2010 Human Rights Film Series
Enough is Enough: The Death of Jonny Gammage
On October 12, 1995 Jonny Gammage, a 31-year-old African-American businessman, churchgoer and volunteer, was pulled over by five white police officers while driving a Jaguar owned by his cousin, Pittsburgh Steeler Ray Seals. During the ensuing struggle Gammage was asphyxiated. There was shock and revulsion in the community, and thousands, both black and white, took to the streets to protest. Enough is ENOUGH! examines the criminal justice system and the procedural relationships among the law enforcement officers, the Coroner's office, the District Attorneys, and the courts. Interwoven with the story line are interviews with prominent lawyers, politicians and activists such as Louis Farrakhan, Johnnie Cochran, and Al Sharpton.
Sand and Sorrow
Offered exclusive and unparalleled access to the situation on the ground inside Darfur, Peabody award-winning filmmaker, Paul Freedman (Rwanda - Do Scars Ever Fade?), joins a contingent of African Union peacekeeping forces in Darfur while a tragic and disturbing chapter in human history unfolds. While the heroic men and women of this undermanned and under-funded mission brave harsh conditions and unfettered violence, as many as 2.5 million displaced persons have no choice but to settle inside squalid camps to wait and hope. (An estimated four-hundred thousand civilians have perished so far.)
"Left home at the age of seven/one year later I'm carryin' an Ak-47." For hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier in Sudan's brutal civil war, these lyrics are hardly empty posturing. They are the bitter reality of a young man who was "forced to sin" but determined to "never give up and never give in." Today, wounded but still hopeful, Emmanuel Jal fights a new battle: bringing peace to his beloved Sudan and building schools in Africa. This time, his weapon is a microphone. See why audiences from New York to Berlin to London rave about the award-winning film, War Child, and have embraced the hip-hop artist with a terrifying past and a gentle soul. Interspersing original interviews, live concerts, and rare footage of Emmanuel Jal as a seven year-old boy, War Child will make viewers cry, laugh, dance, and celebrate the power of hope.
Mardi Gras: Made in China
This examination of cultural and economic globalization follows the life-cycle of Mardi Gras beads from a small factory in Fuzhou, China, to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and to art galleries in New York City.
In June 2002, a dispute involving a question of honor between the Mai and Mastois clans in rural Pakistan was judged by a local tribal council. When Mukhtar Mai pleaded on her family's behalf, the local imam consented to her punishment as honor-revenge, and she was brutally gang-raped by four men from the Mastois clan. Although local tradition presumed that Mukhtar would commit suicide because she had been dishonored, this strong-willed peasant woman reported the rape to the local police, and when they refused to do anything, a local journalist published her story, which soon erupted in a national controversy over the oppression of women under Islamic law. Dishonored documents the remarkable story of Mukhtar Mai, whose demand for justice received media coverage worldwide, and which over the next few years led to a dramatic series of legal proceedings through Pakistan's lower court system, with successive controversial decisions being appealed, to a final ruling by the nation's Supreme Court, which led to changes in the legal system.
Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale, and the film introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the water grab, while begging the question "CAN ANYONE REALLY OWN WATER?"