Cinema for change: Human Rights Watch Fest sheds light on injustices


The 2012 Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) opened on June 14, and runs for two weeks at New York City’s Walter Reade Theater, screening 16 films set in 14 countries. Among the strong slate of documentary features are Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (IFC Films), about the eponymous Chinese dissident and conceptual artist, and Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Call Me Kuchu, a portrait of Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato, who was murdered in 2011.

Women and girls take center stage in several documentaries, among them David Fine’s Salaam Dunk, a delightful season spent with the first women’s college basketball team in Iraq, and Little Heaven, about a young woman in an Ethiopian orphanage for children with AIDS. In Mai Iskander’s Words of Witness, we meet a female journalist on her first assignment in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Narrative features include Maggie Peren’s Color of the Ocean, a moving story of a German tourist unable to turn away from illegal immigrants she encounters on the beach, and Kim Nguyen’s War Witch (Tribeca Films), which chronicles the life of a female child soldier in the Congo. The latter screened at HRWFF’s opening-night benefit. Susan Youssef’s Habibi, a love story set in Palestine, made its New York premiere the first weekend of the festival.

HRWFF has been showcasing the work of human-rights filmmakers for 23 years, each year awarding one the Nestor Almendros Prize, named for the late filmmaker-cinematographer who was a festival founder. The winning documentary at HRWFF 2012 is Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War, an emotionally charged look at rape in the U.S. military. The United States is also the focus of Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke’s Escape Fire (Roadside Attractions), in which doctors, insurance executives and patients discuss the failures of our healthcare system.

While HRWFF often features advocacy documentaries, this year it screens several documentary films that are distinguished by their investigative approach and objectivity, compelling viewers to assess their shared responsibility for safeguarding human rights. We had the opportunity to speak with five of these filmmaker-journalists whose work reminds us that freedom of speech and a free press are ensured only through the constant, careful exercise of these rights.

In Mai Iskander’s Words of Witness, we see Tahrir Square through the work of a female journalist on her first assignment. If we are at first surprised by a traditionally clad Heba Afify pulling out a steno pad to record the words of activists during the first days of the revolution, the 22-year-old’s courage in defying her mother’s authority is just as astonishing. Mrs. Afify keeps reminding Heba that she’s a girl, and girls from good families do not go out at night.

In Iskander’s riveting documentary, the swirling emotions igniting Tahrir Square seep slowly into the Afify household, but soon Heba’s smart-phone, buzzing with tweets and text messages, is the tocsin marking the point of no return—for Heba, her family and her homeland. The following is an edited version of my recent telephone interview from New York City with Iskander.

Film Journal International: How did you meet Heba and decide on her as a subject?
Mai Iskander: When I showed Garbage Dreams [2009] in the U.S., which had a strong female character, I was always asked about the role of women in Egyptian society. Women in the Middle East are actually very outspoken, but they follow traditional gender roles. I really wanted to go back and make a film about women, but I wasn’t sure what sort of angle I should take. Then the revolution happened, and a friend at the production company introduced me to Heba.

The editor at Heba’s newspaper said that when everyone else was running away from the scene, Heba was running toward it. I thought it was really interesting that she was thrown into the revolution when she had only become a journalist the month before. Then she told me about the problems that she was having with her mom. I realized that Heba’s relationship with her mother was the same relationship Egypt was having with the authority that was ruling them for so many years. They were both trying to break away from their “families.”

FJI: You are an Egyptian-American, right?
MI: Yes, and my mom is Czech.

FJI: It must have been a very moving experience to make the documentary.
MI: It was more overwhelming than exciting. It felt like what it must have felt like here in the ’60s when everyone was so politically motivated. Before the revolution, the general population was pretty apathetic. All of a sudden, the entire culture changed. It made me realize that we have so many freedoms in America that we take for granted. We are at risk for losing our freedom, too, if we don’t get involved politically, or we don’t vote. I thought about how lucky I was to grow up in a democracy.

FJI: Your title refers to Heba’s words, but to the words of so many others in the documentary, and of course it’s also self-referential.
MI: I don’t think I was conscious of that while I was filming, but I became fascinated with the role of Twitter. Things were so chaotic, the only way many people had a grasp for what was going on was through other people’s tweets. When the news was not giving you the truth, the voices of the people were. The tweeting worked out well for the documentary, too, because it took the place of old-fashioned title cards.

