Central to ethics, law, philosophy and sociology, Human Rights documentaries address the most urgent international happenings today while advocating for concrete social and political changes.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as an American hero: a bridge-builder, a shrewd political tactician, and a moral leader. Yet throughout his history-altering political career, he was often treated by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies like an enemy of the state. In this virtuosic film, award-winning editor, and director Sam Pollard lays out a detailed account of the FBI surveillance that dogged King’s activism throughout the ’50s and ’60s, fueled by the racist and red-baiting paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover. In crafting a rich archival tapestry, featuring some revelatory restored footage of King, Pollard urges us to remember that true American progress is always hard-won.
ERNIE & JOE: CRISIS COPS follows two police officers with the San Antonio Texas Police Department who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment, one 911 call at a time.
A powerful documentary about the extraordinary team of doctors and activists – including Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl – whose work thirty years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all. The community health model they developed to treat diseases like tuberculosis has saved millions of lives in the developing world. Epic, yet intimate, the film is a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will to turn the tide of history.
Isis, Tomorrow follows the destiny of the surviving families of the fighters in the complexity of the post-war period, a post-war time of marginalisation and stigma, in which battle blood leaves room for daily revenge and retaliation, for violence as the only response to violence.
Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.
Liberian activist, Silas Siakor is a tireless crusader, fighting to crush corruption and environmental destruction in the country he loves.
Through the focus on one country, Silas is a global tale that warns of the power of politics and celebrates the power of individuals to fight back. One man’s battle gains momentum and emboldens communities to raise their fists and smartphones, seize control of their lands and protect their environment. It is a new generation of resistance.
Unseen Enemy examines why in the 21st century we are experiencing a rash of diseases that were once only outbreaks but have now become full-blown epidemics. Moving across the globe, you’ll meet our characters: doctors, disease detectives, everyday men and women. Every one of them has stepped into the horror of an epidemic and emerged deeply changed.
Examining the recent epidemics of Ebola, Influenza, and Zika, Unseen Enemy makes it clear that epidemics bring out the best and worst of human behavior, and that their effect goes far beyond the terrible tolls of sickness and death.
THE FREEDOM TO MARRY is the untold story of the most successful – and perhaps most inspiring – civil rights movement of our time. This is a riveting ride alongside Evan Wolfson, the man known as architect of the movement, and his team as they wage a decades-long battle all the way to the United States Supreme Court, providing fresh perspective on the movement’s history along the way. This is both a primer for social change and a behind-the-scenes look at how regular people can actually make a difference.
DO NOT RESIST is an urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States.
Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, DO NOT RESIST – the directorial debut of DETROPIA cinematographer Craig Atkinson – offers a stunning look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future. This Tribeca Film Festival winner for Best Documentary puts viewers in the center of the action, – from a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team to inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of “righteous violence”.
Through Joshua Oppenheimer’s work filming perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered and the identity of the men who killed him. The youngest brother is determined to break the spell of silence and fear under which the survivors live, and so confronts the men responsible for his brother’s murder – something unimaginable in a country where killers remain in power.
A group of innocent people is charged with human trafficking and thrown into prison. The authorities announce they’ve dealt a blow to organised crime; the public is reassured. Tempestad is a road movie: 2000 kilometres by bus from Matamoros to Cancún, through a blustery, overcast, bleak country. In her second feature documentary, Tatiana Huezo has a young mother recount her journey through hell: innocent, robbed of her liberty, she’s handed over to those for whom she’s being made to atone – in a private prison controlled by the Gulf Cartel.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, based on the widely acclaimed book by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls.
Winnie Madikizela Mandela is one of the most misunderstood and intriguingly powerful contemporary female political figures. Her rise and seeming fall from grace, bears the hallmarks of epic tragedy. For the first time, this film pieces together and properly considers her life and contribution to the struggle to bring down Apartheid from the inside, with intimate insight from those who were closest to her and with testimony from the enemies who sought to extinguish her radical capacity to shake up the order of things.
Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky Country’ became a country where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights. The ﬁlm features never before seen footage from inside Australia’s offshore detention camps, revealing the personal impact of sending those in search of a safe home to languish in limbo. Chasing Asylum explores the mental, physical and ﬁscal consequences of Australia’s decision to lock away families in unsanitary conditions hidden from media scrutiny.