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Thank you for inviting the Human Rights Watch Film Festival into your home. Our 10 films this year cover a wide range of themes. You may want to consider the suitability of the films for yourself and those you’ll be watching with. Each film has a synopsis and trailer to help you consider whether the film is appropriate.

If you have selected a film you know might be challenging, we have provided techniques below that our own Human Rights Watch researchers use when viewing sensitive and distressing content.

Set up your environment

Try to be in a place where you won’t be disturbed, ideally not where you go to relax, like your bedroom. Consider who else is in your home and whether they can see your screen. To focus on the film and stay present, turn off your emails and phone if possible. Have a plan for what you’ll do after viewing the film. Try not to watch just before bed.

During the film

If you experience any physical or emotional reactions, take a moment away from the film, mute the sound or pause the film, and try to shift focus from what you are seeing. Perhaps instead think about the purpose of the film and what can potentially be done to address the issues highlighted. Take a few breaths and come back to the film when you feel ready. Others find grounding techniques helpful, for instance putting both your feet on the ground. If you feel shocked, cover the screen, mute the sound, or skip sections of the video.

After the film

Process the themes of the film in a way that suits you. That can include talking with family and friends about the film and/or doing further research into the issues explored in the film you would like to know more about. Or, plan activities after the film that you find relaxing like taking a walk, watching something lighter, reading a favorite book, exercise, cooking, or connecting with family and friends.

Suggested Action Steps

If you feel moved to take action on the issues covered in the films you’ve watched in this year’s festival.

200 METERS

A ONCE AND FUTURE PEACE

APART

BAJO FUEGO

DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD

FORGET ME NOT

IN THE SAME BREATH

TACHELES - THE HEART OF THE MATTER

THE RETURN: LIFE AFTER ISIS

UNAPOLOGETIC