The festival will feature fourteen empowering documentaries and dramas celebrating courageous individuals. Two stories, from Peru and Australia, shine a light on fights for indigenous livelihood, land rights and protection of environmental resources.
Maya Newell’s In My Blood It Runs, made in collaboration with the Arrernte and Garrwa Elders, spotlights the beauty, resilience and challenges of Australia’s Aboriginal children through the stunning profile of 10-year-old Dujuan, who has a strong connection to his culture, speaks three languages, and is regarded as a healer in his community. But his strength and intellect go unnoticed within the colonised Australian school system. Director Maya Newell will take part in a Q&A session.
Dujuan, ten years old, explains: “I was born a little Aboriginal kid. That means I had a memory – a memory about being Aboriginal.”
At the time of filming, 100 percent of the youth in Alice Springs detention centres were Aboriginal. In this powerful portrait, made in collaboration with Dujuan's family, Maya Newell puts the beauty, resilience, and challenges of the Northern Territory’s Indigenous children in the spotlight.
Maxima tells the incredible story of 2016 environmental Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña and her family, who own a small, remote plot in the Peruvian Highlands. The Acuñas rely solely on the environment for their livelihood, but their land sits directly in the path of a multi-billion-dollar project run by one of the world’s largest gold-mining corporations.
Faced with intimidation, violence, and criminal prosecution, we follow Máxima’s tireless fight for justice taking her from the Peruvian Supreme Court to the doors of the World Bank in Washington, DC. Standing ever mighty, Máxima sings of her love of the land in the face of widespread oppression of indigenous people, and relentless attempts to destroy environmental resources that the world relies on.
Marianne Brooker is The Ecologist's content editor. This article is based on a press release from the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.