There is a free film festival coming up. Yes, it is absolutely free and so worth attending. The Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival is showing its 15th year of thought-provoking and inspiring films this month. The film topics range from race relations, immigration, censorship of whistleblowers, food sovereignty, global warming, indigenous rights and natural resource management. There is something for everyone.
The films themselves are well made and thoughtfully selected, but my favorite aspect of the festival is the encouragement of audience engagement. After each screening there is an audience discussion with a knowledgeable facilitator or even the director present. A variety of organizations from the community come to table and present as well. I love the range of people who participate; churches, student activist groups, non-profits.
Many of the films invite the viewers to examine our own lives, actions, inactions and habits. Having such a range of resources available at the screenings feels very empowering. Unlike other human rights film events that I’ve attended, the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival offers positive solutions. This makes all the difference between feeling disappointed with humanity or feeling inspired, empowered and hopeful.
If you are looking for ways of becoming a more informed and engaged citizen, please do check out the full film and venue schedule at bhrff.webs.com. The festival runs Feb. 19-28.