Human Rights Week Underscores Humanitarian Concerns
|The festival poster
For five consecutive evenings (October 15-19), movie productions tackling
selected works on injustice were shown in West Hall. The movie week, organized
by the Human Rights and Peace Club (HRPC) in collaboration with the Cine
Club, aimed at raising awareness among students of the scope of human
The program started with Michael Moore's Sicko, in which light was shed
on the shortcomings of the US health care system, especially when seen
in sharp contrast to the more efficient systems in Canada and Europe.
The film portrayed the everyday hardships encountered by US citizens,
owing to failure by health care officials to guarantee even the most basic
The following evening's showing of Women Beyond Borders by Jean Chamoun
was particularly moving and stirred up interesting points in the subsequent
discussion with the director. Chamoun expanded on the strength of character
enjoyed by the movie's protagonist, Palestinian ex-prisoner Kifah Afifi,
who suffered unbearable abuse in the Lebanese Khiam prison, yet still
managed to forge warm friendships with her fellow inmates.
Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nations gave an exhaustive dissection of
the US fast food industry, uncovering a very dark side to the typical
American meal. Burgers were revealed to be devoid of any nutritional value.
Consideration of the ingredients would make health-conscious members of
the AUB community heading towards a Bliss Street fast-food outlet turn
back in their tracks.
On gun trade to Africa, Hubert Sauper's Darwin's Nightmare explored the
dismal picture of "fit" capitalistic aspirations "surviving"
and thriving at the expense of the weak Africans.
Last shown but not least touching were Invisible Children and 100% Asphalt
by Carol Mansour. The two documentaries were concerned with the tragedies
of abandoned youngsters that constitute the Lebanese child workforce and
street children in Egypt.
The movie week enjoyed a fortuitous coincidence with the Trade Week of
Action, which calls for justice in global trade, and towards that end,
HRPC maintained a stand outside West Hall for the entire week to inform
students about trade injustices and inspire them to help take action.