Archive for the ‘Film’ Category


Group hosts a showing of refugee film Fire at Sea

On Friday 3rd February the group hosted a showing of the film Fire at Sea in the Arts Centre in Salisbury.  This film won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin film festival and tells the story of immigrants seeking to reach Europe, in this case the island of Lampedusa.  There are in effect two parallel story lines: one involving a small boy of around 12 who spends his time, with a friend, making and shooting a catapult and on his father’s fishing boat.  The other involves the immigrants packed onto boats bobbing about for days in the Mediterranean in their desperate efforts to reach Europe.  Some die of dehydration and others get burned by diesel fuel splashes as they refill the engines.  These burns can be serious and even fatal.  There are harrowing scenes of bodies being retrieved from the boats.

Picture: Spindle magazine

The feature of the film is that the two stories never overlap.  The islanders carry on their lives completely divorced from the drama that is taking place in the sea around them and in the holding centre where the immigrants are looked after.  The doctor is featured who is involved with vetting the immigrants and speaks matter of factly about the dire state of their health and how some of them die.  He is then shown treating the boy who is concerned about his breathing difficulty, which we are led to believe is imaginary.  These two contrasting scenes seem to sum up the theme of the film.

We took the opportunity to ask people to sign a petition on the refugee situation in Greece.

We are grateful to the Arts Centre for hosting this event.


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In partnership with Salisbury Arts Centre, we shall be showing the film Mustang on 15 December 2016.  This award winning film by a Turkish director concerns five girls growing up in a northern Turkish town.  On their way home from school they meet some boys and start some harmless frolics in the sea.  This is reported to their parents and thus begins a life of confinement, forced marriage and control.

We are delighted to say that there will be a short presentation at the start by Prof. Lucy Mazdom who is Head of the Film Department at Southampton University.   Her research interests include French and American film; contemporary French and British television; transnational film studies; remakes; film history in a global context and issues of cinematic distribution, exhibition and reception.

After the showing, the local group will asking people to sign a petition (to be decided nearer the time).

Tickets are available at the Arts Centre.


Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  If you are interested in joining local group, make yourself known at the film to one of us at the signing table.  It is free to join the local group.  Details on the ‘Joining’ tab on the home page.


Film focusing on ‘honour violence’ to be shown in London

Honor Diaries is the first film to break the silence on ‘honor violence’ against women and girls.  It features nine courageous women’s rights advocates, with connections to Muslim-majority societies, who are engaged in a dialogue about gender inequality.  These women, who have witnessed firsthand the hardships women endure, are profiled in their efforts to affect change, both in their communities and beyond.

The film gives a platform to exclusively female voices and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster.  Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth.

Spurred by the Arab Uprising, women who were once silent are starting to speak out about gender inequality and are bringing visibility to a long history of oppression. This project draws together leading women’s rights activists and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and serves as inspiration to motivate others to speak out.

Free tickets are available via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/honor-diaries-screening-and-qa-tickets-19997574283

When: Thursday, 28 January 2016 from 19:00 to 22:00 (GMT)
Where: Amnesty International UK – 25 New Inn Yard London EC2A 3EA GB

Please note this video contains images which will distress some people – viewer discretion is advised

honor diaries 2

Timbuktu

Posted: December 3, 2015 in Film
Tags: , , ,

The award winning film Timbuktu was shown at the Salisbury Arts Centre tonight and it was a gripping and powerful film.  If you did not see it here try and catch it somewhere else.  Most of the people attending signed the cards to Cameroon – thank you for those that did.


The film, Timbuktu, is to be shown in the Salisbury Arts Centre timbuktu-posterart this Thursday evening 3 December.  The film is extremely topical both because of the horrific activities of jihadists in Paris and today’s news of a terrorist attack in Mali which is where Timbuktu is.  This is the latest in our joint presentations with the Arts Centre.  The film has received many favourable reviews and mostly 4 stars.

Timbuktu has entered the English language as a place which is remote and unknown yet recent events have brought the country and the town into the limelight.

There will be a short presentation by an Amnesty director before the film starts and afterwards, an opportunity for people to sign a petition or some cards.

Tickets from the Arts Centre via the link above or by phoning 01722 321744.

 


The Human Rights Act is under threat and we await the current government’s plans for its replacement which must be due very soon.  Rights Info has produced a short video which is worth a look which you can access from their web site or from this link.

