Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
This year’s Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.
The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.
Read more about Human Rights Day at the United Nations website here.
For some socially conscious films from Cinema Libre Studio that deal with Human Rights violations and the quest for peace and equality, please check out these carefully curated films, available on Video-on-demand on DVD. In honor of the holidays, Cinema Libre Studio is also offering 25% their entire store and guaranteeing delivery by Christmas if you order before the sale ends!
Every year there are more than 400,000 American children who are torn away from their friends, schools and homes to pick the food we all eat. Zulema, Perla and Victor labor as migrant farm workers, sacrificing their own childhoods to help their families survive. THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA profiles these three as they journey from the scorching heat of Texas’ onion fields to the winter snows of the Michigan apple orchards and back south to the humidity of Florida’s tomato fields to follow the harvest.
From the Producers of the Academy-Award® nominated film, WAR/DANCE and Executive Producer Eva Longoria, this award-winning documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of these children who struggle to dream while working 12 – 14 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed America.
In Between Songs
In the remote Northern Territory of Australia, the Galpu clan, an Aboriginal family led by renowned didgeridoo master craftsman, Djalu Gurruwiwi, struggles to maintain its ancestral traditions in the face of modern societal, economic, and environmental pressures. When the Galpu youth display little interest in maintaining the clan’s legacy and the impact of the nearby Rio Tinto mine begins to take its toll, the clan elders must devise a strategy to preserve their way of life and cultural identity.
Narrated by Emmy® Award winner and Academy Award® nominated actor & activist, James Cromwell, IN BETWEEN SONGS captures the global imperative to preserve a priceless culture and its musical legacy
After suffering a heart attack, retired General José Mendieta (Damián Alcázar) is haunted by his dark past as an officer in Operation Condor, the CIA-backed campaign of political repression in Latin America that was responsible for executions, torture, and imprisonments in the 1970’s. It is estimated that over 400,000 people were imprisoned and 30,000 forcibly disappeared as a result of these government actions.
In a letter to his son Pablo (Bernardo Peña), Mendieta confesses the role he played in the abduction, persecution, and execution of countless men and women during his posting to Chile. Journalist Marco (Carlotto Cotta) and his pregnant wife Luciá (Carla Ortiz) are among those who were arrested, along with their activist friend Antonio (Tomás Fonzi) and revolutionary Andrea (Ana Calentano). They suffer terribly under Mendieta and his cohort Sanera (Rafael Ferro), which leads to a cascade of betrayals, secrets, and stolen lives that spans generations.
Olvidados (Forgotten), Bolivia’s Foreign Language Film submission for the 87th Academy Awards®, stars renowned actors from five countries, and was filmed in Bolivia, Chile, and New York. It is the first film to specifically address the horrors perpetrated under Operation Condor, which was responsible for: 50,000 deaths; 30,000 “disappeared”; and 400,000 arrested and imprisoned in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
In KIDS’ RIGHTS: THE BUSINESS OF ADOPTION, filmmakers Michael Dudko and Olga Rudnieva ask themselves if they are good enough for parenthood and whether they have the right after they personally witness Sir Elton John’s own failed attempt to adopt a child. Their investigation leads them through the Himalayas, the urban slums of Ukraine, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States where they learn about the corruption behind adoption practices and the cyclical problems caused by the welfare system. Through interviews with Dave Pelzer, author of “A Child Called It”, social workers, neuropsychologists, attorneys, parents, soon-to-be parents, victims of child abuse, and Sir Elton John himself, they learn that in today’s global society children in lack of basic human rights and privileges.
It’s Better to Jump
The ancient city of Akka, along the northern coast of Israel, is the home to a melting pot of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’i. For centuries, its surrounding forty-foot sea wall has protected its citizens and repelled invaders. As the Old City endures harsh economic pressures and vast social changes, Palestinian families who have lived here for generations are being pressured to leave.
Despite the daily challenges they face, the city’s youth – sons and daughters of fishermen, school teachers, and artists – continue a perilous inter-generational rite of passage expressing individuality and the right to control their destiny: jumping from the high wall into the tempestuous sea below.
IT’S BETTER TO JUMP captures the spirit of Akka’s Arab residents and the leap of faith they make towards self-determination and a better future.
With over 11 million passengers, 39,450 miles of tracks, 15,000 trains, and 7,000 stations, Indian Railways, India’s train system, is a universe unto itself. Each year over 120,000 destitute children, with nowhere else to go, arrive at the platforms and join a gang in order to survive. Depending on their gang leader, some pick rags, serve tea or collect water bottles. Others turn to pick-pocketing or worse, glue-sniffing and prostitution.
Lucky Express: India’s Forgotten Train Kids crisscrosses India’s railways with the desperate children who have made this vast network their home. Lucky, a former train kid with dreams of becoming a filmmaker serves as the guide, allowing intimate access to the children who share their astonishing life stories, hopes, and dreams.
Criss crossing the plains of India all the way to Nepal, the film follows Lucky, as he returns to the Himalayan foothills to search for the family he left at the age of five years old.
If you’d like to take an active role in this year’s campaign, consider lending your support to Albert Woodfox
40 YEARS IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox has spent four decades in solitary confinement for a murder he maintains he did not commit. There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, his conviction has been overturned three times, and a judge has ordered his unconditional release – yet the Louisiana authorities continue to block his release. Decades of isolation in a cell the size of a parking space have taken an appalling toll on Albert’s health. Justice is long overdue. Write a short letter to Louisiana’s Attorney General, urging that Albert be released now. After you’ve written that letter, please also take a moment to write a short solidarity letter or postcard to Albert, letting him know that you are taking action for his human rights. All the information you’ll need can be found in the case sheet and sample letter below. Learn more at Amnesty International’s Write For Rights Campaign.