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How to Nail a Dictator

photo: Jean-Marie Simonphoto: Jean-Marie Simon

As I was musing about the past year of filmmaking and outreach that we’ve been doing at Skylight Pictures, it occurred to me that much of the focus of what we do, as well as the actions of the human rights heroes that appear in our films, plus the sustained and committed work of all of our outreach partners in the field, could be described as: how to nail a dictator.  Whether it’s all the “granitos” (grains of sand) coming together in the amazing story of the 30-year quest for justice depicted in Granito , or the use of The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court in a grassroots campaign to bring Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to justice, the common theme is people pushing for societies governed by the rule of law and respect for our shared humanity, and part of that process is to nail the dictators.  Our film State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism was based on the work of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and many of their findings illustrated in the film helped to convict former authoritarian President Alberto Fujimori for human rights crimes – he is now in prison facing a 25-year sentence.  Granito is a great example of how documentary films and social media tools are being used in the pursuit of dictators – stay posted for festival screenings in your area.

Paco de Onís
paco@skylight.is

Paco is the Executive Director at Skylight.