Human Rights Art and Film Festival
Words - Nick Jeffries Photos - Courtesy of HRAFF
In it's 8th year running, the Human Rights Art and Film Festival features new and innovative films from all over the globe that focus on human rights issues.
One of the highlights in this year’s selection is The Humanitarians, a ‘hybrid’ genre film from up- and- coming German director/ writer Maximilian Haslberger. Divided into 2 parts, the film centres on Jochen (part 1) and Sven (part 2), two disabled protagonists on a quest to fulfil their innate sexual desires and longing for love. The film mixes documentary, fiction, and even science- fiction in an effort to blur the lines between what is real and not real, inverting the audience’s perceptions, and, ultimately, what it is to be disabled and able bodied.
Another top pick is Ivory Tower, a documentary that investigates the student loan crisis in America, a seemingly outdated system that condemns students to a lifetime of financial hardship and debt. For it’s short runtime (90 minutes), film maker Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the NY Times) covers a lot of terrain, exploring alternatives to universities such as Cooper Union’s free education, community college, online lecture programs, and 'Uncollege', a platform that encourages high school graduates to bypass the 'college experience' altogether. While the film offers no definitive solutions to the crisis, it successfully demonstrates the frustration and urgency in which the issue needs to be addressed.
Other highlights included Pervert Park, the name of a rehabilitation centre in America that houses 120 registered sex offenders, and also be sure to catch a session of Australian and International short films.
HRAFF is currently screening at ACMI from 7- 21 May before heading around the country on tour.