Human Rights Film Festival Brings Diverse Stories to SU

Preview: The three day festival will feature film screenings, and opportunities to hear from the directors behind these projects.

This weekend, the fifteenth annual Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival will bring stories of human struggle from around the world to the Syracuse University campus. Beginning on Thursday, Sept. 28 and lasting through Saturday, Sept. 30, the festival has brought in a program of documentaries that speak to the universality of human suffering. Here's the full rundown of films on the schedule:

For Akheem (Thursday, Sept. 28 7:00 PM, Joyce Hergenham Auditorium, Newhouse 3)

Beginning a year before violence erupted in Ferguson, MI, this documentary follows a 17-year-old black teenager as she comes of age in North St. Louis. Through two years, this young girl is forced to balance her normal teenage existence with the violence that erupts around her, and a tumultuous relationship with her mother. There will be an introduction from directors Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest prior to the screening, and a Q&A afterwards. 

Memories of a Penitent Heart (Friday, Sept. 29 7:00 PM, Joyce Hergenham Auditorium, Newhouse 3)

When filmmaker Cecilia Aldarando decides to dig into her family's tumultuous past, she discovers how messy her past can be. This documentary serves as warning, one that shows the real consequences of AIDS, and the ways that faith can be abused in times of crisis. There will be a Q&A with Alarando following the screening. 

The Good Postman (Saturday, Sept. 30 1:00 PM, Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building) 

This Bulgarian film chronicles a mayoral election in a small town with only 38 eligible voters. Among the candidates is Ivan, a postman who suggests that the nearly deserted village should be made a home for Syrian refugees who are fleeing their native lands. 

Plastic China (Saturday, Sept. 30 4:00 PM, Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building) 

Following a young girl who lives in a Chinese countryside covered in imported plastic, Plastic China follows this girl as she attempts to build a better life for herself. In a world where plastic is everywhere, this documentary reveals the way Chinese people have learned to build lives out of the waste that surrounds them. 

Lipstick Under My Burkha (Saturday, Sept. 30, 7:00 PM, Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Buidling)

Set in a small town in rural India, this documentary tells the story of four women who are attempting to find freedom. This is a story about female empowerment set against a fairly hostile backdrop, and was also censored by the Indian film censorship board before its domestic release. 

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