Cinema, Conflict and Human Rights

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We are firm believers that cinema not only has the power to shed light on abuses of human rights, and the brave work done by those who strive to better this situation, but also the power to affect real change in the world. This year’s programme of Human Rights Cinema focuses on some of the most pressing concerns from around the world today, including the current European refugee crisis, the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan, and the damage caused by conflicts in Israel/Palestine and the North of Ireland.

Titles include the subtle and powerful documentary Fire at Sea, in which life on the Italian island of Lampedusa is shaken by waves of refugees; and Those Who Jump which provides a raw glimpse into the lives of African migrants hoping to make it into Europe by scaling a barrier between Morocco and the outlying Spanish city of Melilla. Eyes of a Thief, meanwhile, is a thriller exploring the effects of physical and psychological violence on the people compelled to live with it, while Koudelka: Shooting Holy Land follows the titular photographer as he travels through Israel and Palestine capturing a landscape divided by walls and barbed wire. Mental and physical walls also play a big part in Born and Reared (which explores male identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland) and The Wall (which juxtaposes sectarian divisions in North Korea and Northern Ireland).

Land of the Enlightened is a seamless blend of fiction and documentary focusing on the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan. And our Human Rights strand of short documentaries offers snapshots from conflict zones, border crossings and refugee camps.