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Screenings start Friday in human rights film series, made possible by grant

February 6, 2013

Beloit College’s Office of International Education has received $1,392 in funding support from the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative of the United States Institute of Peace. The support will enable OIE to put on a film series consisting of five documentaries, which will cover a wide range of topics such as peaceful conflict resolution, globalization, minority human rights, and immigration.

"The Weissberg Program has proven very effective in sharing expertise about human rights with wide audiences, but we are excited to be able to shed light on human rights through the medium of film," says Betsy Brewer, director of OIE. "That is because the documentaries in this series promise to provide perspectives of individuals who might not be fully represented in the literature on human rights, and because films can are an effective way to reach a wider audience."

Brewer adds that the film festival was the result of a convergence of factors: finding connections between the films and classes taking place this spring, the experience a Weissberg scholar had with the efficacy of human rights film series in creating discussion, and the opportunity for funding. 

"The first and last films in the series will set up very nicely some of the discussion to take place during the April residency of Weissberg Chair Justice Diego Garcia-Sayan, while the second in the series, the Gypsies of Svinia, will tie directly to a course on Roma children's rights being taught by education professor Bill New.  Harvest of Empire is a nice addition, both because of the subject matter and connections to Beloit College:  the film editor is a graduate of Beloit College, while the director and producer are the parents of a current Beloit student," Brewer says.

An event related (in terms of subject matter) also takes place tonight (Thursday, Feb. 7), as photojournalist Nancy Chappell lectures at 4 p.m. in the Wright Museum of Art, at the exhibit opening of Yuyanapaq: To Remember. This traveling exhibit chronicles the political violence that left 69,000 dead in Peru between 1980 and 2000 when the Shining Path insurgency waged war against the state. Based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first screening of the series, State of Fear,
ses personal testimony, history and archival footage to tell the story of escalating violence in Peru, the same subject covered by the photo exhibit at the Wright.

The film series will feature the following films, all screening at 7 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium of Morse-Ingersoll Hall:

  • Feb. 8 - State of Fear
  • Feb. 15 - Blood in the Mobile
  • Feb. 22 - The Gypsies of Svinia
  • March 15 - Harvest of and Missing Children
  • March 22 - Who Am I?