Say what you will about the political efficacy of Hollywood tackling political themes("Syriana," "Munich," "Good Night, and Good Luck," etc.), but the activist media organization, Witness, really makes movies that have an impact. Tomorrow, Saturday Dec. 10, to honor International Human Rights Day (who knew it existed? does the pro-torture Republican lobby celebrate the holiday?), the Sundance Channel will air "Witness" at 8pm, a program featuring videos produced by Witness partners. Joy Press' TV column in the Village Voice (always unfairly tossed into the back pages of the paper) presents some of the shocking highlights, among them the story of a young girl soldier fighting in the Congo, who brags about taking up arms at the ripe old age of 10 to avenge the murders of family and friends.
Witness cites such accomplishments this year as the freeing of a Mexican man who was tortured into confessing to kidnapping and murder, a call to overhaul California's Youth Authority, reform of Paraguay's psychiatric facilities, and funding and reparations for landmine victims in Senegal.
In 2006, Witness is planning videos to expose slave labor in Brazil; child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo; internally displaced persons in northern Uganda; mental disability rights in Croatia; and the educational desegregation of Romani children in Bulgaria.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. . .