ICTJ Presents Two Film Premieres at Human Rights Watch Festival

5/24/2011

ICTJ is pleased to announce two films premiering at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (HRWIFF) in June.

IMPUNITY (New York premiere) + Q&A with filmmakers

What is the cost of truth for families immobilized by Colombia’s violent past? In 2005, Colombia started gathering evidence about the horrific violence being carried out by illegal paramilitias. A highly controversial Justice and Peace process allowed paramilitary leaders to hand in their weapons and give themselves up voluntarily in exchange for reduced sentences. Impunity documents the hearings in which paramilitaries describe atrocities they have committed in detail as the families of their victims listen and watch on projected screens. Through a series of these testimonies, footage of paramilitary crimes, and interviews with victims and experts, the brutal history of paramilitary violence comes to light. Yet due to serious irregularities in the Justice and Peace process, many families express their fear that they will never know the truth surrounding the deaths of their loved ones, and that the perpetrators will escape punishment. In an era where many countries are tempted to sacrifice justice in the name of “peace”, what happens in Colombia will resonate beyond its borders.

Wednesday June 22 6:30 p.m.
Thursday June 23 9:00 p.m.
Friday June 24 4:00 p.m.

For tickets, visit: http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/impunity

Presented in partnership with ICTJ, Cinema Tropical and Committee to Protect Journalists.

LA TOMA (The Siege) (U.S. premiere) + Q&A with filmmakers

La Toma (The Siege) from Pivot Pictures on Vimeo

When the wife of Carlos Rodriguez said goodbye to her husband as he left for work at the Palace of Justice on November 6, 1985 – she never imagined the next time she would see him would be on a video tape decades later, being escorted by Colombian soldiers at gunpoint out of the building. La Toma deftly captures the inconceivable story of the siege of Bogota’s Palace of Justice, home to Colombia’s Supreme Court. When 35 heavily armed members of the emboldened M-19 guerilla movement storm the Palace of Justice in November 1985, hundreds are taken hostage, including nearly all of Colombia’s Supreme Court judges. For 27 hours, the country is transfixed as the military moves in to regain control and a fiery battle ensues. When the smoke clears, close to a hundred people are dead and twelve others are unaccounted for, their bodies vanished without a trace. The family of Carlos Rodriguez, like many others, believes their loved ones have been “disappeared”—removed from the building by government forces, accused of aiding the guerillas, tortured, and then killed. Twenty-five years later, the families of the disappeared demand answers, no matter how devastating the truth may be. Colonel Plazas Vega, a leader of the operation, is indicted for their disappearance. In the course of his highly charged trial, the lawyers, prosecutors and the judge all face death threats and fear for their lives. The case becomes a touchstone for the integrity of justice in Colombia and beyond.

Tuesday June 28 8:45 p.m.
Wednesday June 29 6:30 p.m.
Thursday June 30 4:00 p.m.
For tickets visit: http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/la-toma-the-siege

For more information, visit http://www.hrw.org/en/iff/new-york