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Human rights film festival begins today

Angela Saoud | Monday, March 22, 2004

Interested in seeing a movie with a message? The Human Rights International film festival’s traveling film series will be shown at Saint Mary’s starting today and running through Saturday. “The purpose of the film festival is to help educate people about human rights and the struggles of people who are seeking to secure their rights,” Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership fellow Sister Marianne Farina, one of the event’s organizers, said. The films center around issues of human rights, and the sponsors are hopeful the audience will take away a deeper understanding of the issues.”We want the audience to see some of the key human rights issues and violations that are occurring in the world today in order to promote a greater solidarity,” Farina said. “At Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, the students have a great interest to engage in peace and justice studies and advocacy, and these films are a vehicle in which to do so.”The film festival will kick off tonight at 7 p.m. in Carroll Auditorium with a presentation given by Marianne Farina and Isis Nusair of Saint Mary’s CWIL program and George Lopez of the Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies. Following the presentation, the film “Rana’s Wedding” will be viewed. Each of the movies will be viewed nightly in Carroll Auditorium at 7 p.m. with a discussion to follow. On Friday and Saturday, “Freedom from Fear,” a workshop on Peace Building and Human Rights will take place at the Kroc Institute. All of the events are free and open to the public. Farina said she is hopeful the film festival will make an impact on the audience members.”Films are also a great medium with which to share experiences across cultures,” Farina said. “The pictures, sounds and stories help us to have a better experience of the reality of people’s situations, needs and their efforts to work for peace and justice. These are important issues that need to be seen.”Saint Mary’s Program in Women’s Studies, CWIL, the Intercultural Studies Program, the Justice Education Program, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Kroc Institute are sponsoring the Human Rights Watch film festival.