Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

19th Annual

2019 Festival Schedule

All films are FREE. Donations to the Film Festival and/or a new clean pair of socks for local homeless folks can be made at each film.

Official Selections:

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Alive and Kicking -- The Soccer Grannies of South Africa
(USA-RSA/2016/20min) A group of South African grandmothers come together on the pitch for a weekly time for camaraderie and health in the face of poverty and community disruptions. 
The Bleeding Edge
(USA/2018/99min) Personal stories of people affected by medical technology gone wrong give voice to injured victims as well as the need to challenge complex legal loopholes that allow corporate malpractice to go unpunished.
Burkinabe Rising
(USA/2017/72min) Burkina Faso, a small landlocked country in West Africa, is home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians, and engaged citizens who carry on the revolutionary spirit behind a popular insurrection that overturned dictatorship.
Children of the Civil Rights
(USA/2015/60min) For six years, a group of youths repeatedly asked for services in the restaurants of Oklahoma City. While this never made national news, it was part of long and nonviolent activism that resulted in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Disaster Capitalism
(AUS/2018/52min) The multi-billion dollar world of global development and aid entail a complex web of interests and movement, as this investigative film reveals of the investment industries and how aid dollars are spent.
The Issue of Mr. O’Dell
(CAN/2018/35min) In the early 1960s, Jack O’Dell was marching alongside Martin Luther King. At age 94, O’Dell eloquently recounts his organizing experiences and views—from early membership in the Communist Party to opinions on the current state of racial affairs in the US, including the Black Lives Matter movement.
Keepers of the Future
(ELSAL-USA/2017/24min) Drawing on a courageous legacy of resistance to the violence of military governments in El Salvador, a tiny coastal hamlet continues commitment to community wellbeing and building resilience to climate change as well as pressures to cede their land to outside investors.
Kids Can Save the Planet-Plastic Is Forever
(USA/2018/19min) A young filmmaker from the San Juan Islands, follows plastic trash to where it ends up -- with some surprising results. He shows how kids can help make a difference in a world that is increasingly dependent on plastic.
Kids Can Save the Planet-Tipping Point
(USA/2018/23min) Exploration of how humans have impacted the Earth. This multifaceted film even explains how cows affect climate.
Kids Can Save the Planet-Everything Connects
(USA/2018/35min) A visual kaleidoscope of how humans are harming the planet, but also the many ways we can live in balance with Earth.
(SWI/2018/8min) The fears associated with human search for refuge.
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The Other Walla
(USA/2018/19min) Latinx high school students in eastern Washington face uncertainties about lives and dreams, despite bright academic potentials, because of where they were born and how current immigrant policies undermine their futures.
No Trailer Available
(USA/2018/83min) When natural resources and a way of life are threatened by multinational interests, a group of fishermen rally their Baja community to protect water sources as well as the sea, through challenging their government, denouncing corruption, and demanding justice.
Plane Truths
(USA/2018/33min) As the U.S. defense "Pivot to Asia” is being felt and heard through massive jet operations at the navy base on Whidbey Island, in western Washington, does making life unbearable for locals and wildlife become no more than collateral damage for ever-increasing militarization of our society?
Redefining Prosperity
(USA/2018/57min) A small Sierra mountain town whose legacy of mining and timber extraction included severe ecological degradation and human rights abuses comes together around the battle to save a beautiful pristine river. (Includes an inspirational film festival, too!)
The Reluctant Radical
(USA/2018/77min) Confronting his fears, unlikely activist Ken Ward puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change. Breaking the law, through actions in Skagit County and the Pacific Northwest, he sees as a last resort and moral obligation to future generations.
The Sacred Place Where Life Begins
(USA/2013/19min) Gwich’in women speak out for their sacred land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, inspiring people around the world and in our own communities to recognize and oppose revived threat of oil and gas development in the far north.
Singing Our Way to Freedom
(USA/2017/87min) A vibrant, multi layered look at the life of Chicano musician, composer and community activist Ramon ‘Chunky’ Sanchez. In a life that encompassed the picket lines in California fields with Cesar Chavez, to social justice campaigns of our day, he and his music were beloved favorites at rallies and demonstrations for over four decades.
(USA/2018/93min) Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military. The film chronicles four individuals who defend their country’s freedom while fighting for their own, and how they put careers and family livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender.
The Unafraid
(USA/2018/87min) Follows the personal lives of three DACA students in Georgia, a state that has banned them from attending top state universities and disqualified them from receiving in-state tuition at any other public college.
Warrior Women
(USA/2018/67min) The story of mothers and daughters fighting for indigenous rights in the American Indian movement.  The film unveils not only a female perspective of history, but also the impact of political struggles on the children who bear witness.
Water Warriors
(USA-CAN/2017/27min) When an energy company begins searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, First Nations and settler families unite to protect their water and way of life. An inspiring account of community priorities resisting the fossil fuel industry.
White Right
(USA/2017/55min) In this Emmy-winning documentary, Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan meets U.S. neo-Nazis and white nationalists face to face. During the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, she seeks to understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in the U.S.