Rights info video


The minutes of the October meeting are now available.  The group discussed the forthcoming Vigil at St Thomas’s; the tapestry and where that could be displayed; social media statistics; the death penalty; the forthcoming film at the Arts Centre and a report on the correspondence with John Glen concerning the government’s changes to its human rights policies.

October minutes (pdf)


Please find below the minutes of the March meeting thanks to Karen.

March minutes


UPDATE 25TH MARCH

The film Bastards (12A) was shown this Wednesday 25 March starting at 7.30 and the audience reaction was very positive indeed.  There were many questions to the producer Deborah Perkin.

This is a fascinating and highly-acclaimed documentary about one Moroccan woman’s struggle to legitimise her daughter and the director, Deborah Perkin will be there to answer questions.  The film follows an illiterate young woman who took on her own family and the Moroccan justice system for the sake of her illegitimate child.   It is a gripping, moving and uplifting documentary from the cutting edge of Islam.
Deborah Perkin is the first person to film in a court in Morocco, a country which leads the world in its legal efforts to give women and children more rights under Sharia law.

In Morocco, as in all Muslim countries, sex outside marriage is illegal and women bear the brunt of society’s disapproval.  But what is the fate of the children of those single mothers?  They cannot attend the better schools, are turned away from infant immunisation clinics and refused government posts.  Jobs, housing and a huge range of social advantages are denied them.  They are despised outcasts, condemned to a life of discrimination.  Bastards is the first film to tell this story from a mother’s point of view.


stop_tortureWe shall have a petition to sign about torture in Morocco.  Morocco is one of the five countries highlighted by Amnesty International in its #StopTorture campaign.  We are pleased to say many people signed our petitions at the end of the showing.  Thanks to the Arts Centre.

Britain’s role in Afghanistan is coming to an after over a decade of bloodshed and war.  It is doubtful that the country is in a fit state to function effectively since the Taliban and the warlords are still very much in evidence and there are reports of ISIS being present in the country as well.  After all this time it is easy to forget some of the original aims which were defeating terrorism and the Taliban.  We can also forget that it was the CIA who helped establish, arm and train the Taliban in order to assist them in their fight with the Russians.

One of the major victims of the years of war is women.  It has turned thousand of Afghan women into refugees and widows – or both – and made it dangerous for them to seek schooling, go out to work, get healthcare or secure paid employment.  Before the arrival of the Taliban in 1996, women’s rights had steadily improved and indeed, there are many photographs from that era women and girls in schools and university with not a burqa or veil in sight.  Improving the rights of women became one of the additional aims of the invasion and it will be recalled that Cherie Blair – wife of the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair – hosted an event in 10, Downing Street in 2001 with this aim in mind.  Kofi Annan said:

There cannot be true peace and recovery in Afghanistan without a restoration of the rights of women.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the then secretary of state Colin Powell:

The recovery of Afghanistan must entail a restoration of the rights of women, indeed it will not be possible without them.

Abdul Hakim Hashemi  Hademi

Abdul Hakim Hashemi Hademi

At the South West regional conference of Amnesty International it was heartening to hear from someone who has worked to improve the status of women through theatre and artistic groups in the countryside.  The speaker was Abdul Hakim Hashemi Hamidi who set up the Simorgh Film Association of Culture and Art, SFACA.  Unlike many aid programmes which tend to stay in Kabul or the main cities, SFACA goes out into the countryside and to the villages.

He has organised educational theatre workshops in prisons, juvenile correction centres, drug addiction rehabilitation centres, in schools and with the police.  He has produced films with an emphasis on human rights and the role of women.

Not all the problems faced by women are solely to do with the Taliban. Another factor is honour killings which are at a very high rate in the country.  57% are identified as the responsibility of a family member and 21% by the husband.  The perpetrator of 43% killings is unclear however.  A telling quote from the PowerPoint display was:

A problem with women [is] because men don’t accept women have rights

He went on to discuss the problems of human rights defenders in Afghanistan. These included difficulty in

Delegates at the South West Region conference

Delegates at the South West Region conference

travelling to some areas combined with a lack of government control in some parts of the country, traditional beliefs and illiteracy.  Religion was a main cause he said and human rights are seen as a western construct.  He urged that the UK government consider the role of human rights defenders in their discussions with the Afghans.

It was an interesting and uplifting talk by someone who has taken risks to go into the Afghanistan countryside to promote the rights of women.  Abdul is a visiting fellow on the Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at York UniversityThere is a permanent link to the York University Centre for Applied Human Rights at the bottom of the main page.

Sources:

Watson Institute

Global Research

Amnesty International