What To Watch (May 2014)

Films make you feel something and emotions teach you stuff, so the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (May 8-22) will make you better at life.  Who needs annoying internet quotes like ‘You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce’ for motivation when you can just go to the movies.   And if my rambling doesn’t convince you then take it from HRAFF patron, Margaret Pomeranz: “Film and the arts have so much power to influence the way we see the world, to heighten our awareness of the plight of those in our community and in the world community.”

For the computer geeks there is The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.  By the time he was 19 Swartz was co-founder of Reddit and had authored lots of important sounding pieces of code.  A child programming prodigy, he’d won numerous awards before he was 15.  As he got older he was an admired advocate for freedom of information and online activism, but in 2011 he was charged for releasing government documents and faced long jail time.  Tragically he took his own life in 2013, aged just 27. A must see film of our times.

Take your political mates to see The Square.  Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar this year, this is the opening night film. It follows a small group of Egyptian activists united against their corrupt government.  Everyone will be inspired by this topical story of people power, political or not.

With your lover on date night you could see Love Sex Senior because if you are planning on being together long term this will be you guys one day – wowsers!

For a mother’s group movie night there is Breastmilk.  Understandably, you may want to to avoid the topic of babies on a night out, but it cannot be denied that there are some strong opinions regarding breastfeeding doing the rounds.  This film explores why something so everyday has become so contentious.  Could make for better conversation than whose baby has learnt to roll over first.

And locally, on May 21, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council Chambers will be transformed into a cinema, screening a series of short films that celebrate cultural diversity (in honour of World Day for Cultural Diversity).  Entry is via gold coin donation and there is free popcorn.  They had me at free popcorn, but this is a great opportunity to see some eye opening films that you won’t find at the local Hoyts.

The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival runs May 8 – 22 at ACMI and other city venues – www.hraff.org.au

Penny Ivison writes monthly for PEARL on film & TV. If there’s anything you’d like to let Penny know about that’s happening in the Bayside or Peninsula area in 2014, you can find her on twitter on @pipsicedtea.