Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Habibi Opens Human Rights Watch Festival

Maisa Abdelhadi in Susan Youssef’s Habibi

From our friends at DC Film Review...

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival returns to the nation’s capital tomorrow, opening with Susan Youssef’s Habibi at the West End Cinema. Presented in partnership with the Documentary Center at the George Washington University and Women in Film & Video, the DC leg (one of 14 host cities worldwide) will run through March 6, with screenings scheduled for every Wednesday at the aforementioned West End Cinema.

Tomorrow’s opening night screening of Habibi will feature a discussion with the film’s director Susan Youssef immediately afterwards. The screening begins at 7:00 PM (click here to purchase tickets online) and is presented In partnership with the Arabian Sights Film Festival, the Institute for Palestine Studies, and the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival.

This year’s festival includes five features, including a sneak preview of Beth and George Gage’s Bidder 70 next week. Their film chronicles the story of Tim DeChristopher, who single-handedly stood in the way of a controversial 2008 Bureau of Land Management lease auction for public land in Utah. It’s a fascinating story and proves one person can make a difference.

Here’s a full rundown of this year’s festival schedule...

February 6th - Habibi: Lyrical and passionate, Habibi, set in the Occupied Palestinian Territories depicts a reality where personal happiness must be weighed against society’s opinions, and a choice sometimes made between one’s people and one’s heart. 109 minutes

February 13 - Bidder 70: On December 19, 2008, DeChristopher, as Bidder #70, derailed the Bush administration’s last minute, widely disputed Federal Bureau of Land Management Oil and Gas lease auction, acting to safeguard thousands of acres of Utah land. Bidding $1.7 million, Tim won 22,000 acres of land with no intention to pay or drill. 73 minutes

February 20 - Putin’s Kiss: Meet Masha, a 19-year-old who grew up in the Putin era, on her journey through the Kremlin-created Nashi youth movement. This coming-of-age tale focuses on Masha’s personal political struggle and paints a grim picture of the Russian political climate. 85 minutes

February 27 - Little Heaven: “HIV is like somebody living in my body without paying rent. I don’t know him and I don’t like him.” - Lydia, 13, Little Heaven Orphanage, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Lydia is at a turning point in her life. We experience life through Lydia’s expressive face and reflective diary entries, her daily routines at the Little Heaven Orphanage for children living with HIV, her conversations with other children, her doctor’s appointments, and her exercise, study and prayer. 75 minutes

March 6 - Brother Number One: How far would you to demand justice for your family? Through New Zealander Rob Hamill’s story of his brother’s death at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, Brother Number One explores how the regime and its followers killed nearly 2 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979. 99 minutes

All films begin at 7:00 PM. To purchase tickets, click here or purchase at the West End Cinema box office.