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ALBA! Impugning Impunity Film Series
Posted in News |

The Puffin Foundation is proud to be a co-sponsor of a new film series on the international crisis of human rights organized by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.



799 Broadway, Suite 341, New York, NY 10003 Phone: 212-674-5398 Fax: 212-674-2101


New York, NY— Focusing on the international crisis of human rights, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives proudly presents Impugning Impunity: A Human Rights Documentary Film Series, at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, opening on November 3 at 6:30pm.

The festival will showcase five outstanding documentaries devoted to transitional justice, universal jurisdiction, historical memory, and reconciliation. All films are subtitled in English. General admission is $10/film.

The series begins on November 3 at 6:30pm with Impunity (2011), a film made in Colombia about the prosecution of paramilitary forces. The screening includes a Q&A session with filmmaker Hollman Morris, followed by a reception. Prosecutor (2011), screened on November 4 at 6pm, explains the job of the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as the Court starts its very first trials. The Mexican Suitcase (2011), screened on the same day at 8pm, tells the story of the recovery of over 4.500 negatives of photographs taken by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David “Chim” Seymour during the Spanish Civil War; the screening includes Q&A with filmmaker Trisha Ziff. On November 5 at 6pm, the Chilean film Nostalgia for the Light (2010) takes us to the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth, where astronomers, archeologists, and family member of desaparecidos —the disappeared during the Pinochet dictatorship— converge. The series concludes on November 5 at 8pm with Granito: how to Nail a Dictator (2011), featuring the work of Guatemalan and international human rights activists, archivists, anthropologists and attorneys who contributed un granito –their grain of sand—to the nearly three-decade long struggle to bring justice to Guatemala.

The festival is co-sponsored by the Puffin Foundation, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTY), and Icarus Films.

About ALBA - During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) nearly 40,000 men and women from 52 countries, including 2,800 Americans, traveled to Spain to join the International Brigades to help fight fascism. The U.S. volunteers came to be known collectively as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Founded in 1979, The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational nonprofit organization. ALBA organizes educational and cultural programs related to the war and its historical, political, artistic, and biographical legacies, and grants the annual ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism. ALBA seeks to preserve the legacy of progressive activism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations to work conscientiously and effectively toward a better and more just society.

For more information, please contact Marina Garde: Tel. 212 674 5398

Thursday, November 3: Impunity at 6:30 pm. Screening includes Q&A with filmmaker Hollman Morris. Reception to follow.
Friday, November 4: Prosecutor at 6pm; The Mexican Suitcase at 8pm. Screening includes Q&A with filmmaker Trisha Ziff
Saturday, November 5: Nostalgia for the Light at 6pm; Granito: How to Nail a Dictator at 8pm. Screening includes Q&A with filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis.

Films featured:
Impunity/Colombia (2011) (Directors: Juan José Lozano and Hollman Morris) Running time: 85 min. Colombia today: the biggest trial against Paramilitary armies - accused of killing thousands of Colombians - is designed to create "peace and justice.” Instead the process comes to an abrupt halt when the political and economic interests in the paramilitary war are uncovered.

Prosecutor/Canada (2011) (Director: Barry Stevens) Running time: 94 min. Luis Moreno-Ocampo has one of the toughest jobs in the world. He’s the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s first permanent court to try individuals for massive crimes like genocide. To victims of atrocities, he’s a hero. To his critics from the Right and the Left, he’s threatening stability and peace. The world’s most powerful nations, including the United States, refuse to join the Court. A fascinating story with extraordinary behind-the-scenes access, PROSECUTOR follows every move of this flawed yet charismatic champion of human rights as the ICC begins its very first trials. Moreno-Ocampo travels to the world’s most violent countries to investigate and prosecute those accused of brutal crimes against humanity. Not shy of controversy, the prosecutor boldly issues a warrant for the arrest of a sitting head of state. But with no police force of his own, Moreno-Ocampo must rely on nation-states to enforce his law.

The Mexican Suitcase/Mexico, Spain (2011) (Director: Trisha Ziff ) Running time: 90 min. The Mexican Suitcase tells the story of the recovery of 4,500 negatives taken by photographers Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and David Seymour during the Spanish Civil War. The film follows the journey of these negatives to Mexico – images as exiles, recovered seventy years later. The Mexican Suitcase brings together three narratives: the suitcase, the exile story, and the way people in Spain today address their own past, 30 years after the democratic transition. The Mexican Suitcase addresses the power of memory and asks: Who owns our histories?

Nostalgia for the Light/Chile (2010) (Director: Patricio Guzmán ) Running time: 90 min. For his new film master director Patricio Guzmán, famed for his political documentaries, travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe. The Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners, “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the military coup of September, 1973. So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families’ histories. Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the women, NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.

Granito: How to Nail a Dictator/USA, Guatemala, Spain (2011) (Directors: Pamela Yates, Paco de Onis and Peter Kinoy) Running time: 90 min. A story of dark deeds, a quest for justice, and ultimately the power of collective action. As a young filmmaker in 1982, director Pamela Yates went to Guatemala to make a documentary about a hidden war. That film, When the Mountains Tremble, featured a young Maya activist named Rigoberta Menchú who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2004 lawyers prosecuting an international genocide case asked Yates to comb through that historic film and its outtakes for possible evidence to be used against the same dictator, Ríos Montt, who spoke to her on camera 3 decades before. Suddenly the old footage took on a second life.