InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2022
InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2022
Thursday, April 14, 2022,
– Saturday, April 16, 2022,
The InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will feature a series of eight screenings accompanied by Q+A’s and roundtables intended to foster dialogue between documentary filmmakers and members of the IU community and the public who share common areas of interest and expertise. Documentary films have long been used as effective teaching aids and tools for facilitating public debate on contemporary socio-political issues. ILFF continues this tradition by creating an opportunity here in Bloomington where people can find inspiration in this important work, and all members of the IU community can make worthwhile connections with documentary films and filmmakers.
The festival’s film selections are screened in the Wells Library Screening Room of the Moving Image Archive, the IU Cinema, and Buskirk Chumley Theater. All screenings are free and open to the public.
The Viewing Booth (2019), Wells Library Screening Room, 4:30 p.m.
Acasa, My Home (2020), IU Cinema, 7:00 p.m.
Detroit 48202 (2018), Buskirk Chumley Theater, 12:00 p.m.
Post-Screening Q&A with PAm Sporn
Since I Been Down (2020), Buskirk Chumley Theater, 3:00 p.m.
Post-Screening Q&A with Gilda Sheppard and Tonya Wilson
Donbas (2018), IU Cinema, 7:00 p.m.
Black Mother (2018), Wells Library Screening Room, 1:00 p.m.
Midnight Family (2019), Wells Library Screening Room, 4:00 p.m.
Collective (2019), IU Cinema, 7:00 p.m.
About the Films
Film Summaries are taken from IMDb, the film’s website, or Wikipedia:
The Viewing Booth, directed by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, recounts a unique encounter between a filmmaker and a viewer — exploring the way meaning is attributed to non-fiction images in today’s day and age. In a lab-like location, Maia Levy, a young Jewish American woman, watches videos portraying life in the occupied West Bank, while verbalizing her thoughts and feelings in real time. Maia is an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, and the images in the videos, depicting Palestinian life under Israeli military rule, contradict some of her deep-seated beliefs. Empathy, anger, embarrassment, innate biases, and healthy curiosity — all play out before our eyes as we watch her watch the images created by the Occupation. As Maia navigates and negotiates the images, which threaten her worldview, she also reflects on the way she sees them. Her candid and immediate reactions form a one-of-a-kind cinematic testimony to the psychology of the viewer in the digital era.
Acasa, My Home, directed by Radu Ciorniciuc, tells the story of a family that lived for 20 years in the wilderness of Vacaresti Delta, until the place gained the status of a protected area – Vacaresti Natural Park – the first urban natural park in Romania. For four years, director Radu Ciorniciuc followed the Enache family through their great adventure: from a life in complete harmony with nature to the life full of challenges in the great urban jungle of the capital. At the same time, the film team also developed a social project to which many specialists and humanitarian organizations contributed, so that now, all nine children of the Enache family have documents, go to school, are regularly seen by doctors, and the adults have permanent jobs.
Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route, directed by Pamela Sporn, explores the rise, demise and contested resurgence of America’s “motor city” through a multi-generational choir of voices who reside in mail carrier Wendell Watkins’ work route. Oral histories convey the impetus behind the African American migration up north while personal accounts shed light on the impacts of the fight for housing justice, the legacy of industrial and political disinvestment, and a confluence of events and failed policies that resulted in Detroit’s bankruptcy. Blamed for the devastation but determined to survive, the community offers creative solutions to re-imagine a more inclusive and equitable city.
Since I Been Down, directed by Gilda Sheppard, documents the work of Kimonti Carter, former president and current member of an over 40-year Washington State prisoner-initiated program, the Black Prisoners’ Caucus. At 34, Kimonti founded TEACH (Taking Education and Creating History), a remarkably innovative prisoner education program. Kimonti and a group of his peers maneuver through a non-negotiable pathway to joining gangs as early as 11-years-old. This is a community profoundly impacted by the city’s disinvestment in housing, education, and employment as well as our policies in the 1990’s. The film, told by the people who have lived these conditions, unravels intimate stories from interviews brought to life through archival footage, cinema verité discussions, masquerade, and dance , unravelling why children commit violent crime and how these children – now adults – are breaking free from their fate by creating a model of justice that is transforming their lives, our humanity and a quality of life for all our children.
Donbass, directed by Sergei Loznitsa, consists of a series of narrative fragments touching upon the nature of the current war between Russia and Ukraine. The film departs from a conventional depiction of war: a chronological and historical order is substituted with a grotesque and phantasmagorical scene revealing the absurdity of destruction. How does propaganda shape the individual’s perception of events? How does “fake news” construct alternative truths and realities? In a masterfully constructed film, which was awarded Un Certain Regard Award for Best Director at Cannes, Loznitsa delves into the psychology of war.
Black Mother, directed by Khalik Allah, is a a spiritual journey through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Thoroughly immersed between the sacred and profane, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.
Midnight Family, directed by Luke Lorentzen, is set in Mexico City, where the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. The film explores an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services.
Collective, directed by Alexander Nanau, centers on the 2016 public health scandal following the Colectiv nightclub fire in Romania. The fire immediately killed 27 people and injured 180. Over the ensuing months, 37 more victims die, partially due to the lack of proper healthcare at public hospitals. The films follows dual stories of investigative journalists at the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor uncovering public healthcare corruption and maladministration, and the government’s response to the crisis at the Ministry of Health.
In partnership with the IU Cinema, the InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is sponsored by the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Black Film Center/Archive, and the Media School.
Center for Documentary Research and Practice resources and social media channels