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In troubling times like these, we’ll take every little opportunity we can get to remind ourselves of what’s truly important. The Active Vista International Human Rights Festival is one such opportunity. It was originally an advocacy film festival for DAKILA, a social heroism movement founded by Lourd de Veyra, Noel Cabangon, Ronnie Lazaro, Buhawi Meneses, and Tado Jimenez. But it has since grown, and is on its fifth run this year, featuring a series of film screenings, exhibits, talks, and live performances towards the promotion and advancement of the human rights cause.
We’re most excited about the festival’s lineup of films, of course, which runs from Thursday, November 23 to Friday, December 8. It’s is a mix of new ones and classics that provide great perspectives on human rights issues. Here’s what you can expect:
Motherland (Bayang Ina Mo) by Ramona Diaz
Which is about: “Motherland takes us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital in one of the world’s poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. The film’s viewer, like an unseen outsider dropped unobtrusively into the hospital’s stream of activity, passes through hallways, enters rooms and listens in on conversations. At first, the surrounding people are strangers. But as the film continues, it’s absorbingly intimate, rendering the women at the heart of the story increasingly familiar. Three women—Lea, Aira and Lerma—emerge to share their stories with other mothers, their families, doctors and social workers. While each of them faces daunting odds at home, their optimism, honesty and humor suggest a strength that they will certainly have to summon in the years ahead.”
Human rights hot buttons: Women’s rights, family planning and reproductive health
Catch it on: Thursday, November 23, 7:00PM at the EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Cineplex.
Blanka by Kohki Hasei
Which is about: “Blanka makes her living on the streets of Manila, from small thefts and tricks. She dreams of saving enough money to ‘buy’ a mom. When she meets talented Peter, a blind gambling musician, her life takes an unexpected direction. They decide to join forces in order to face everyday struggles. Thanks to Peter, Blanka discovers to be a talented singer and, more importantly, understands that money cannot buy the love of a person.”
Human rights hot buttons: Poverty, materialism, family
Catch it on: Monday, November 27, and Wednesday, November 29, 7:00PM at the EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Cineplex.
Small Talk by Hui-Chen Huang
Which is about: “They have lived like strangers under one roof for decades, almost never talking to each other. One day, Hui-chen finally summons up the courage to sit her mother down and talk.”
Human rights hot buttons: Family, LGBTQ rights
Catch it on: Tuesday, November 28, 7:00PM at the EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Cineplex.
Respeto by Treb Monteras
Which is about: “Hendrix dreams of hip-hop greatness, but he’s spiraling down a rabbit-hole of crime and poverty until he meets Doc, an old poet still haunted by his martial law past. Can they turn each other’s lives around before they’re swallowed by their circumstance?.”
Human rights hot buttons: Poverty, drugs, the Martial Law Era
Catch it on: Monday, November 27, 1:00PM at the University of Makati Mini Theater; Saturday, December 2, 7:00PM at Cinema Centenario, Quezon City; and Wednesday, December 6, 1:00PM at the UST Education Auditorium.
On The Job by Erik Matti
Which is about: “Filipino crime thriller inspired by a real-life scandal in which prison inmates are temporarily released from prison to work as contract killers on behalf of politicians and high ranking military officials.”
Human rights hot buttons: Poverty, crime, drugs, convict culture
Catch it on: Sunday, December 3, 7:00PM at Cinema Centenario, Quezon City