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Cinema and Human Rights

Podcasts and blogs from our Cinema and Human Rights Days - held on 15/16 March.

Cinema and Human Rights

What is the impact of cinema in raising public awareness of human rights?

Can films about human rights make a difference and promote political change?

These are some of the questions that the Cinema and Human Rights Days addressed at the Gordon Square cinema, Birkbeck, on 15 and 16 March.

Timed to coincide with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London, Birkbeck hosted a debate on human rights cinema, a screening of Salma – a film about a young Muslim girl in India – and a Q & A with the documentary film director, Kim Longinetto, and heard John Biaggi, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival director and Nick Fraser, the BBC commissioning editor of Storyville, talk about their promotion of human rights films and programmes.

If you were unable to attend on the day, you can read a blog post by Dr Emma Sandon, Lecturer in Film and Television, here and listen to podcasts of the talks below:

Rod Stoneman, former commissioning editor at Channel 4 and director of the Irish Film Board, introduces some of the themes of the Cinema and Human Rights Days

Rod Stoneman remarks on Chavez: Inside the Coup (also entitled The Revolution Will Not Be Televised|) (2003).

Dr Oscar Guardiola Rivera, Senior Lecturer in Law, reflects on the dimension of political agency shown in films that represent revolutionary struggle in Latin America.

Emma Sandon on the History of Human Rights Cinema

John Biaggi, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival director, discusses the production and distribution of human rights films. He explains how important it is that ‘good’ human rights films are selected for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and how that criteria is arrived at.

The event was the result of a collaboration between Birkbeck, the University of Galway and Middlesex University and was supported by Open Society Foundations. The organisers hope to run this event in conjunction with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival again next year at Birkbeck.