The first thing that strikes about them is their eyes: questioning the unfairness of this world. They are child labourers employed by the carpet industry of Pakistan (Rights and Wrongs). In Nigeria, the Ogoni led by writer Ken Saro Wiwa protest against the denudation of their fertile land at the hands of oil explorers (We,the people), a crime for which Wiwa is executed by the military regime.
These evocative films were a part of the International Environmental Film Festival organised recently by the British Council Division, Calcutta. The films were presented by the Television Trust for the Environment, UK. Chosen from a wide range of environment-related issues, the themes for the films included people's movement and the environment; and human rights and the environment.
It was refreshing to see how the directors had brought out the interrelation between people and environment vis-a-vis human rights. Suspended dreams is a comment on the artificial chasm between close-knit communities in Beirut, while We, the People looks at grassroots movements across the continents.
The general message that came across was that sustainable development, the buzzword today, can never be successful without recognising human rights.
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