NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 18, 2013

CINEMATIC COURAGE

PEM hosts 10th annual Human Rights Film Festival

As it has for the past 10 years, The Peabody Essex Museum, will help celebrate Martin Luther King weekend by showcasing films that present profiles in global courage.

This year the festival will show six films over the three-day weekend that Jennifer Evans, founder and scheduler, hopes will render audience members both entertained and inspired.

The festival begins tomorrow and runs through Monday. Each day the films begin at 1 p.m. and the program concludes at 5 p.m. Evans suggests making reservations online.

The films focus on diverse subject matter, ranging from Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei; to an American activist who bid on public land and then held it in reserve for conservation, much to the federal government’s disapproval; to a unique look at breast cancer victims who believe that all that pink ribbons and happy talk surrounding cancer survival can mask the reality that breast cancer kills.

Evans said that each of these films is designed to connect with the spirit of Martin Luther King, the Nobel Prize-winning Baptist minister whose birth is now celebrated as a national holiday.

“The people in these films are not afraid to speak their minds,” Evans said.

Here’s a quick look at the films:

“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” tomorrow.

“Ai Weiwei is very current,” Evans said. “He’s an important contemporary artist and he’s on a very public stage right now,dealing with some very large issues. He transcends language and culture.”

Evans said the Peabody Essex Museum also has “a 200 year connection with China and we’ve exhbitied Ai Weiwei ‘s work in the past, so his role as an activist and artist fits our mission.”

“Bidder 70,” tomorrow, 3:15 p.m.

“This is a fascinating American story about Tim DeChristopher. He’s gotten into trouble in this country,” Evans said.

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