E-mail: festival@hfhrpol.waw.pl
e-mail: film@hfhrpol.waw.pl
general information
festival program
accompanying events
festival prize
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2002 archives
2001 archives


European Union

Open Society Institute,Budapeszt

Vattenfall Polen AB

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This year's festival includes over 60 documentary films which run the gamut between cinematic portraits, masterful editing of archive material, artistic cinematography, cinema verite, dedicated journalism as well as feature-length documentaries approaching fiction in their narrative style. 

The leading themes of this year's edition are the People's Republic of Poland, Secret Service, Populists, American Paradoxes and Refugees.  The very best films in the history of Prague's One World Film Festival, currently the biggest human rights film festival in the world, will also be screened as will a series of films outside the above themes, including films about Chechnya, Tibet, and the Balkans. 

As usual, the films will be accompanied by panel discussions, meetings with the directors, a photography exhibit, and, for the first time, a forum of non-government organizations active in supporting human rights.  The purpose of the forum is to present the festival's viewers with the opportunities currently available in Poland to support individual rights and a civil society.  The Amnesty International Journalism Prize shall be awarded during the festival to the author of the best work on human rights published in the press or Internet in 2003.

This year we are introducing a review of films about human rights in Poland by showing documentaries from the People's Republic of Poland (PRP).  We will continue this review next year, but will focus on films about the PRP made in 1990s.  In the more distant future, we would like to show films about human rights in the present III Republic of Poland. 

This year's review is based on documentaries from the PRP selected by Bohdan Kosi雟ki and Marcel υzi雟ki for the Strasbourg film festival organized by the International Institute for Human rights in 1992. 

In addition, we present for the first time in Poland, a truly underground film made by Marcel υzi雟ki, Jacek Petrycki and Jean-Yves Potel "Poland '85 Living in truth.
The final film under this theme will be "Miners '88 by Andrzej Piekutowski, which is an excellent report on the watershed mining strikes of 1988. 

The festival will be accompanied by a review of films by Bohdan Kosi雟ki, who passed away this year, and was one of the most renowned Polish documentary filmmakers, particularly committed to showing the truth about the reality of the PRP. 

Secret Services comprise another festival thematic block that will be accompanied by a panel discussion about human rights violations by such services in the wake of September 11.

  The subject of Populists reaches beyond human rights.  Here, the viewer will find documentaries on the foundations that may give rise to the threats to personal liberties.  Does the rising influence in Europe of populist politicians comprise a real threat to human rights?  That is the question to be taken up by the panel.

This year's program includes a number of superb American documentaries.  They outline an image of the U.S. as country where the criminal justice system, so fundamental to the defence of human rights, raises serious doubts as to its functioning, even though the civil rights movement was extremely powerful and successful.  "Brother outsider the life of Bayard Rustin, "ACLU A History and "KPFA on the Air are excellent and inspiring documentaries on American activism.  "KPFA on the Air, a film about the world's oldest independent public radio station maintained solely by listener donations, will serve as the springboard for a panel discussion under the theme of "Free media?"

The issue of refugees is gaining increased notoriety, especially in a Europe that is closing its doors to newcomers.  The festival includes films about personal dramas as well as documentaries that treat the problem from a more global perspective.  On the day films on that topic are shown, there will be a meeting with those who are helping refugees in various ways.