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Fellowship hosts Hood River film fest

Two nights of films to begin April 30

Columbia River Fellowship for Peace will present two nights of films from the Human Rights Watch Travelling Film Festival on April 30 and May 1, at The Skylight Theater and Pub in Hood River, Ore.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is a world renowned and respected showcase for filmmakers from around the globe. With annual events in Amsterdam, London, New York, and San Francisco, The Human Rights Watch Film Festival serves to bring the world's diverse political and cultural landscape to an international audience through film.

This event will be a unique opportunity for viewers in the Mid-Columbia region to see four films that take the audience from inside modern Israel, to the turmoil in 1970's Chile and its aftermath, then on to the frontlines of world conflict with a photojournalist, and finally into the challenges and contradictions of the 21st century in Iran.

On Wednesday, April 30, "August" will be screened at 6:30 p.m. followed by "The Pinochet Case" at 8 p.m.

"August" is directed by Avi Mograbi and was produced in Israel in 2002.

From one of Israel's most political and humorous filmmakers comes a pointed snapshot of his country. The month of August is one of optimism and hope for many Israelis, including Mograbi's wife. However, for Mograbi himself, the month constitutes a metaphor for whatever is hateful in the state of Israel. In August 2001 the streets of Israel were filled with anger, frustration and fear. Determined to capture the current complexities of his homeland, Mograbi went into the streets of Israel with no script and no crew, but with a video camera, and captured on video more than he ever bargained for. Intercutting this footage with auditions he hosted for Israeli actresses to play the wife of the Israeli physician responsible for the massacre in Hebron in 1994, August becomes a chilling portrait of the emotional state of Israel today.

"The Pinochet Case" is directed by Patricio Guzman and was produced in Belgium, France, Chile, and Spain in 2001.

It has taken 27 years of hard work to demonstrate what we always knew to be true: history is made by the people, working anonymously. Whatever may finally happen to Pinochet, nothing will ever be the same in Chile or in the field of international justice,' says director Patricio Guzman. Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990 and for many years his name has been associated with human rights violations. Guzman's film documents the proceedings prior to the Chilean ex-dictator's arrest in January of this year. Covering the events from the moment Pinochet's plane touches down on English soil, to when he is placed under house arrest in Chile, the filmmaker presents a scrupulously balanced argument by including footage of pro and anti-protesters. Pinochet's Chilean victims give harrowing accounts of how they were subjected to horrific torture and interrogation in the regime's secret prisons, and of the way loved ones mysteriously disappeared. The Pinochet Case is a powerful insight into human suffering and survival.

On Thursday, May 1, "The War Photographer" will be screened at 6:30 p.m. followed by "Seven Days in Tehran" at 8:20 p.m.

"The War Photographer" is directed by Christian Frei, and was produced in Switzerland in 2001.

In one of the world's countless crisis areas, surrounded by suffering, death, and chaos, award-winning photographer James Nachtwey searches for the picture he thinks he can publish. He's a shy man who is considered one of the bravest and most important war photographers of our time, but he hardly fits the cliche of the hard-boiled war veteran. If we believe Hollywood pictures, war photographers are all macho men and cynical old troupers. How can they think about "exposure time" in the very moment of dread? Nachtwey is no rumbling swaggerer, but an unobtrusive man with gray hair and the deliberation of a lecturer in philosophy. 2002 Academy Award nominee, best feature-length documentary film.

"Seven Days in Tehran" is directed by Reza Khatibi and was produced in France and Tehran in 2002.

Following the re-election of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a French TV crew arrives in Tehran. Their mission is to chronicle the country's first experiments with democracy, and they become obsessed with getting the "real" story of the post-Islamic revolutionary Iran. Reza Khatibi, making his feature debut, casts himself as the curious, confused "Iranian/French" director, struggling to accept the new Tehran, feeling at once betrayed by his homeland and guilty for having left it behind in the first place. Seven Days in Tehran is an emotionally raw film with an exploratory style that recalls Cassavetes, and it gives us a vibrant portrait of an extraordinary country.

The Skylight Theater and Pub is located at 109 Oak Ave in downtown Hood River. There is a suggested donation at the door.

The Columbia River Fellowship for Peace is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to peace and social justice through education and events in the Mid-Columbia community.


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