On justice, activism and what is not considered normal, but is only different

Between the 15th and the 24th of March 2019, the 12th edition of One World Romania International Human Rights & Documentary Film Festival will take place in Bucharest.

The 12th edition selection – brought together this year by Andrei Rus and Vanina Vignal – includes three sections which have already become a tradition for One World Romania: they are dedicated to justice, activists and people with disabilities.

The section “Forms of Justice” contains five European films and a Brazilian documentary. In March we shall find out the story of the removal from office of the first female president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, we shall meet five men convicted for paedophilia in an atypical prison in Corsica and we shall walk around one of the oldest and most renowned tribunals of Paris, learning of the history, the utility and the mystery of every of its corners.

One of the most representative films of the section is “The Trial”, the most recent documentary of director Sergei Loznitsa, composed solely of archive footage which explores the concept of justice as show, through one of the first Stalinist show trials of the ‘30s, trial against a few economists accused of planning a coup d’état against the Soviet government.

In the section named “New Possibilities” we have gathered the stories of activists fighting for their own rights and those of the communities they are part of, but also for laying a better and more just foundation of the contemporary world. In the documentaries we shall present in March, they fight to save a forest of Paraguay from the corporate exploitation sheltered by corrupt governments, they join with a revolutionary idealism the rebels of Douma, Syria, living side by side and trying to find out how much art can help the reconstruction of a country destroyed by war, or they fight in Congo for the democratization of a country whose president has been delaying for years the organisation of new elections and is treating his protesting citizens with bullets.

An important film of the section is “The Divide / La Grieta”, by Yrene Yague Herrero and Alberto Garcia Ortiz. The documentary shows the struggle of certain historically marginalised families to stay in their state-rented social homes in Spain. Their struggle takes a new meaning when they discover the power of their community to organise itself and to act so to defend the rights of its members.

The section “In another reality” carries us through the families and the worlds of people of various mental disabilities, in an attempt to break prejudice, to teach us to discover them in their own particular complexity and to ascertain how important it is for those around them that they exist, even if they ways in which they see reality is perhaps so different from others.

For example, “What Madness/ Quelle folie”, by Diego Governatori, introduces us to Aurelien, who has Asperger syndrome, a disorder on the autist spectrum characterised by severe difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. The director puts us face to face with Aurelien, forcing us to ponder upon various themes, one of the most important being the questioning of terms such as “normality” and “disorder”.

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