Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

0 out of 4 stars

Country
USA
Language
English

After weeks of chit-chat about what celebrities are going to win, wear and say at the Oscars, tonight's opening of the fourth annual Human Rights Watch International Film Festival offers the opportunity for more meaningful movie discussion. The small but well-rounded program includes eight dramatic or documentary features, each followed by a guest speaker and audience discussion about the film and the human-rights issues explored on the screen. (U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, which has offices in Toronto, conducts research, publishes reports and seeks media attention to influence governments to stop human-rights abuses in their countries.)

The festival's star attraction is 2006 Palme d'or winner at Cannes, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, an exploration of the human cost of civil war, set during the 1920s Irish uprising. The Monday screening, which includes an appearance by its veteran British director, Ken Loach ( Riff-Raff, My Name Is Joe), is sold out. The film opens elsewhere in Canada on March 16.

There is a second Irish film being featured, offering a decidedly different slice of Eire life. The award-winning Pavee Lackeen (Sunday, 3 p.m.) has a fresh documentary feel thanks to the performances by amateur actors who play a mother and daughter living in a trailer in an impoverished, marginalized traveller community. Globe and Mail television critic and author John Doyle speaks after the screening.

Story continues below advertisement

The opening-night film, Laurent Herbiet's engrossing and topical drama Mon Colonel (tonight, 8:30 p.m.), was co-written by Greek director Costa-Gavras ( Missing, Hanna K., Z etc.). Set mostly during the Algerian 1954-1962 war of independence with France, Mon Colonel opens like a standard whodunit -- an old man, retired Colonel Duplan (Olivier Gourmet), is shot dead while alone in his study.

The contemporary investigators, a dishevelled French detective and a pretty female military officer, start receiving anonymous packages containing excerpts from a diary written by young French lieutenant (Robinson Stévenin) during his tour of duty in Algeria. The lieutenant's story, filmed in black and white, focuses on his strained relationship with the colonel, whose rationale for using torture as a counterinsurgency tactic has a chilling resonance in the context of the current war on terror. CBC Radio's Anna Maria Tremonti and Julia Hall, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, co-host a post-film discussion.

Other HRW films include: The Dignity of Nobodies (Mon., 8:45 p.m., at NFB Mediatheque, 150 John St.), an ambitious yet intimate documentary about Argentina's underclass; Source (Tues., 6:30 p.m.), about the oil industry's influence in Azerbaijan; Offside (Tue., 8:30 p.m.), a topical feature (given the recent Quebec soccer hijab kerfuffle) by Jafar Panahi about Iranian female soccer fans; John and Jane (Thur., 8:30 p.m.), a rich, cinematic and often hilarious doc following six young Indians working late-night shifts at call centres.

The slow-moving yet utterly captivating character study Dry Season, screening tomorrow at 8 p.m., sends the most subtle yet powerful message. After a truth-and-reconciliation process in Chad offers amnesty to former civil-war fighters, a young man leaves his village seeking revenge against his father's killer, now a baker. The two form a tentative bond in a story in which a gunshot, surprisingly, is the sound of hope.

Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, March 2-8, $10.14 ($5.90 for Cinematheque members). AGO's Jackman Hall, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-968-3456, http://www.cinemathequeontario.ca.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies