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Canberra: Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

29 May 2018 - 5 June 2018

Films that aim to open your eyes and change your mind screen this May

Powerful human stories are promised at the 11th Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival 

The 2018 festival aims to create awareness on pressing human rights issues across five major themes: conflict and global people movement, gender equality, Indigenous rights, rehabilitation and retribution, and the environment. 

After the Apology In 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said sorry to the Stolen Generations of Indigenous people taken from their kin and country since the 1800s. Since the apology, the number of Indigenous children forcibly removed from their families has almost doubled. Through the story of four grandmothers brought together as unlikely activists in a battle they thought was long over, Behrendt chronicles the rise of a new national movement fighting to convince the government that sorry means you don’t do it again. Bursting with the hopeful and resilient spirit of its remarkable subjects, After the Apology is a redemptive experience not to be missed.

The Song Keepers our generations of song women that make up The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, go on a historic journey to take back the hymns that were given to their ancestors by the German missionaries but in their own ancient Aboriginal languages and on their own terms. Come on an adventure as the unlikeliest band on earth goes on tour… to the other side of the world!

Food Fighter tackles food waste and the work of Urban Harvest.

Jaha’s Promise is about the practice genital mutilation.

HRAFF will also screen the documentary Border Politics, directed by Judy Rymer. The feature-length documentary follows human rights barrister, Julian Burnside, as he travels the globe examining the increasing compromises to human rights in Western democracies occurring via the exploitation of fears around border protection.

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

Last Men in Aleppo is about the remaining besieged citizens in Aleppo, Syria. After five years of war in Syria, the remaining citizens of Aleppo are getting ready for a siege. Through the volunteers from the White Helmets we experience the daily life, death and struggle in the streets, where they are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm. Khalid, Subhi and Mahmoud are among the first to enter the destroyed buildings, scouring through the rubble in search of bodies and signs of life. They are now living more or less under constant bombing together with the remaining 350,000 civilians in Aleppo. They all struggle with the same dilemma: should they flee and bring their families to safety, or should they stay and fight for their city?

A Woman Captured Marish has been exploited and abused for more than 10 years by the woman for whom she toils as a housekeeper—entirely unpaid. She even has to hand over the money she earns with an extra job as a cleaner in a factory. She’s forbidden to do anything without permission. Marish’s 18-year-old daughter couldn’t stand it anymore and ran away a couple of years ago, but Marish lives with too much fear in her heart. Can she ever learn to trust people again? She dreams of seeing her daughter again but will she find the courage to take a step forward in her life?

Her Sound, Her Story, directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, examines sexism within the Australian music industry.

Step A story of true life challenge and triumph, a group of young women take the stage with a fierceness – with each move it seems that they are putting everything on the line, because they are. They are teenagers on the verge of womanhood, by turns graceful, goofy, joyous, determined, elegant, insecure, hopeful but always passionate. These are the Lethal Ladies of The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW), and they are not only a competitive step team headed for a multi-state showdown but are also aiming to break barriers as the first graduates of their school, whose mission is to send every single one of its students to college.

A Better Man is an intimate look at violence against women. When Attiya Khan was a teenager she lived with her boyfriend Steve for two years, during which time he abused her on a daily basis. 20 years later, Attiya and Steve arrange to meet and record their intimate conversations. Will Steve take responsibility for the abuse? When the film had its world premiere at Hot Docs, therapists were available for consultation in the lobby after the screening – a statement to how powerful this film is. A Better Man, is truly remarkable documentary making. It’s a privilege that Attiya has allowed an audience to bear witnesses to her restorative justice.

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival 


29 May 2018
5 June 2018


Various Venues in Canberra
Canberra, ACT Australia + Google Map