“Presumed Guilty” at the 2010 Human Rights Watch festival

“Presumed Guilty” is the title of this year’s closing night doc at the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival, a co-presentation of Human Rights Watch and The Film Society of Lincoln Center that takes place June 10th – 24th at the Walter Reade Theater here in NYC, showcasing 30 diverse cause-driven films from 25 countries. It’s also a fascinating peek inside the Orwellian and oxymoronic Mexican justice system where corruption is so ingrained that those in charge are left nearly flabbergasted when young lawyers Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete, along with filmmaker Geoffrey Smith, show up to challenge the status quo camera firmly in tow. Continue reading

Disinterment on the Killing Fields: “Enemies of the People” at the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Having taken home the 2010 Sundance World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize earlier this year, “Enemies of the People,” Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath’s subtle look inside the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge through interviews with the killers themselves (including Nuon Chea, a.k.a. “Brother Number Two,” co-ruler with Pol Pot and the highest ranking member still alive) now arrives in NYC, premiering June 18th at the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival where it is this year’s recipient of the Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking. It’s also a case study in investigative journalism done right. Continue reading