New U.S. Category at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival

“We don’t want anyone to ever think that we’re giving our country a pass,” John Biaggi, director of the 24th Human Rights Watch Film Festival, explained in reference to the addition of a separate category this year for U.S. human rights issues. This new category at such a renowned human rights film festival highlights the human rights crises and organizing within our own borders in addition to international human rights issues. As a result, these films tell the stories and further movement building around domestic human rights issues.

One of these films, 99 Percent – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film discussed the Occupy movement and how this movement was built out of frustration with contemporary economic and social circumstances. Although the film does not come from a human rights framework explicitly, the film demonstrates the power of movement building around economic and social rights issues in the United States. While the Occupy movement as a whole has been a controversial one, this film highlights how the movement began and why it sought to unite many domestic issues under one movement. As a result, the film is left open-ended, asking the audience if the problems that sparked the movement have really been addressed by Occupy or if the same economic and social issues perpetuate today.

Read more on the new category at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival here

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