Margarita Cadenas / Women of the Venezuelan Chaos
For 40 years, Human Rights Watch has defended people at risk of human rights violations. They practice a powerful, proven methodology: investigate abuses scrupulously, expose the facts widely, and relentlessly press those in power for change that respects rights. In a year where women collectively raised their voices against discrimination and abuse, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival is proud to present 15 outstanding films offering fresh perspectives and critical insights on human rights concerns affecting people around the world, 12 of which were directed or co-directed by women. As always, audiences are invited to support and celebrate human rights achievements in film by watching movies, meeting courageous filmmakers and activists at each screening, and engaging with topics impacting the world today.
On Her Shoulders
Alexandria Bombach, 2018 / U.S.A.
Opening Night, New York Premiere / Q&A with Alexandria Bombach & Murad Ismael
A survivor of the 2014 atrocities against the Yezidi in northern Iraq, Nadia escaped sexual slavery at the hands of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and witnessed the murder of those closest to her. With the love of her people propelling her forward, Nadia is determined to turn her pain into international action. Showtimes: June 14, 2018, 7:00 pm.
Matthieu Rytz, 2018 / Canada
New York Premiere / Q&A with Matthieu Rytz & Marcos Orellana
The idyllic Pacific nation of Kiribati will be submerged within decades due to climate change. Set against the backdrop of international climate negotiations and the fight to recognize climate displacement as an urgent human rights issue, Anote’s Ark presents personal stories that serve as cautionary tales for the entire world. Showtimes: June 18, 2018, 6:30 pm.
A Thousand Girls Like Me
Sahra Mani, 2018 / Afghanistan
U.S. Premiere / Q&A with Sahra Mani, Mahfuza Folad & Heather Barr
When Khatera, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, forces her father to stand trial after a lifetime of sexual abuse, she risks her family, freedom, and personal safety to expose a judicial system that incriminates the very women who seek protection.
Showtimes: June 19, 2018, 9:00 pm.
Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck, 2018 / Germany
New York Premiere / Q&A with Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck & Sarah T. Roberts
Welcome to a hidden industry of digital cleaning, where content determined as inappropriate is deleted from the Internet. This fascinating documentary follows five “cleaners” in the Philippines, hired by social media giants including Facebook and Twitter, to undertake the highly sensitive work of viewing and removing millions of images and videos from online platforms every day. Showtimes: June 17, 2018, 8:15 pm.
The Distant Barking of Dogs
Simon Lereng Wilmont, 2017 / Denmark
New York Premiere / Q&A with Simon Lereng Wilmont & Rachel Denber
The life of a 10-year-old includes a healthy dose of curiosity and adventure. But the days of Oleg, who lives in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine—just minutes from where Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces are at war—are often interrupted by echoes of anti-aircraft fire and missile strikes. Showtimes: June 18, 2018, 8:45 pm.
Facing the Dragon
Sedika Mojadidi, 2017 / U.S.A., Afghanistan
New York Premiere / Q&A with Sedika Mojadidi
Afghan-American filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi joins two awe-inspiring women on the front lines of Afghanistan, as the Taliban regains its hold and the stability of the country’s fragile democracy is unclear. Showtimes: June 17, 2018, 6:00 pm.
The Silence of Others
Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar, 2018 / U.S.A., Spain
New York Premiere / Q&A with Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar, & Chato Galant
A 1977 amnesty law in Spain known as “the pact of forgetting” prohibits legal action related to the oppression, torture, and murder of an estimated 100,000 people during Franco’s 40-year dictatorship. But for much of the population, there is no peace in silence. This powerful film, from executive producer Pedro Almodóvar, is about a country still divided four decades into democracy. Showtimes: June 19, 2018, 6:30 pm.
Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson, 2018 / U.S.A.
New York Premiere / Q&A with Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson, US Army Corporal Laila Villanueva, and Joshua Block
TransMilitary documents four brave men and women who risk their families’ livelihoods by coming out as transgender to the Pentagon’s top brass in the hope of attaining the equal right to serve. Winner of the Audience Award for Documentary at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival. Showtimes: June 20, 2018, 6:30 pm.
Women of the Venezuelan Chaos
Margarita Cadenas, 2017 / France, Venezuela
New York Premiere / Q&A with Margarita Cadenas & Tamara Taraciuk Broner
Embodying strength and stoicism, five Venezuelan women from diverse backgrounds draw a portrait of their country as it suffers under the worst crisis in its history amid extreme food and medicine shortages, a broken justice system, and widespread fear. Showtimes: June 16, 3:30 pm.
Voices of the Sea
Kim Hopkins, 2018 / United Kingdom
New York Premiere / Q&A with Kim Hopkins
With the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba in flux, Mariela, a mother of four young children who lives in a tiny, remote Cuban fishing village, is afraid that her window to escape to the U.S. will soon close. Showtimes: June 15, 6:30 pm.
What Will People Say?
Iram Haq 2017 / Norway, Germany, Sweden
New York Premiere / Q&A with Iram Haq & Sagaree Jain
At home with her conservative Pakistani family, 16-year-old Nisha is the perfect, compliant daughter. But when out with her friends, she is a typical Norwegian teenager—partying and exploring relationships. When her father discovers her deception, Nisha’s two worlds brutally collide. Showtimes: June 15, 2018, 9:00 pm.