Films on Human Rights

Once more, Sydney Film Festival engages audiences and inspires discussion about social justice and human rights issues with a program brimming with diverse human stories.

Austerlitz

A fixed camera films visitors to the sites of Nazi death camps, watching as they observe, and thereby questioning the nature of history and remembrance.

Chauka Please Tell Us The Time

Manus Island is the setting for this unique collaboration between an Iranian-Kurdish journalist detainee and an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, made with footage from a mobile phone.

Defiant Lives

The history of the disability rights movement, featuring a litany of impressive activists determined to create a world where everyone, regardless of impairment, is valued and can participate fully.

The Divine Order

Women of a small Swiss village band together to campaign for the women's right to vote, ahead of the crucial 1971 ballot, in this rousing, inspirational film.

Elián

When a Cuban boy was rescued off the US coast in 1999, no one could have predicted the wide-reaching ramifications.

Hope Road

In the latest film from festival favourite Tom Zubrycki, a South Sudan refugee returns to his village to build a school, but his ambitious plans are challenged when life intervenes.

House of Others

Winner of the East of the West Grand Prix at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, this is a visually stunning drama about two families struggling to adjust in a post-war world.

I Am Not Your Negro

Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerising Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.

Insyriated

A mother attempts to keep her family safe as war rages and a sniper lies in wait outside her home. This nerve-wracking study of life in Damascus won an Audience Award at Berlinale.

The Last Goldfish

A daughter's search for her lost family stretches from Australia to Trinidad and WWII Germany. Rich with archival images, Su Goldfish's autobiographical documentary echoes through all those touched by forced migration.

Last Men in Aleppo

An unforgettable and visceral portrait of White Helmet volunteers toiling amidst the rubble of the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. A Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance.

Motherland

A vibrant Sundance award-winning Filipino documentary filmed in the busiest maternity hospital in the world, that reveals an overcrowded, hectic and yet profoundly humane environment.

Nowhere to Hide

The top prize-winner at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam: four turbulent years in the life of resilient male nurse living in Iraq's 'triangle of death'.

The Opposition

A David-and-Goliath battle over a slice of Papua New Guinea paradise, Hollie Fifer's documentary finally reaches our screens following court action in Australia.

Sea Sorrow

At the age of 80, Oscar-winning actor and political activist Vanessa Redgrave has directed her first film, a heartfelt response to the refugee crisis. Selected for Cannes 2017.

Sexy Durga

With an improvised narrative and dialogue Sexy Durga, winner of the Rotterdam Tiger Award, cleverly contrasts the worship of goddesses with the treatment of women in Indian culture.

Short Film

Superheroes

Young James uses the immense power of his imagination as a sanctuary from violence for himself and his family.

The War Show

A multi-award-winning documentary that chronicles Syrian radio DJ Zytoon's experiences following the 2011 Arab Spring, as hope gives way to grim reality.

Short Film

Wolfe

An intimate confessional from Nick, who learns that the imaginary friend in his head was real, and violent.

The Woman Who Left

The Venice Golden Lion-winning epic from Filipino master Lav Diaz (From What is Before, SFF 2015) explores a woman's quest for revenge following her unjust 30-year incarceration.

The Workers Cup

As they labour to build the facilities for Qatar's FIFA World Cup, migrant workers living in 21st century slave conditions participate in a soccer tournament of their own.

The Young Karl Marx

Alongside his film I Am Not Your Negro, playing at SFF this year, director Raoul Peck created this rigorous and fascinating biopic of Karl Marx and the beginnings of communism.