18 Wednesday, September 2013

Film festival focuses on humanitarian crises

Rape victims in Pakistan struggle for legal justice. Gay citizens in Jamaica push for safety, security and respect. In Burkina Faso, children toil in gold mines. And throughout the world, girls as young as 6 and 7 are sold into marriage.


--- Stephanie Sinclair, VII
— Stephanie Sinclair, VII


These are but a few of the tales shared at “Global Crises, Human Stories,” the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting’s weeklong film festival, which begins Thursday at the West End Cinema in Washington, D.C., and runs through Sept. 26.

The program includes several feature-length documentaries as well as a series of short films by award-winning journalists, among them “Too Young to Wed” directed by Stephanie Sinclair.

The event opens on Thursday with a free 7 p.m. screening of “The Abominable Crime,” which depicts the deadly consequences of homophobia in Jamaica and shares the courageous stories of those who challenge widespread discrimination. A discussion with director Micah Fink follows.

The film will also be shown several other times during the week along with a host of other documentaries exposing everything from the horrors of civil war in Sri Lanka to the use of rape as a weapon in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Tickets for shows after Thursday cost $5 ($3 for students and seniors), and discussions with the filmmakers follow many of the screenings.

The Pulitzer Center photojournalist shorts—seven short documentaries from around the world—can be seen on Friday and Tuesday at 9:20 p.m.

All of the films “put a human face on some of the world’s most pressing crises––from labor exploitation, child marriage and suicide as a result of overwork and drug violence to homophobia and rape as a weapon of war,” according to the Pulitzer Center. “These films present heartbreaking stories of struggle and injustice that rarely receive the attention they deserve––but also stories of hope, redemption and justice in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.”

For a complete schedule and description of films, visit the Pulitzer Center’s event page.