Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival

staff reports 09/01/09
Award-winning documentaries from around the world

Illuminating Oppression: 7th Annual Human Rights Film Festival will open at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 with “Behind Forgotten Eyes.” Directed by Anthony Gilmore, the film examines the forgotten casualties of World War II—Korean women who were abducted and forced into a brutal and systematic form of sexual slavery by the occupying Japanese Imperial Army. The film’s co-director, Ryan Seale, will lead a discussion following the screening.

The Human Rights Film Festival is free and open to the public and is the kickoff event for Syracuse Symposium 2009: Light. All screenings will take place in the Life Sciences Complex Auditorium, Room 001. The three-day festival will continue Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 with an array of award-winning documentaries by independent filmmakers from Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia and West Asia. A complete schedule of films is available on the Syracuse Symposium Web site at

On Friday, the selected films will examine the predicament of refused asylum seekers in the United Kingdom and tell the extraordinary story of Christian and Muslim women in Liberia who banded together to fight for peace in their shattered country. The screenings will begin at 7 p.m. On Saturday, films will be shown at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., concluding with “The Sari Soldiers,” which chronicles the courageous efforts of six Nepalese women caught up on opposite sides of a civil war amid a government crackdown on civil liberties.

Other Saturday offerings include:
“Up The Yangtze” directed by Yung Chang, a powerful narrative of contemporary China and a disquieting glimpse into the future as floodwaters from the Three Gorges Dam spill over the banks of the Yangtze, forever altering the landscape and lives of the people who eked out a living along the legendary river; and

“Flying Inside My Body,” directed by Sumit Sharma, Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh and Ajeeta Chowhan. The film explores how the form of the body can become a powerful, physical language to express dissent over societal norms and conventions. The film combines a library of still photography chronicling the gay community in India, moving images, and text to tell an intensely personal story, questioning deeply ingrained prejudices.

The Syracuse Symposium™ is a semester-long intellectual and artistic festival celebrating interdisciplinary thinking, imagining and creating. The symposium is organized and presented for The College of Arts and Sciences by the SU Humanities Center. The 2009 event features 13 lectures and keynote addresses, three performances and three exhibitions.

The Human Rights Film Festival is co-sponsored by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the South Asia Center at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Institute for Global Affairs and the South Asian Students’ Association, in collaboration with Breakthrough, an international human rights organization that promotes values of equality, dignity and justice.

TAGS: Syracuse University, Human Rights Film Festival,Illuminating Oppression,documentaries,Syracuse Symposium 2009: Light,Sciences Complex Auditorium,independent filmmakers,Flying Inside My Body, SU Humanities Center,Up The Yangtze,S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the South Asia Center at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Institute for Global Affairs,South Asian Students’ Association
EDITION: The Eagle

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