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2016 Human Rights Film Series


The Hunting Ground (2015)

The statistics are staggering. One in five women in college are sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators. From the intrepid team behind The Invisible War comes The Hunting Ground, a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate. In a tour de force of verité footage, expert insights, and first-person testimonies, the film follows undergraduate rape survivors pursuing both their education and justice, despite ongoing harassment and the devastating toll on them and their families. Scrutinizing the gamut of elite Ivies, state universities, and small colleges, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering reveal an endemic system of institutional cover-ups, rationalizations, victim-blaming, and denial that creates perfect storm conditions for predators to prey with impunity.Meanwhile, the film captures mavericks Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, survivors who are taking matters into their own hands-ingeniously employing Title IX legal strategy to fight back and sharing their knowledge among a growing, unstoppable network of young women who will no longer be silent. Since the film's premiere at Sundance, it had been screened at the White House and hundreds of college campuses across the country. The documentary has inspired new laws in New York and California and changes in campus policies.(Source: Official film site, http://www.thehuntinggroundfilm.com/story/)


Merchants of Doubt (2014)

Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants Of Doubt takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver- tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities-yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.(Source: Official film site, http://sonyclassics.com/merchantsofdoubt/)The film is a powerful indictment of behind-the-scene lobbyists and public relations agencies who employ questionable strategies, with the goal of "manufacturing doubt," to thwart or delay policy makers from enacting legislation that would be damaging to their clients. This strategy of creating doubt and uncertainty was first utilized by tobacco executives, who claimed that nicotine was not addictive, and continues to be employed by major corporations and their lobbyists on a number of critical issues, including global warming and even vaccinations.


Food Chains (2014)

In this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States. There is more interest in food these days than ever, yet there is very little interest in the hands that pick it. Farmworkers, the foundation of our fresh food industry, are routinely abused and robbed of wages. In extreme cases they can be beaten, sexually harassed or even enslaved - all within the borders of the United States. Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger - earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past three decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this. The narrative of the film focuses on an intrepid and highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida-the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW-who are revolutionizing farm labor. Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed- to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain. Note: Students of the Spiritan Campus Ministry Cross-Cultural Mission Experience at Duquesne University are playing an active role in bringing attention to the struggles of the migrant farm workers in Immokalee, Florida, and are working as advocate of the CIW's. The students traveled to Immokalee in March of 2015, and have worked with various social service agencies to promote the Fair Food Movement, which ensures safe working conditions and fair wages for the workers. Here is a link to the Fair Food Movement: http://ciw-online.org/campaign-for-fair-food/(Source: Official film site, http://www.foodchainsfilm.com/#the-film)


Don't Tell Anyone (2014)

Angy Rivera had two crucial secrets in her life. The first was that she was an undocumented child living with her mother and siblings in New York City for 19 years. That secret was a constant source of fear: If her immigration status was discovered, she could be deported and her family shattered. The second secret was more tragic: Rivera had been sexually abused by her stepfather from ages 4 to 8, a secret she eventually revealed and which, in the strange world of immigration law, helped her gain the visa she had always desired. Director Mikaela Shwer met Rivera, now 24, while the young woman was still undocumented. After the two developed a friendship, Shwer began filming Rivera's quest to help others living in immigration's "shadows" and to gain a visa for herself. The result was Shwer's first full-length documentary.  "Being undocumented isn't something we can put in the back of our heads. When I wake up, it's the first thing I think about," Rivera says early in the film, adding that her secret has even haunted her dreams. This was the only life she had known. When she was 3, her mother, Maria, decided to flee the growing violence and unrest in their native Colombia, selling their possessions for a one-way ticket to New York. The United States was their promised land, but would remain so only if Rivera promised not to tell anyone that she was undocumented. The film is a a co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.(Source: Official film site, http://www.pbs.org/pov/donttellanyone/)


Place at the Table (2012)

50 million people in the U.S.-one in four children-don't know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford. Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts including sociologist Janet Poppendieck, author Raj Patel and nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle; ordinary citizens like Pastor Bob Wilson and teachers Leslie Nichols and Odessa Cherry; and activists such as Witness to Hunger's Mariana Chilton, Top Chef's Tom Colicchio and Oscar®-winning actor Jeff Bridges. Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides-as they have in the past-that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all.  (Source: Official film site: http://www.magpictures.com/aplaceatthetable/)


The True Cost (2015)

This is a story about clothing. It's about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world's leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes. "We are increasingly disconnected from the people who make our clothing as 97% of items are now made overseas. There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today, many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world, and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women. The human factor of the garment industry is too big to ignore, as we consistently see the exploitation of cheap labor and the violation of workers', women's, and human rights in many developing countries across the world." --Livia Firth, Executive Producer (Source: Official film site, http://truecostmovie.com/about/)