Fri, Feb 23, 2001 - Page 8 News List

Human rights on film

A film festival beginning Monday will screen seven movies exploring the theme of human rights

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Starting Monday, another movie treat for film lovers will begin with a small-scale film festival titled Human Rights Film Festival (人權電影展).

Seven award-winning films that focus on human and social concerns will be screened at Spring Cinema Galaxy (絕色電影院). Having come through martial law and the so-called "white terror" period, human rights issues are no longer taboo in Taiwan. Most cases of abuse during Taiwan's "white terror" period have been redressed and human rights protection awareness is rapidly being woven into the society's fabric.

The organizer - Human Rights Education Foundation (人權教育基金會)- intends to make the film festival a starting point for the new century to focus on education and to learn from past suffering when people's were deprived of their basic human rights.

The human rights issue aside, the event itself is worth attending for the seven fine movies to be screened.

The Steven Spielberg-produced documentary Last Days is the opening film for the event. It is a true story about the lives of five Jewish people before the end of World War II. Ken Loach's 1998 work My Name is Joe unravels a tough life about a former alcoholic Joe who reforms and begins helping others and strikes up a relationship with community worker Sarah. But he still faces constant discrimination and surveillance from his neighbors because of his alcoholic past. Loach's latest work Bread and Roses (2000) tells the story of two His-panic-American sisters working as cleaners in a downtown office building who fight for the right to unionize.

Burnt by the Sun, which received an Oscar for best foreign film in 1996, will also be screened. The film begins with a happy family, whose lives are destroyed by Stalin's destructive rule. Land and Freedom, Ken Loach's 1995 works, also depicts the shattering of a communist dream. The film, set in 1936, is about a young Englishman who joins the fight against the dictatorship in Spain.

Two Oscar-winning films The Shawahank Redemption starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins and Dead Man Walking starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn will screen at the festival. Both films provide poignant and intriguing perspectives on justice and human rights in prison.

Event notes

What Human Rights Film Festival (人權電影展)

When Feb. 26- March 3

Where Spring Cinema Galaxy

Tickets Schedules and free tickets available at National Film Archive 4F, 7, Ching-tao East Road (台北市青島東路7號4樓)

For more information visit the archive's Web site at

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