Amnesty at the Movies

Amnesty International will be presenting two films in association with the Belfast Film Festival: The Jammed and In Prison My Whole Life. Each film will be followed by a panel discussion

The Jammed, April 12th, QFT. The Jammed is a powerful, beautifully shot film about sex trafficking in Australia. It became a project of award winning writer/director Dee McLachlan after she saw a buried news item about trafficked prostitutes. Deported after detention as illegal immigrants, their trafficker received a suspended sentence.

The post-show panel will include South Belfast MLA Anna Lo MLA, and trafficking expert Tomoya Obokata from Queen's University and will be chaired by Patricia Campbell of Amnesty International, a leading campaigner on violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

In Prison My Whole Life, April 14th, Baby Grand. The feature-length documentary examines the controversial case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther Party activist who has been in prison for murder in the United States since 1981, much of that time facing a death sentence. There are serious doubts about the fairness of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s original trial and he is currently appealing against his conviction. Amnesty international is calling for fresh trial.

The film also features interviews with writers Alice Walker and Noam Chomsky, as well as the musicians Mos Def, Snoop Dogg and Steve Earle.

It will be introduced by its protagonist, young journalist William Francome, who will also particpate in the panel discussion.

Each film will be preceded by Stuff of Life, a new ninety-second film from Amnesty, illustrating the horrors of the torture technique, 'waterboarding'. The powerful short film was directed by acclaimed film-makers Marc Hawker and Ishbel Whitaker and features the performance artist Jiva Parthipan as a waterboarding victim.

'Waterboarding' is currently the subject of intense controversy in the United States where CIA officials have recently admitted that their operatives have waterboarded “war on terror” prisoners in secret interrogations.

The film, to be officially released in April, is part of Amnesty international's “Unsubscribe” campaign (www.unsubscribe-me.org), that mobilises support for human rights in the 'war on terror'.

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