The 19th edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London has kicked off. We’ve gathered selection of films we feel you should catch across the capital over the next week.
HRW Film Festival runs until March 27, with screenings at the Barbican, British Museum, Curzon Soho, Ritzy Picturehouse. Find out more about the film festival by visiting the website or following @hrwfilmfestival.
Beats of the Antonov (South Sudan)
Dir. Hajooj Kuka
Hajooj Kuka provides an inspiring account of how cultural heritage and creative traditions can defy the indignity of displacement. More info and tickets.
No Land’s Song (Iran)
Dir. Ayat Najafi
Ayat Najafi’s political thriller and musical journey looks at the loss of the female voice in Iran. The Islamic revolution of 1979 banned female singers from appearing in public. Women are no longer allowed to perform solo, unless to an exclusively female audience, and recordings of former female icons can only be bought on the black market. More info and tickets.
The screening at the Ritzy Picturehouse will be followed with an evening of Persian music, Upstairs at the Ritzy. Read our feature on Iranian sisters Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat in the new issue.
The Dream of Shahrazad (Egypt/Lebanon/Turkey)
Dir. Francois Verster
The Dream of Shahrazad is a feature-length documentary film which locates political expression before, during and after the Egyptian revolution – and also within recent times in Turkey and Lebanon – within a broader historical and cultural framework: that of storytelling and music. More particularly, it looks at the legacy of the famous collection of stories known as The 1001 (‘Arabian Nights’). More info and tickets.
Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd (China/Turkey)
Dir. Patricio Henríquez
This feature documentary recounts the incredible odyssey of 22 men from China’s persecuted Uyghur minority who were detained in Guantánamo as terrorists. These Turkic-speaking Muslims, persecuted by the authorities in Beijing, escaped to the Middle East where they were captured and sold as terrorists to the American forces. More info and tickets.