Living Rights, 2004

A compendium of self-contained multicultural stories featuring ethnically, economically, and existentially diverse children, each at the cusp of a pivotal turning point in their young lives, Living Rights examines the contemporary relevance – and often divergence – between the humanitarian statement crafted by 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that sought […]

Omagh, 2004

Shot in vérité-styled camerawork and natural lighting, Omagh is a hauntingly powerful, illuminating, and uncompromisingly rendered account of the August 15, 1998 car bombing of a high-traffic market square in the peacefully integrated Northern Ireland community that massacred 29 civilians and injured over 200 others. Shot from the perspective of Michael Gallagher and his family, […]

Road to Guantanamo, 2006

Something of an aesthetic hybrid between an impassioned cinéma vérité and the bracing docu-fiction of Peter Watkins, Road to Guantanamo is a provocative, confrontational, and impeccably crafted, if oddly sterile and incongruously stylized re-enactment of the plight of the Tipton Three, a group of working class, British Muslim young men on holiday from the West […]

State of Fear, 2005

One of the festival highpoints (and certainly one of my personal favorites) from this year’s slate of films from the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival is filmmakers Pamela Yates, Paco de Onís and Peter Kinoy’s exhaustive (and inspired) documentary, State of Fear: a sobering, trenchant, and disturbingly relevant dissection of Peru’s contemporary history through […]