FJI: History has never belonged to women, but you’re fighting that in this documentary. Now I know what women were doing during the demonstration in Tahrir Square.
MI: You don’t think of stuff like this until you do outreach. We were doing outreach with all sorts of organizations, and one of them was a women’s journalism group. That is when I realized how much of journalism is controlled by men; 75 percent of the news is reported by men. You see that women don’t have a voice.

FJI: On American TV, the images and voices coming from Tahrir Square were those men.
MI: Yes, I was here and saw that. What’s really fascinating is that women kept the demonstration alive because they came out to the square and reminded people of their children who died in the revolution. Women were the voices of the martyrs, and people rallied around them.

FJI: And Heba’s mother changed through this whole process.
MI: Yes, at the end she became politically active. She came to Berlin and somebody asked her that question. She said: “It’s a struggle, but I take pills.” [laughter]

FJI: There is so much going on in this film. I am wondering what you want audiences to feel after they leave the theatre.
MI: Growing up as an immigrant, people looked down on my family, especially for being Arab-American. I want people to have a better understanding of the Arab world, and the role of women in that world. My documentary is a positive portrayal of a young Muslim woman. You don’t see a lot of positive portrayals in this country.

FJI: And with or without pills, Heba’s mom breaks as many stereotypes as Heba does.
MI: Yes, definitely!

In Call Me Kuchu, Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall endeavor to break a few stereotypes as well, perhaps because while researching the project, Zouhali-Worrall was asked: “There are gay people in Uganda?” David Kato and his gay and lesbian compatriots who appear in the documentary are called “kuchus” in their homeland. When the film opens, they are celebrating a gay couple’s anniversary in a rather “disciplined” way because of Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality law.

The men and women in David’s circle live in Kampala, and are educated and middle-class. They often gather for parties and picnics when they are not in court, or networking with LGBT activists in other countries. Fairfax Wright and Zouhali-Worrall, who have lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa, saw no victims when they pointed their camera at this engaging group of activists, even at the lesbians who confess to having suffered “corrective rapes.” So, what we see are Africans with authentic, purposeful lives. The following is an edited transcript of my phone interview with the filmmakers, who were on the West Coast.

FJI: How did Call Me Kuchu first come together?
Katherine Fairfax Wright: Neither of us had ever been to Uganda. I had worked in the DRC, and been to a dozen countries in Africa. Malika had spent a lot of time in Kenya, and been researching LGBT issues in the south. When she approached me about doing a film in Uganda, she had been corresponding with David and other members of the LGBT community who were out enough to have their names in articles that we had been reading online.

FJI: David was one of the founders of the LGBT movement in Uganda, but you also portray him as an imperfect human being. The scene where he calls his mother a bitch is shocking.
KFW: It was a conscious decision. We wanted people to see the David that we knew; he was doing things of great importance in the world, but he could also be very rude. David had this great sense of humor, was extremely intelligent and energetic, and had a terrible potty mouth. Actually, when David calls his mom “a ferocious bitch,” he means it as something of a compliment. She was a nurse and a single mom.

Malika Zouhali-Worrall: What I like about that moment is that he’s doing something that his friends find shocking. In a reaction shot, Naome is horrified. There are a lot of scenes of David where we mainly see him alone, or interacting with us. I think it’s important to see David in context. He liked to shock his friends.

FJI: The activists all have differing levels of commitment at the start, and we see them slowly becoming radicalized.
KFW: Yes, I think that’s true of David, too. He was very open about his sexuality all along, but he worked locally. He would run to the local prison or emergency room and get people out. Then he took a trip to the U.K., and his rhetoric changed. His activism became more holistic.

MZW: David started working in LGBT rights in the late 1990s. Kasha, who grabs the microphone in the funeral scene, had also been active since the ’90s. During those years, they had both seen the LGBT movement grow from a few local activists to a multitude of organizations. When the anti-homosexuality bill was introduced in late 2009, the activism changed. The bill was so awful that it drew attention and a certain amount of resources to Uganda. That enabled David and others to interact more than they had before with the international community. That brought about a big change.

FJI: It must have been very difficult to do post-production as you had to revisit many painful moments, including David’s death and that dramatic funeral scene.
KFW: Yes, it was really a challenge. For me, it was much harder to return to footage where David is expressing his vision for the future, his hopes and dreams, and when he is being funny and charismatic. I felt angry that he had been taken away from this cause and from me and Malika and everyone else who loved him. I cried so many times while editing the footage. Then I had to let go of that emotional attachment in order to choose the shots to include in the film. I felt very strange, as though I had to become dead to it all.

