Currently screening films in over 20 cities around the world, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) bears witness to human rights violations in direct storytelling and exposé form, 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. (Main image: JanaeUnapologetic_PhotographerCredit_Christine Irvine)
HRWFF makes effort to celebrate diversity of content and perspective in the films we select and post-screening conversations we host. From filmmakers to film subjects to panelists, we strive to prioritize space for identities, viewpoints, forms of expertise and experiences either silenced or marginalized in the film industry, news and media. Discussions following the screenings with filmmakers, film participants, human rights activists & journalists take place after every screening to provide our audience with the opportunity to dig deeper into the issues they have just seen on screen.
“Unapologetic” Film description: This is a profound and necessary story ripe for a country, and indeed a global, reckoning with racial injustice.
After two Black Chicagoans, Rekia Boyd and Laquan McDonald, are killed at the hands of the police, the Movement for Black Lives demands justice and organises to challenge an administration complicit in violence against its residents. Unapologetic introduces Janaé and Bella, two fierce activist leaders whose upbringing and experiences have shaped their view of what liberation could and should look like, as they urge for an expansive view of public safety that does not depend on the police. This invigorating documentary illuminates the love underpinning the anger and frustration that comes with being Black, queer women in the US, and elevates those who are most often leading the way while being denied the spotlight.
“If Black, queer, feminist people are not free, nobody else is going to be free” Kush, Unapologetic
“The organisers’ activism is not a choice, but an integral and immediate part of their lives. The visions of the communities they are building and their creation of an abolitionist programme of safety without policing is illuminating.” John Raphling, senior researcher, US Program, Human Rights Watch
Filmmaker(s): Ashley O’Shay
Country of Production: United States
Watch at your own pace from March 18-26, or watch along with HRWF:
Friday, March 26
- 7:00 PM GMT – Start watching the film on Barbican Cinema on Demand.
- 8:30 PM GMT – Join us for a live Q&A online. Free with RSVP.