Kicking off in Melbourne from May 3, the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival’s mission is to explores diverse and inspiring human stories through the mediums of film, art, music and forae, with a specific focus on social justice and human rights issues. This year’s opening night film is After the Apology, director Larissa Behrendt’s account of four Indigenous grandmothers fighting child removal in the wake of Kevin Rudd’s landmark apology to the Stolen Generations. Behrendt will be om hand for a post-screening Q&A.
Other highlights this year include:
The Song Keepers, Naina Sen’s uplifting and fascinating look at the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, who go on a historic journey to take back the hymns that were given to their ancestors by the German missionaries but in their own ancient Aboriginal languages and on their own terms.
A Better Man, Attiya Khan’s account of her intimate conversations with her ex-partner, who 20 years previously physically abused her when she was a teenager. Confronting and ultimately healing, A Better Man is an incredible story of restorative justice.
Border Politics, which follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside as he traverses the globe examining the harsh treatment of refugees metered out by most Western democracies. Burnside and director Judy Rymer will participate in post-screening Q&As.
Last Men in Aleppo, this year’s closing night film, looks at life in the besieged Syrian city from the point of view of the volunteers from the White Helmets who, along with some 350,000 remaining civilians, struggle with the same dilemma: should they flee and bring their families to safety, or should they stay and fight for their city?
The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival runs in Melbourne from May 3 – 17, Launceston from May 19 -20, and Canberra from May 29 – June 5. For more info, head to the official site.