If you peruse movie showtimes, you aren’t likely to see a showtimes for a film chronicling survivor stories from the 1995 Srebrenica genocide nestled between the too-soon remake of a superhero movie, or a breezy buddy comedy. Independent film houses, like The Lyric here in Fort Collins, serve to fill the gaps created by the mainstream film industry by screening big festival favorites and other independent projects like Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, and critically-acclaimed documentaries like The Eagle Huntress.
Still, there are films being produced that tell stories true to the human condition that we do not have ready access to. Film festivals provide access to films that you might not have the chance to see anywhere else, films that tell the story of Ireland’s most famous drag queen, Panti Bliss with Conor Horgan’s The Queen of Ireland, and peer into the lives of teenage girls housed in an Iranian detention center with Mehrdad Oskouei’s Starless Dreams, both part of the 2017 ACT film roster.
If you’d like the chance to see your favorite films from the 2017 ACT Human Rights Film Festival lineup again, use this guide to find 10 of the films online.
I Am Not Your Negro
At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of the Remember This House manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. Available now on Amazon.
There are thousands of kilometres of fences, gates, barbed wire and barriers in the most distant and dissimilar parts of the world. This film tells the true stories of people living on both sides of very different walls. These are intimate and intense stories that show us that on both sides, we all share the same hopes, fears, thoughts and emotions; the same desire to survive. Available now on Film In.
Anoosh and Arash are at the center of Tehran’s underground techno scene. When Anoosh is arrested, there seems to be no hope left. But then they receive a phone call from the biggest techno festival in the world. Once landed in Switzerland, the haze of the instant euphoria evaporates quickly when the seriousness of the situation starts to dawn on them. Available now on Vimeo.
Once a year, two plastic surgeons from Holland and Belgium fly to Havana to perform surgery on five Cuban transgender persons. Officials organize this as a modern completion of the socialist revolution of 1959 because, in her words, it is all about emancipation and self-realization. ‘Homofobia no, socialismo si!’ is the official slogan. The state helps transgender people with therapy, hormones, surgery and a new identity. Available now on Vimeo.
Jackson is an intimate, unprecedented look at the lives of three women caught up in the complex issues surrounding abortion access. Set against the backdrop of the fight to close the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, Jackson captures the essential and hard truth of the lives at the center of the debate over reproductive healthcare in America. Available now on Showtime.
Situated in rural Virginia, 300 miles from any urban center, Red Onion State Prison is one of over 40 supermax prisons across the US built to hold prisoners in eight-by-ten-foot cells for 23 hours a day. With unprecedented access, director Kristi Jacobson offers a revealing and moving portrait of life inside solitary confinement. Available now on HBO.
They Will Have to Kill Us First
Music, one of the most important forms of communication in Mali, disappeared overnight in 2012 when Islamic extremists groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back. Available now on Amazon.
What Tomorrow Brings
WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS goes inside the very first girls’ school in one small Afghan village. From the school’s beginnings in 2009 to its first graduation in 2015, the film traces the interconnected stories of students, teachers, village elders, parents, and school founder Razia Jan. Filmmaker Beth Murphy embeds herself in this school and community for a most intimate look at what it really means to be a girl growing up in Afghanistan today. Available soon on Kanopy.
The Fog of Srebrenica
11th July, 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, the only holocaust in Europe since World War II, when 8,372 Bosnian men and boys were killed in one week. In the documentary film Srebrenica Survivors we meet a cast of extraordinary characters, people who have been struggling to come to terms with the past while dealing with the harsh realities of living in one of the poorest countries in Europe. Available now on Vimeo.
Sing Your Song
SING YOUR SONG, surveys the life and times of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer, inspired by Paul Robeson, and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte’s groundbreaking career personifies the American civil rights movement and impacted many other social justice movements. Available now on Youtube.