Human rights film series preview
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 00:09
The Human Rights Institute’s annual film series kicked off Wednesday evening with a screening of the documentary film, “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.”
Every month HRI picks a film to screen in order to promote discussion and awareness of human rights issues across the globe. Following the film, a guest speaker and faculty moderator will lead a discussion on the topic at hand, encouraging audience participation and a deeper examination of human rights issues and their portrayal in film.
All of the films the institute has chosen relate to human rights abuses, but not all of the topics are current events. The first film “Granito” tackles the subject of Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who early this year was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity by the Guatemalan justice system. The film examines his crimes against the Mayan people of Guatemala in the early 1980s.
The October film is the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated “Invisible War.” This film discusses issues closer to home, examining the role of sexual assault against servicewomen in the United States military. The film was provocative enough to actually initiate conversation among policy makers as to the way sexual assault allegations are handled within the service and the services available to victims.
The film designated for November focuses on the challenges faced by doctors within the Doctors Without Borders program working in the Congo and Liberia. “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders,” presents an often forgotten perspective. Amidst the views of politicians and survivors are the integral components of many humanitarian crises, the aide workers. This film will demonstrate the crises aid workers face during emergencies as well as during the aftermath of humanitarian tragedies.
After November, the film series will return in February with another critically acclaimed film. Out of the previous films, “Hannah Arendt” is the only non-documentary. Released in January of 2013, the film takes a live action look at the controversial journalist and philosopher Hannah Arendt’s 1963 book, “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” The account of Holocaust organizer Adolph Eichmann’s trial made waves throughout the world in the 1960s because she argued that the evil of the Holocaust was not the people who created it, but in the people who enabled it by remaining silent and complying with the Nazi government. Her argument “the banality of evil” is a major philosophical contender and has often been applied in the approach to human rights justice.
The film series strives to bring awareness of current human rights infraction as well as past issues to provide UConn students with the necessary tools in understanding human rights.