Images of struggle

EIGHT FILMS, dealing with human rights related issues, will be screened at The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival from November 3 to 7. The festival is being organised by The Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Consulate General for South India and the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care, Chennai.

At 5.45 p.m. on November 3, "State of Denial", which takes a look at the complex issues affecting the nearly five million South Africans living with AIDS and HIV, will be screened. Director Elaine Epstein, a native South African who has worked in the public health sector, portrays the people's efforts to live with dignity and humour despite the confusion and neglect of President Mbeki's administration.

"When the War is Over" will be played at 3 p.m. on November 4. This film deals with the after-effects of the South African struggle against apartheid. Focussing on two members of a teenage self-defence unit and a guerrilla branch of the ANC, the film reveals the scars the struggle has left on an entire generation.

At 4.30, "Power Trip" directed by Paul Devlin, takes viewers through the troubles faced by companies and the common man during the building of a modern nation from the rubble of the Soviet collapse.

On November 5, "Welcome to Hadassah Hospital" will be screened at 3 p.m. This 50-minute film takes a close look at the individuals who make up the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Often victims and offenders are treated side by side — while the doctors take this situation for granted, the patients find the situation quite difficult.

At 4.30 p.m., "Rana's Wedding", shot in East Jerusalem and Ramallah, will address issues of free choice and facing occupation as an everyday reality.

"War Takes" will be shown at 3 p.m. on November 6, exposing the tough realities of the violent, war-ravaged Columbia through the filmmakers' personal stories. At 4.45 p.m., "Dans, Grozny, Dans" takes viewers to Chechnya to follow a traditional youth dance group as they prepare for a European tour, to reveal that dance becomes their life despite the trauma of growing up in a country at war.

On the last day of the festival, November 7, "Pinochet's Children" will be shown at 5.30 p.m. The film depicts the course of three people's lives, growing up in Pinochet's Chile. The three, who are children when Pinochet seizes power, grow up to be powerful student leaders in the tumultuous 1980s.

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