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Strong Lineup at the Fourth Annual Human Rights Film Festival

In the Shadow of the Sun
In the Shadow of the Sun

“What would I be if I weren’t strong?” asks one of the characters in director Jeremy Teicher’s Tall As the Baobab Tree. Strength is a quality that reverberates throughout the six films to be screened this weekend as part of the fourth-annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The festival runs from January 23 through January 27. Tickets are $8, with discounts available to students, seniors, military, and MoPA members. For more information and a complete list of films, visit the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Why not make Sunday a dinner-and-two-movies escape? Submitted for your approval, a superb late afternoon double-feature with enough time sandwiched between the films for you to grab a sandwich.

Video:

In the Shadow of the Sun trailer

In the Shadow of the Sun

There is a spot on God’s green earth, Ukerewe Island in Tanzania to be exact, where witch doctors continue to prescribe the severed limbs of albinos as good luck charms to patients looking for eternal prosperity. After a rash of 43 murders, two men with albinism — Vedastus, a teenager wanting desperately to make his way in the world and Josephat, a lifelong advocate against injustice and leader of the Ukerewe Albino Society — set about the countryside to seek out and warn as many of the 170,000 villagers born without “protective pigment” as possible of the immediate danger. Filmed over the course of six years, Harry Freeland’s sole-scorching “walk in my shoes” documentary paints a brutally uncompromising portrait that includes moments of unforgettable triumph (Josephat’s strength and fervor as he tries to convince the locals that albinism is not the work of the devil) along with several images my brain will never degauss, try as I might.

The 3 p.m. screening will be followed by a Q&A with Shantha Rau Barriga, Director, Disability Rights Program, Human Rights Watch.

The moment of understanding from Tall As the Baobob Tree.

Tall as the Baobab Tree

Someone has to pay the hospital bill after a fall from the titular topiary sidelines Coumba’s (Dior Ka) older brother. Their father not only deems her time better spent doing her brother’s work than in a classroom, but also (in order to raise quick cash) arranges to marry off Coumba’s 11-year-old sister. Not wanting the villagers to view education as a roadblock to enlightenment, Coumba refuses to follow her teacher’s advice that she turn the matter (and her parents) over to the authorities before venturing into the big city to find work. The world Teicher presents is as foreign and remote to many of us as any galaxy far, far away, but the fight to save someone you love is universal. Coumba’s tale of heartbreak, delicately portrayed in plainspoken, unsentimental tones by a cast of nonprofessionals, packs an emotional wallop.

Video:

Tall As the Baobab Tree trailer

The 7 p.m. screening will be followed by a Q&A with Dustin Sharp, Assistant Professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at USD, and Anita Raj, Director of UCSD's Center of Gender Equality and Health.

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In the Shadow of the Sun
In the Shadow of the Sun

“What would I be if I weren’t strong?” asks one of the characters in director Jeremy Teicher’s Tall As the Baobab Tree. Strength is a quality that reverberates throughout the six films to be screened this weekend as part of the fourth-annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The festival runs from January 23 through January 27. Tickets are $8, with discounts available to students, seniors, military, and MoPA members. For more information and a complete list of films, visit the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Why not make Sunday a dinner-and-two-movies escape? Submitted for your approval, a superb late afternoon double-feature with enough time sandwiched between the films for you to grab a sandwich.

Video:

In the Shadow of the Sun trailer

In the Shadow of the Sun

There is a spot on God’s green earth, Ukerewe Island in Tanzania to be exact, where witch doctors continue to prescribe the severed limbs of albinos as good luck charms to patients looking for eternal prosperity. After a rash of 43 murders, two men with albinism — Vedastus, a teenager wanting desperately to make his way in the world and Josephat, a lifelong advocate against injustice and leader of the Ukerewe Albino Society — set about the countryside to seek out and warn as many of the 170,000 villagers born without “protective pigment” as possible of the immediate danger. Filmed over the course of six years, Harry Freeland’s sole-scorching “walk in my shoes” documentary paints a brutally uncompromising portrait that includes moments of unforgettable triumph (Josephat’s strength and fervor as he tries to convince the locals that albinism is not the work of the devil) along with several images my brain will never degauss, try as I might.

The 3 p.m. screening will be followed by a Q&A with Shantha Rau Barriga, Director, Disability Rights Program, Human Rights Watch.

The moment of understanding from Tall As the Baobob Tree.

Tall as the Baobab Tree

Someone has to pay the hospital bill after a fall from the titular topiary sidelines Coumba’s (Dior Ka) older brother. Their father not only deems her time better spent doing her brother’s work than in a classroom, but also (in order to raise quick cash) arranges to marry off Coumba’s 11-year-old sister. Not wanting the villagers to view education as a roadblock to enlightenment, Coumba refuses to follow her teacher’s advice that she turn the matter (and her parents) over to the authorities before venturing into the big city to find work. The world Teicher presents is as foreign and remote to many of us as any galaxy far, far away, but the fight to save someone you love is universal. Coumba’s tale of heartbreak, delicately portrayed in plainspoken, unsentimental tones by a cast of nonprofessionals, packs an emotional wallop.

Video:

Tall As the Baobab Tree trailer

The 7 p.m. screening will be followed by a Q&A with Dustin Sharp, Assistant Professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at USD, and Anita Raj, Director of UCSD's Center of Gender Equality and Health.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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