Photo: Concerning Violence by Göran Olsson to be shown at the Lund Human Rights Film Festival this weekend
“Human rights are so much more than international conventions, courtrooms and monitoring mechanisms. Human rights are also about the values that in the end substantiate what has found its way into the legal texts. And these values need to be nurtured, updated, discussed, and unfolded in everyday life because otherwise human rights will be short lived.
“Apart from the day-to-day interaction between people, I cannot think of any better media than film to illustrate the violations that give reason to uphold human rights. What is hypothetical in the classroom, films can make real, illustrating why these values are still worthwhile fighting for. Films can touch us in a different manner and thereby add an extra layer of humanistic resilience and understanding.
“For the Lund Human Rights Film Festival we have chosen different themes to focus upon.
“These days we need to give a human face to the refugee situation. It is so often spoken about in terms of crises, floods, numbers that the individuals behind the drama are forgotten.
“Yes, there is a European refugee crisis, however what I see is first and foremost refugees in crisis after having left their old life behind not knowing what will come their way. The film festival will illuminate the plight of refugees in different ways both contemporary and historic.
“Why people flee will be illustrated in other films like “Concerning Violence” about the colonial past. On this theme we also show “The Act of Killing” about the genocide in Indonesia. What this documentary raises is the issue of how to discuss past atrocities today. Is it important to address the issues of the past, does it have an impact on the next generations?
“These films provoke these considerations, which are universal in nature.
“Another universal theme is gender equality, which will be addressed from a number of different aspects. We go to Nicaragua where an OBGYN struggles with a law she finds unethical, and then to Turkey, where young girls are married off by their Uncle. And, on Sunday March 6, there is also something for the kids – those that it is all about since it’s their future and the values that their world shall be build on.
“Panel discussions with directors, experts and participants in the film will accompany all the showings.
“We hope that the films will stimulate good discussions. This is year one of what we hope will be a long, rich tradition for Lund and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. So any feedback, and ideas on how we should do it next year are more than welcome.”