"Where do human rights begin? In small places, close to home: the neighborhood; the school or college; the factory, farm or office. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice; equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere."

— Eleanor Roosevelt

The idea of human rights claims that all human beings possess the same basic rights no matter what their differences are, and that these rights put us in a reciprocal relationship of obligation to one another. Since human rights are the common birthright of every human being, respect is owed to all. Yet human rights are still widely denied, evaded, or ignored around the world.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Their annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, now in its 28th edition, bears witness to human rights violations and creates a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. The festival brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people. The films range widely and present us with many challenges to do the right thing, to speak truth to power, and to be open to the many teachers of human rights who walk the talk.

It currently screens in 13 cities around the world throughout the year. We are reviewing films from the festival co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center in New York City.

Tickets for June 9 – 18, 2017, in New York City.

Schedule of other cities.

• Friday, June 9, 6:30 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Nowhere to Hide
A laser-sharp documentary on the impact on civilians of five years of war and destruction in Iraq.

• Friday, June 9, 7:00 pm -
IFC Center
• Saturday, June 10, 8:45 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center

The Blood Is at the Doorstep
An expose of police violence against a mentally ill black man in Milwaukee.

• Friday, June 9, 9:30 pm -
IFC Center
• Saturday, June 10, 6:30 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Bill Nye: Science Guy
An edifying glimpse into the life and work of a TV celebrity transformed into a passionate critic of climate change.

• Saturday, June 10, 7:00 PM -
IFC Center
• Sunday, June 11, 8:30 PM -
Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater
Screening followed by discussion
The Apology
An important documentary about three courageous elderly survivors of sexual slavery and their quest for justice.

• Sunday, June 11, 8:45 pm -
IFC Center
• Wednesday, June 14, 7:00 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center

The Good Postman
A documentary that exposes bigotry, fear, and anger as toxic forces in a dying village in Bulgaria.

• Monday, June 12, 6:30 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center
• Saturday, June 17, 7:00 pm -
IFC Center

A riveting documentary about the abuse of migrant workers in large Chinese factories.

• Wednesday, June 14, 7:00 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center
• Thursday, June 15, 8:30 pm -
Film Society of Lincoln Center

Black Code
A documentary on threats to online freedom from malevolent cyberware used by governments, militants, and criminals.