Friday, May 1, 2009

Watch Apichatpong's Mobile Men and other Stories on Human Rights

Thai indie director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is among the filmmakers and artists who took part in last year's Stories on Human Rights, a 22-segment compilation that was made for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Here's the list of films and their directors:

  • Dangerous Games, Marina Abramovic (Serbia/The Netherlands)
  • A Boy, a Wall and a Donkey, Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine)
  • Lili & Ra, Armagan Ballantyne (New Zeland)
  • The Voice, Sergei Bodrov (Russia)
  • Garish Sun, Charles de Meaux (France)
  • Des films à faire Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Ange Leccia
  • Trust, Runa Islam (U.K./ Bangladesh)
  • A Water Tale, Francesco Jodic (Italy)
  • What About Me?, Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen
  • Black Breakfast Jia Zhangke (China)
  • The Crossing, Murali Nair (India)
  • La Mangue, Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso)
  • I Drink Your Bathwater, Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland)
  • Voyage, Daniela Thomas (Brazil)
  • The Final Match, Saman Salour (Iran)
  • La Victoire sur les sachets, Sarkis (France)
  • Impasse Bram Schouw (The Netherlands)
  • Glass Ceiling, Teresa Serrano (Mexico)
  • N’Dimagou (Dignity), Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania)
  • Sobras, Pablo Trapero (Argentina)
  • Mobile Men, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand)
  • Participation Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia)

A book was also compiled as part of the project, containing interviews with the filmmakers, images from the movies and behind-the-scenes photos as well as contributions by 12 authors: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Khaled Hosseini, Roberto Saviano, Naguib Mafuz, Elfriede Jelinek, Ruth Ozeki, José Saramago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Assia Djebar, Nuruddin Farah, Toni Morrison and Mo Yan.

The films are divided into six themes, reflecting the six themes of the Declaration: Culture, Development, Dignity and Justice, Environment, Gender and Participation. Apichatpong's short, Mobile Men, is one of the Culture shorts. The 4:08-minute video has two young men riding in the back of a pickup truck as it rolls down the highway.

An initiative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the project was funded by the European Union and curated by Adeline von Furstenburg of ART for the World.

Stories on Human Rights premiered last November in Sao Paulo and has since been shown at many film festivals and special events and broadcast on television worldwide. The shorts are also on YouTube, including Mobile Men, which is embedded below.

But if you're in Bangkok and can wait until Monday, May 4, you can watch all 22 films without having to deal with your computer. It'll be showing at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. The showtime is 8pm. The screening, the first in Thailand, has been arranged by the European Union, and David Lipman, EU ambassador to Thailand, will serve complimentary wine and snacks.

Apichatpong is expected to be on hand afterward for a Q&A session.

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