JISPIL Vol 1 Issue 2 2005 - A3

Abstract:

It is argued that film is a powerful medium to influence, and educate. Having this in mind, films have been used to educate and raise awareness on human rights issues by different human rights organizations, and independent groups. With such aim in mind human rights film festivals have been created. In the last years we have seen a mushrooming of human rights film festivals, and with them the category of human rights films has been further established. In this category, there are fiction films, documentaries and animation films; the films can be from different genres such as drama or comedy, and there is no discrimination in relation to the films format. From the early ages of cinema, films that can be related to human rights issues have been made; nonetheless, can we consider all these films, as human rights films? What does characterize a human rights film? However, the representation of human rights abuses through the moving image raises some problems. Through some myths about human rights films, such as the films are not of good quality, or the films are heavy; as well as some traps that the filmmaking of such films might face, as for example, the trap of politics, and expedience, this paper will approach some of the problems that depicting human rights abuses on film may raise, as for example, whose voices do we see on the films, and stereotyping.


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