The third annual Amnesty International Film Festival concludes its program of film and video focusing on human-rights struggles around the globe.
The festival runs through Sun., Sept. 17, and includes free screenings Saturday and Sunday. All films are to be screened via video projection. For more information see www.amnestyusa.org/filmfest or call 412-291-9233.
8 p.m. Wed., Sept. 14. Melwood
ON THE FRONTLINES: CHILD SOLDIERS IN THE D.R.C. (Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004, 15 min.). Along with grainy battlefield footage, On the Frontlines -- co-directed by WITNESS and Bukeni Beck -- features heartbreaking interviews with a handful of former child soldiers. They talk calmly and sensibly about disemboweling enemies, smoking copious amounts of marijuana before battles and ultimately, losing their innocence. In Swahili and French, with subtitles. (Dan Eldridge)
WAR GAMES (U.K./Sudan, 2005, 58 min.). Marc Allen's documentary depicts a "bootleg Olympics" that occurred in the Southern Sudan in January 2003, as thousands of children came together to compete in the athletic event, despite their region's ravages of war. In English, Dinka and Arabic, with subtitles.
8 p.m. Thu., Sept. 15. Melwood
I KNOW I'M NOT ALONE (USA, 2005, 95 min.). Spearhead musician Michael Franti packs his guitar and video camera for a journey through Iraq, Israel and Palestine. His loose documentary serves as a primer for the region's ongoing troubles, but the film's best moments are when the intrepid Franti uncovers oddities such as how Baghdad's lone death-metal band is hampered by electrical blackouts. However, I wish Franti had sung less of his songs and simply let the local people tell their own stories. In English, and Hebrew and Arabic, with subtitles. (Al Hoff)
7:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 16. Porter Hall 100, Carnegie Mellon University. Free.
THE DEACON OF DEATH: LOOKING FOR JUSTICE IN TODAY'S CAMBODIA (The Netherlands, 2004, 65 min.). Jan van der Berg's film follows Sok Chea as she attempts to bring to justice an elderly man believed to have murdered her family during Pol Pot's regime 30 years ago. It starts as a factual investigation, but given both the time elapsed and the prevailing Buddhist philosophy, the search for justice becomes an exercise in atonement and forgiveness. Also screening, "The Day The Buffalo Escaped" a 5-minute animated short from Madevi Dailly depicting a Cambodian girl on the day the Khmer Rouge invade her village. In Khmer, with subtitles. (AH)
7:30 p.m. Sat., Sept. 17. David Lawrence Hall 120, University of Pittsburgh. Free.
SEOUL TRAIN (USA, 2004, 54 min.). This harrowing documentary from Jim Butterworth, Aaron Lubarsky and Lisa Sleeth depicts the desperate plight of North Korean refugees, who cross into China only to be forcibly repatriated back to North Korea despite international laws protecting refugees. Amidst this massive geopolitical morass, the filmmakers capture a few fleeing personal moments of this struggle, often shooting on the fly, as refugees and Chinese activists work to evade the authorities. In English and Korean, with subtitles. (AH)