11 April 2007

Turkey Wins Human Rights Award

Following Turkey's objection's to the UN's genocide exhibit, you might be interested to learn that the Council of Europe, ever sensitive to such delicate matters, is launching its inaugural human rights film award, FACE, this weekend at the 26th International Istanbul Film Festival.

Each of the ten films shortlisted for the prize deals with themes of political liberty and individual freedoms:

  • Rachid Bouchareb's Days of Glory – soldiers from France's North African colonies who helped liberate Gaul from Nazis during World War 2,
  • Bruno Dumont's Flanders – a soldier leaves his childhood sweetheart for the front where he discovers camaraderie, barbarity and fear,
  • Julie Gavras' Blame It On Fidel – social unrest seen completely through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl,
  • Rajko Grlic's The Border Post – the first co-production between all the members of the former Yugoslavia,
  • Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's Dry Season – a poignant and lyrical tale from Chad of a young man’s desire to come to terms with his and his country’s tragic past,
  • Chris Kraus' Four Minutes – the impossible relationship between an aged piano tutor and her one-time musical prodigy student, an extremely violent convict at a women’s prison,
  • Abderrahmane Sissako's The Court – African civil society spokesmen put the World Bank and IMF on trial for their role in Africa's economic woes,
  • Volker Schlöndorff's Strike – a solidarity saga set in Poland,
  • Omer Ugur's Home Coming – a contentious Turkish film that deals scathingly with the 1980 Turkish military coup, and
  • Francisco Vargas's The Violin – the double lives of an old violinist, his guerrilla son, and his silent grandson.
If any readers have seen any of the films, please do let us know what you think of them.