FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival Montenegro 2018

About publication

The talk of human rights, whether in politics, science, or arts, sometimes comes across as a moving tale that the humankind tells while tucking itself to sleep, murmuring it almost by hearth, terrifying and inspiring itself in turns by the wickedness of monsters and the revolts of the brave. Lulling itself, every time, by the certainty of the happy end and the inevitability of progress. And yet if we had learned anything on our laborious trudge towards full awareness of the inalienability of human dignity, it is that there is nothing certain or inevitable about this path, and that falling behind is much easier than forging ahead.

Have we watched carefully enough, do we remember enough of those times when we traded the humanity of others for own comfort, when we surrendered the victims instead of sheltering them, when we choose not to see the camps and not to remember places of suffering? How did we understand humanity then? Who counted as human and who did not? And what were we playing at, refusing responsibility?

We would like to have left far behind and long ago the obstinate ghosts of fascism, slavery, poverty, exploitation, disease, and war. Maybe would could have done so, but we did not. They are our present too, and our reality. This is what the films of the ninth selection of the FAST FORWARD 2018 Human Rights Film Festival are telling us, each in its own way. These films are not afraid: with courage and imagination they cut to the quick of social injustices, mock the powerful and dream aloud. Films that fight and in which people fight.

Is it enough to just watch and remember? Of course not, but this minimal entreaty already lifts the thin alibi of ignorance and represents, perhaps, the first step towards accountability.