Friday, March 18, 2011

Romanian film festival tackles tough rights issues

(AFP)

BUCHAREST — The One World human rights film festival kicked off in Bucharest on Thursday offering 37 documentaries promising to tackle sometimes prickly issues under the theme "What a wonderful world?!"

Alongside the showings at the six-day festival in the Romanian capital will be debates on its main themes with surprise 2010 Colombian presidential candidate Antanas Mockus, the ecologist ex-mayor of Bogota, a star guest.

The event is sorted into the categories "What would you do for money?", "Homemade violence", "Intolerance today", "(Re)writing history", "Inglorious heroes" and "Desperate cities".

"Desperate cities" presents documentaries on Bogota, Cairo, Kiev and London and Abel Ferrara's opus on Naples, with Mockus lending his mayoral expertise to the accompanying debate.

"This world is wonderful," organisers Czech Monika Stepanova and Romanian director Alexandru Solomon said.

"It would look even better if some documentaries did not open our eyes," they added with a touch of irony before introducing a set of documentaries tackling the world's most challenging issues.

The films include "The perfect Belgian" by Kristof Bilsen, a road movie in a country on the verge of dissolution that will have its world premiere on Saturday.

The British/Cambodian production "Enemies of the people", prized at Sundance festival, will try to understand why two million Cambodians died under Pol Pot's regime.

"One World Romania reminds us of the existence of other crises, more serious than the decrease of the GDP by half a point," said former Czech president Vaclav Havel, one of the festival's patrons.

"It talks about humanitarian crises, moral crises and the crises of human responsibilities," he said.

The One World Film festival runs until March 21.

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