Movies that Matter film festival 2018

This year will be 10th time that we offer civil society organizations, academic institutions and other interested parties the opportunity to screen films that address human rights issues in light of the International Human Rights day on December 10th!

As this year we mark the ten year anniversary of this initiative, Amnesty's human rights film festival Movies that Matter has compiled a list of six films from which you can choose to screen. License fees for screening have already been paid for by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. License fees are only extended to screenings specifically related to activities organized on or around the December 10th celebration, which means you can only screen the movie between 10 and 17 December. Also, viewings should not be subject to any charge as screenings may not be used for commercial purposes.

How to apply?

To order any of the films, please send a message before 19 October to stating 'film order MtM' in the subject line. In your message the following information has to be available;

- Date of the venue: (10-17 December)

- Time of the event:

- Venue:

- Target audience:

- Requested film(s):

- If forum/panel discussions please describe:

Listed below is a short summary of the available films you may choose from to screen for your audiences. If you have any questions please feel free to send an email.

1. Algo Mío – Argentina’s Stolen Children

(Theme: disappearances, crime against humanity, military, family, war crimes, reconciliation, transitional justice, Argentina)

During the military junta’s dictatorship in Argentina in the 1970’s, new-borns were taken from the regime’s opponents and placed with foster families, many of them being military personnel in service of the junta. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo protested for decades, seeking clarity about the fate of their missing children. Hilario and Catalina are two of the many ‘stolen children of Argentina’. While Catalina sees the truth about her ancestry as a salvation and wants to bring her foster parents to court, Hilario sees it as a horrible revelation because he loves his foster family and wants to prevent them from going to prison. This brings up the question whether a perpetrator needs to face trial when a victim does not feel like a victim.

2. Jaha’s Promise

(Theme: female genital mutilation, cultural rights & traditions, sexual and reproductive issues, human rights defenders, gender relations, Gambia)

Inspiring story of a brave woman’s fight to end female genital mutilation in Gambia. When Jaha Dukureh was one week old, her clitoris was cut off. From the US, where she was forced to move at 15 to marry, she starts campaigning against female genital mutilation. But to really make a difference she has to go back home. We follow her as she confronts her father and religious leaders and raises awareness among rural communities.

3. Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower

(Theme: human rights defenders, youth, freedom of speech, politics & democracy, social movement, education, Hong Kong, China,)

Stirring documentary about a group of teenagers from Hong Kong who challenge China during the Umbrella Revolution. As China slowly but surely restricts civil and political freedoms in Hong Kong, the people take to the streets in overwhelming numbers. Led by 17 year old Joshua Wong, the protesters encounter the authorities in an epic stand-off with a teenager at the center of attention.

4. Mr. Gay Syria

(Theme: LGBTI rights, refugees and forced migration, freedom of expression, religion, discrimination, Syria, Turkey)

Syrian refugee Mahmoud Hassino organizes the first Mr. Gay Syria contest in Istanbul in order to raise more awareness of the plight of the Syrian LGBTI community. Hairdresser Husein is competing in the pageant, but is also leading a double life as a father and husband in a conservative Syrian family. He enters the contest but is fighting an inner battle since his family and relatives have no clue about his homosexual identity. Participation in the contest could be a stepping stone towards a resident permit in a safe European country and a new life, but at the same time he is also worried about what will happen to him once his father discovers who he truly is.

5. The Poetess

(theme: freedom of expression, freedom of association, women rights, gender relations, religion, Saudi Arabia)

Hissa Hilal, a 43 –year-old woman from Saudi Arabia, achieved international fame when she was one of the few women to compete in a televised talent search for Arabic poets. Her poetry is controversial: she criticizes extremist fatwas and is an advocate of women’s rights. Based on talks with Hissa and TV clips from the show, the documentary paints a picture of Saudi society; how public life changed drastically for women over the years due to increasing strictness and increasingly extreme religious rules and regulations.

6. True detectives

(Theme: crimes against humanity, war crimes, forensics, human rights defenders, journalism, media & propaganda, Ukraine, Colombia, Israel, Syria, Mali)

All over the world, people are combining the latest technologies with the findings of citizen journalists and investigators, to combat impunity and injustice. In this fascinating documentary, we see it it’s much more than just watching people’s smartphone videos that does the trick. We see examples of 3D models of a town in Israel in order to investigate war crimes during the latest Gaza conflict, and technology initially developed by biologists to track the spread of spiders being used in Colombia to locate clandestine burial sites of tens of thousands of missing persons. These are the real True Detectives; uncovering evidence where it seems almost impossible to find.