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THE LONG, LONG SEARCH FOR JUSTICE

Who on this planet believes that good triumphs over evil? Even before 9/11, our so-called civilization seemed chaotic and scary, providing little hope that innocents would be protected and murderers brought to justice. Yet, as always, serious artists continue to not only protest moral corruption--all the physical and psychological atrocities committed by profiteers, politicians and militants--but to examine conditions that create a climate in which lethal madness thrives.

Have the world's filmmakers come up with answers offering illumination, perhaps even solace? Starting June 14, we can find out at the Walter Reade Theater, when the Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln Center launch the 13th Annual Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. The series, featuring 33 dramatic and documentary films and videos from 15 countries, will run through June 27.

What subjects will be tackled? Here's just a sampling: Starting right at the top with the pope, Catholic officials are accused of knowing far more than they should have known about the Holocaust in "Amen," which will be shown at Alice Tully Hall on June 12, two days before the official beginning of the festival; an Italian surgeon and a British medical coordinator work together amid the horrors of a post-9/11 Kabul hospital in "Afghanistan Year 1380"; one of America's most influential statesmen is charged with being a war criminal in "The Trials of Henry Kissinger"; conservative Christians voice their intense opposition to gay rights, even though their own children are openly gay, in "Family Fundamentals"; three young women who were abducted and used as sex slaves recall their torment in "Operation Fine Girl: Rape Used as a Weapon of War in Sierra Leone"; and, with just a touch of humor, American Indians fight poverty and alcoholism on a South Dakota reservation in "Skins," the film that closes the festival.

There, now. Feeling better?


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