From 5 to 18 December the 16th edition of the Paris Human Rights International Film Festival, the most prominent film event on the theme of human rights in France. Films and documentaries to raise awareness and defend Human Rights across the world. A two-week program of films and documentaries on violations of human dignity all around the world. A film festival to inform and denounce, to touch our consciences and urge us to be active citizens beyond our borders.
ANTOINE by Julie Bruchert and Gabriel Laurent – The scandal involving the Luxembourg State and some international corporations. A well-designed tax avoidance system that has stolen hundreds of millions of euros of revenue from EU Member States. Antoine has released 2,800 pages of overwhelming evidence contained in the text of an agreement that has outraged millions of European citizens. Against him the the Luxembourg justice set a judiciary proceeding for breaking a trade secrecy. Awaiting the trial Antoine tries to start a normal life again.
A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME by Sahra Mani – Since 2009 in Afghanistan sexual abuse against women is criminally prosecuted. Only a few women however have the courage to report these cases fearig the possible consequences. Khatera, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, was abused repeatedly throughout her childhood. He got her pregnant several times, so she had a number of abortions and eventually gave birth. On the advice of a mullah she told her story on a TV program, where she appears pregnant again. With great courage she forces her father to stand trial. A powerful story of one woman’s battle to give voice to thousand women.
AMAL by Mohamed Siam – The film follows five years in the life of a young, Egyptian woman’s life, from when she was 14 years old on the barricades of Tahrir Square to adult woman with dreams for the future, dreams of liberty and democracy. The story of Amal is the story of an entire generation still demanding change and freedom.
WALL by Cam Christiansen – An animated feature exploring the reality of the wall separating Israel and Palestine. An unflinching snapshot on the contradictions of life, particularly of the Palestinians, in the shadow of the wall.
LE ROYAUME by Laurent Reyes and Gabriel Laurent – The repression of ethnic minorities in Myanmar, in the heart of the jungle. A group of American evangelists and paramilitaries engaged in the rescue of populations persecuted by the central government clash daily with the conditioning of religious fanaticism and ideological proselytism.
LETTER FROM MASANJIA by Leon Lee and Sun Yi – An Oregon woman, Julie Keith, buys a package of Halloween decorations at a department store. Inside the box she finds a message from a Chinese dissident from the labour camp in Masanjia, in China. Keith posts the letter sparking off large-scale moral indignation that would cause the entire camp to shut down.
KINSHASA MAKAMBO by Dieudo Hamadi – This documentary follows Christian, Ben and Jean-Marie, three protagonists of the resistance against Congo’s incumbent President Joseph Kabila refusing to step down and hold free elections according to the Constitution. In precarious conditions, the filmmaker explores the pros and cons of different forms of resistance.
THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA AND THE OTHERS by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte – The history of the struggle against the Apartheid was not of Nelson Mandela‘s alone. In the centenary of his birth, 256 hours of sound archive recount the historical trial that in 1963-64 condemned five black, three white, and one Indian.
REVENIR by David Fedele and Kumut Imesh – A road-trip memoir, a journalistic investigation of Kumut Imesh, a refugee from the Ivory Coast now living in France. Kumut returns to Africa to retrace the same journey he took years before when the was forced to leave his country because of the civil war. Now he is the main protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind. A journey through one of the most dangerous migratory routes in the world and a unique collaboration between filmmaker and refugees.
SILAS by Hawa Essuman and Nali Nayar – In Liberia the activist Silas Siakor fights against the illegal deforestation of the big companies, against the endemic corruption of the country where timber has become a weapon of power and war.
THE GIRLS OF MERU by Andea Dorfman – In Kenya, one in three girls will experience sexual violence before age 18. A multinational team led by Canadian lawyer Fiona Sampson builds the case of 11 girls to pursue an unheard of legal tactic. Together they created legal history.
GUERRILLA VOICES by Sjoerd van Grootheest – Following the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP, more than 200 guerrillas enter a demobilization camp where the rebels prepare for a life without arms. The documentary follows closely ex-combatants, marginalized by the government, looking for their way in civil society after experiencing the war.
WHEN THE WAR COMES by Jan Gebert – The surge of the far-right wing Slovakia. Peter Švrček has a normal life, a family, a girlfriend, university studies. But Peter has a double life, made up of camouflage uniforms, marches, Nazi symbols. He founded Slovak Recruits, a paramilitary group to defend Slovakia from immigrants. The institutions close their eyes, let them do until Peter inevitably enters politics.
OUT OF COMPETITION
WHEN GOD SLEEPS by Till Schauder – Filmed in Germany in 2015, When God sleeps chronicles the life of the Iranian musician Shahin Najafi and his struggle to defend himself and his music against theocratic rule in his homeland on the eve of the Khomeini revolution Being the target of a fatwa means living under the constant threat of attack by religious zealots.
MR GAY SYRIA by Ayse Toprak – Mahmoud is the founder of the LGBT movement in Syria. He lives as a refugee in Berlin where he works for an NGO that helps homosexual asylum seekers. Husein, a 24 year-old Syrian refugee lives in Instabul where he arrived clandestinely with his family. Husein has a secret: he is homosexual. Mahmoud and Husein have a common dream: to take part in the international “Mr Gay World” competition, which will take place in Malta. For Husain it is the opportunity to leave for Europe. For Mahmoud it is the ideal place to turn the spotlight on the cause of the LGBT community in Syria and in the Middle East.
THE CLEANERS by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block – Who checks the online content? Who is behind the “digital cleaning”? The Cleaners, people outsourced from Silicon Valley every day check thousands of online images deleting off the internet, censoring what they find “inappropriate”. Ironically, every day people around the world fight online censorship of oppressive regimes.
MICHEL THIERRY ATANGANA, SCANDALES D’ETATS by Katia Clarens – Michel Thierry Atangana, a French businessman, spent fifteen years behind bars in a prison in the Congo for embezzlement of public funds. The accusations were false and built on purely political grounds: Atangana was close to the man who wanted to challenge Biya, the president who has governed Cameroon since 1982, repeatedly accused of serious violations of human rights. The story of Michel Thierry Atangana proves this.
POISSON D’OR, POISSON AFRICAIN by Moussa Diop and Thomas Grand – Fishing in southern Senegal attracts thousands of workers from all over the region: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea, seriously endangering fish resources and the sustainability of local communities. The presence of a Chinese factory that produces fishmeal worsens the population that is being depleted of its source of economic subsistence.
TUNISIE, JUSTICE EN TRANSITION by Ricardro Gonzalez and Marc Almodóvar – The film tracks the trajectory of Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission, established in 2013 to address the crimes of the Ben Ali and Bourguiba regimes. 65,000 dossiers produced so far testify a past of torture, arbitrary expropriation, killings and violations of human rights.
THE ACT OF KILLING by Joshua Oppenheimer – In 1965 a pogrom was launched against communists in Indonesia in which at least 500,000 people were killed. A pungent documentary that focuses on Anwar Congo and his friends. From small-time gangsters they were promoted to death squad leaders. Many of them are still alive and, far from disputing their crimes, consider themselves national heroes.