20:33 - 14th February 2013, by David West

Human Rights Watch London Film Festival In March

The 17th edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be presented in London from 13 to 22 March 2013.

The line up is composed of a total of 19 documentaries and dramas, including many UK premieres and seven films focusing on Asia:

Thursday 14 March 18.30, Curzon Soho
As a young Muslim girl in India, Salma was forced into seclusion once she reached puberty. Forbidden to study and pushed into a marriage, she secretly composed poems on scraps of paper. Against the odds, she became a famous poet, the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village.

My Afghanistan - Life in the Forbidden Zone
Saturday 16 March 19.00, Ritzy / Sunday 17 March 18.00, Curzon Soho
Nagieb Khaja, a Danish journalist of Afghan origin, travels to Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province in Afghanistan. Khaja gives people living in outlying communities mobile phones equipped with cameras and asks them to film their daily lives, providing a rare glimpse into the war-torn existence of ordinary Afghans.

Camp 14 - Total Control Zone
Monday 18 March 18.15, Curzon Soho / Wednesday 20 March 18.15, Ritzy
Born inside a North Korean prison camp as the child of political prisoners, Shin Dong-Huyk was raised in a world where all he knew was punishment, torture, and abuse. Filmmaker Marc Wiese crafts his documentary by quietly drawing details from Shin in a series of interviews, weaving anecdotes from a former camp guard and a member of the secret police with powerful animated scenes capturing key moments in Shin's life.

The Act Of Killing
Monday 18 March 18.15, Ritzy / Tuesday 19 March 18.15, Curzon Soho
A true cinematic experiment, The Act of Killing explores a chapter of Indonesia's history in a way bound to stir debate—by enlisting a group of former killers, including Indonesian paramilitary leader Anwar Congo, to re-enact their lives in the style of the films they love.

Alias Ruby Blade: A Story Of Love And Revolution
Tuesday 19 March 21.00, Ritzy / Wednesday 20 March 18.40, Curzon Soho
Once an aspiring documentary filmmaker, Kirsty Sword instead became a revolutionary, working in Jakarta for the Timorese resistance. Using the pseudonym "Ruby Blade," she smuggled video equipment, computers, and audio cassettes to their leader Xanana Gusmão, who was serving a life sentence in the notorious Cipinang Prison.

Jai Bhim Comrade
Wednesday 20 Mar 18.15, ICA
Award-winning activist and documentarian Anand Patwardhan focuses his keen lens on the abuses committed against India's Dalits - 'untouchables' - in this film 14 years in the making, incorporating their voice through their stirring resistance music and poetry. Denied basic human rights for centuries, condemned to clean the filth of the upper caste for rupees a day, and then abhorred as lesser beings, the Dalit struggle is deftly counterbalanced by intimate family portraits, moments of inspiration, perseverance, and glimpses of a better future.

Nowhere Home
Wednesday 20 March 21.00, Ritzy / Thursday 21 March 18.40, Curzon Soho
In this compelling documentary, filmmaker Margreth Olin follows a number of boys from Salhus, a Norwegian centre offering temporary residence to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. While all the boys at Salhus hope for an extension of their asylum status, the threat of deportation when they turn 18—and uncertain futures in Afghanistan, Iraq, or other war-torn countries—hangs over all their heads.

Many of the filmmakers will be attending the festival and participating in Q&A sessions after the screenings of their works.

For the full line up, visit

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