MZW: Because neither of us was there for the funeral, the first time we looked at the borrowed footage, it was very traumatic. Even now I find the funeral scene really moving because we were never there to mourn properly.

FJI: We see phases of LGBT activism playing out in the documentary which will resonate with American audiences, yet we also witness the global aspects of the movement.
KFW: Yes, for instance, in the U.S., the emphasis on the bullying of gay kids, and the suicides that result from it. The Internet and Facebook have helped LGBT kids and adults to find each other, as you see in the film, and that has changed the movement. The evangelicals in our documentary were being funneled from these mega-churches in the U.S., so that confrontation is also familiar.

MZW: We did not want to make a typical African doc with stories about victimization. We were anxious to show a different side of Africa, Africans who are educated and middle-class, who are on computers and cell-phones, and on Facebook more than we are.

After graduating from Brown University, Philadelphia native Alison Klayman went to China in search of adventure. She stayed four years, and met Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most well-known artist-dissidents. In her accomplished debut documentary, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Klayman introduces us to a man who happens to be an artist. At times, when Weiwei is with his aging mother or playing with his young son, an awkwardness reveals itself, as though the quotidian weighs heavily upon him. Klayman does not cut away, yet she also avoids underlining anything, unmasking her enigmatic subject so that he achieves the transparency he strives for in his art and in his life. What follows is my telephone interview with this talented young filmmaker.

FJI: How did the project come about?
AK: I had a Chinese friend who was doing a Ph.D in art history at Princeton, and she was curating an exhibition of his art work for a gallery in Beijing. Toward the end of that curating process, she invited me to spend time with Weiwei and then to make a video for the gallery, something that would loop for the four months that the show was up.

It was a special show because it included the 10,000 photographs that Weiwei took over the decade he spent living in New York in the 1980s and early 1990s. What you see in the film, those contact sheets, that was my introduction to Ai Weiwei. They had been lying around the house a year during the time my friend was working on the show. A couple of hundred ended up being highlighted in the show that then traveled around the world. It was a great entry point on a couple of different levels.

Weiwei’s time in New York is accessible for an American. I could imagine that time and space. The photos are sort of romantic—all these young Chinese artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers living Bohemian lives. I was an American woman living in Beijing 20 or 30 years later, so that I was in the same situation, looking for adventure abroad.

Art is not just art for Weiwei. He wants to talk about the issues of the day, and when I met him, he was just starting his earthquake campaign, and his blog, so there was so much that was so interesting right away that when I finished that video for the gallery, I thought there was more of a story to tell.

FJI: Did you learn Mandarin?
AK: Yes, I did. By the time that I met him, I was in the process of getting a journalist visa, doing interviews in Mandarin on my own. Everything in the film was done without a translator. I understood every single word that was said all the time.

FJI: It makes a big difference being able to conduct an interview in your subject’s native language.
AK: Yes, that’s true. Weiwei can speak English quite well, and lots of the time if he was speaking to me, he chose to speak in English. It was more about when everyone else comes by and the conversation switches to Mandarin or it was not intentionally involving me—knowing Mandarin allowed me to be a fly-on-the-wall. It could clue me into something that I should know about. The process of making this film was a bit like stalking someone.

Even though Weiwei was a gracious subject—you see how much access I had—he didn’t direct what I was doing. I can’t remember a single time when he called me because something was happening or about to happen. The truth is he has his own videographers and his head is in what he is doing. The better thing was to find out from someone else or from Twitter, and then I could approach him and say: “I heard you’re going to Chengdu next week. Can I come?” Invariably, the answer was “yes.” The only difficulty was his son. It took some time for him to agree to have him filmed.

FJI: Did you know about the affair, that the child was not his wife’s?
AK: Yes, because his son was born three months after I first met him, but I did not get to film him until he was one-and-a-half years old. It was a sensitive issue because he and his wife had to figure it out. Weiwei had become more open about bringing his son around as I was filming. It was very clear early on that it was an important, meaningful, new experience in his life and that it had to be in the film if I was going to do a good portrait of him. That’s why I didn’t let it go.

FJI: Tell my why you included a rather sexist interchange when Weiwei is at the Tate and talking to the curator. They both agree that “these things happen,” referring to his extramarital affair.
AK: I feel putting that scene out there was important so that the audience could decide what it means. