Human Rights Film Festival

November 8, 2008

The Human Rights Film Festival is touring Australia with many great films and documentaries about women. Unfortunately, as is often the case, most of the ones I’d really like to see are only being shown in Melbourne. These are the ones I’m going to see.

Behind Forgotten Eyes

Reel Change (short films about Climate Change) which includes Sisters on the Planet:

Ursula is a traditional owner of one of the Carteret Islands, off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Against a ticking clock, Ursula is working to relocate thousands of Islanders forced to uproot their lives due to rising sea levels which will leave their island home submerged and uninhabitable in just a matter of years.

Sisters on the Planet hones in on the tragic effects of climate change and those most startlingly affected.

and An Uncertain Future:

An Uncertain Future tells the story of the 2000-strong community living in the Cartaret Islands who will soon become the world’s first climate change refugees.

Made by a group of young Cartaret Islanders who had never before touched a camera, computer or MP3 player, this film poetically captures the views and reflections of the people as they prepare to relocate to the mainland due to rises in sea level which will make their Pacific island home disappear in a matter of years.

Screen Dreaming: Indigenous Shorts Session, which includes Backseat:

Inspired by Pauline Whyman’s own experience, Back Seat tells the story of a young Aboriginal girl Janine who goes with her foster parents to meet her biological family for the first time. From the back seat of her foster parent’s car, Janine watches as her blood family come into view and then recede into the distance.


Nana’s granddaughter thinks Nana’s pretty special. She loves her Nana because she helps the old people, she’s a good painter and other people love her too. Nana’s got everyone under control.


Following the 2007 release of the Little Children Are Sacred report – which exposed a worrying prevalence of child abuse in indigenous communities – the Howard government responded by bringing in emergency legislation known as ‘The Intervention’. This new policy generated public outcry and upturned the lives of the Northern Territory’s indigenous population.

Based on 40 interviews from a cross section of the aboriginal community living in and around Alice Springs, Intervention discusses town camps, quarantine laws, ration cards, alcoholism and the shame and disempowerment that has ensued as a consequence of governmental intrusion.

Lamberti, who has lived in Alice Springs since 2005, creates an intimate forum, straight from the community’s mouth. The end result is a rich dialogue of stories and viewpoints rarely found in mainstream media. The people whose lives have been affected since the implementation of the policy in 2007, were never given the chance to have their say. This is their voice.


  1. This looks really good. I’ve read a bit about Pacific Islanders who have to leave their homes due to climate change and it makes me soo sad. Having to be uprooted and leaving behind your history, your country gone; I can’t imagine. 😥

  2. Yeah, I know. It is so, so unfair that the people who are going to be most affected by climate change are not the ones who have cause it. I think those of us who live in Western countries deserve to be underwater because of the wounds we have inflicted on mother earth. But the Pacific Islanders? No way. They have cared for and appreciated her, lived in harmony and peace with her. They haven’t raped her nearly to death like we have/are/will.

  3. if you don’t like men, why don’t you just stay away from them?

  4. I am a LESBIAN SEPARATIST!!! Look it up moron.

  5. Hi,

    i originally came to your site through the articles you wrote about firefly, and have just been reading your blog since then. its really enlightened me a lot, i just wanted to leave a comment saying that. your blog has given me confidence, to the extent where i am no longer afraid to express my views, to the point where i feel informed enough, for example, to explain to idiots (who still seem to think that prostitution is ok, and that its a woman’s PREROGATIVE to go into that kind of life) that they are completely delusional.

    so, i just wanted to say thanks, as a lurker on this blog!

  6. Hi Neaera. Thanks a lot for your comment. I’m glad that you feel you have more confidence in speaking up for the rights of women in prostitution. It can be very confronting to try and combat the lies out there: that it is a free choice.. etc. So many people just accept that unthinkingly nowdays. Although I think a lot of women are against pornography and protitution. I think they know that it isn’t in their interests to be bought and sold as commodities. I think that many of us just feel helpless to do anything. But convincing others that it is a problem is the first step. Abolition is the next.

  7. Thanks for posting all of these documentaries, allecto. I find the one about the Australian government’s imposition on Aboriginal communities (in regards to child abuse) very relevant as I am going to Perth in just a month. I have learnt here and there about the issues that Aborigines deal with, and the oppression they face, at the hands of the Australian government, but I don’t know that much about it otherwise. It sounds eerily similar to the situation that many Native American Indians face here in the United States.

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