Documentary on human rights


Islamabad: In connection with 70 years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, documentary films are being screened nationwide. The series is titled ‘Human Rights Through Cinematography.’ The screenings are being held in collaboration with UN and EU. In Islamabad, PNCA is also hosting screenings.
Film shows are being followed by debates with members of civil society and film makers. Hopefully, as Vittorio Commarota of UN expects “the audiences and film goers would be inspired to become human rights defenders.” Jean-Francois Cautain, ambassador of the European in a message said “Documentary films in particular, are playing an important role for understanding. New stories and narratives are relevant for all of us.”
This festival is also being held in universities in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujrat, Peshawar, Multan, Karachi and Quetta. Embassy of the Argentine is hosting screening of director Marcelo Cespedes and Carmen Guarini’s H.I.J.O.S. El Alma En Dos from 2002 on November 25 at 5 p.m. in PNCA Lecture Hall.
The film focuses on the right to identity of the children who disappeared in Argentina under the military dictatorship of 1976-1983. These children were given to members of the repressive security forces and others who adopted them in good faith. The film explores the different reactions of children as they find their real identities, and how that impacts on their relationships with those who raised them and the newly discovered blood family. At the core it deals with the consequences of forced disappearances and the need for society to confront that painful experience.
On November 26 comes Swedish documentary ‘The Pearl of Africa’ from 2016 directed by Jonny Von Wallstrom. Our central character fights for gender identity. This is the story of love, hate and being transgender. It is also being sown in PNCA The other screenings in Islamabad include equally challenging subjects. Impasse from Switzerland deals with human trafficking and prostitution.
Pakistan’s ‘Hidden Shame’ deals with sex abuse suffered by children. Backup Butembo from Belgium brings people in light who regain control over destiny. ‘The Good Postman’ from Bulgaria deals with Syrian refugees with fear, compassion and some comic acts. ‘Tickling Giants’ from the United States is on TV political satire. ‘Fatal Promises’ goes for human trafficking from Ukraine. ‘Born in Syria’ from Denmark brings into light over four million Syrian children and their parents. The film tracks the journey of these children to Europe. Shame is not from Pakistan but from the United States on sexually abused Mukhtaran Mai who took this challenge, exposed the abusers and became an icon.

Article first appeared in the The News.

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