The Dream of Shahrazad

This year's edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival gets underway Friday here at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and downtown at the IFC CenterThe series brings human rights issues to life through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all.

The opening night film, 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets by American director Marc Silver, is a riveting documentary that explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense laws. Through the investigation of the trial of Michael Dunn, a middle-aged white man who fired 10 bullets into the car of four unarmed African-American teenagers after an argument about the volume of their music, Silver delivers a powerful story about the devastating effects of racial bias and the search for justice within the U.S. legal system. 

Other notable selections include The Dream of Shahrazad from filmmaker Francois Verster, which explores how music and storytelling can serve as an outlet for citizens to process political upheaval. Of Men and War tells the story of several soldiers struggling to recuperate from their time in Iraq and Afghanistan who seek assistance at The Pathway Home, a first-of-its-kind PTSD therapy center. This Is My Land follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers as they help their students understand the complex and violent world around them.

All screenings will be followed by discussions with the filmmakers and human rights experts. Watch trailers for all films screening here at the Film Society below.

3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets

Beats of the Antonov

Burden of Peace

The Dream of Shahrazad

Life Is Sacred

No Land’s Song

Of Men and War

This Is My Land

The Trials of Spring

The Wanted 18