won power at the national level.  Featuring interviews with indigenous leaders and key members of the MAS government, the documentary tells an inspiring and thoughtful story.

Presented by Alex Tilley, Bolivia Information Forum

3.30pm I Know I'm Not Alone (Michael Franti, 2005, Iraq, Palestine and Israel)

World renowned musician and human rights worker, travels to Iraq, Palestine and Israel to explore the human cost of war with a group of friends, some video cameras and his guitar. With its guerrilla style footage captured in active war zones, the documentary is unlike the many academic and politically driven pieces in the marketplace, instead offering the audience a sense of intimate travel and opportunity to hear the voices of everyday people living, creating and surviving under the harsh conditions of war and occupation


Followed by music from Malawian singer Ron Nkomba.

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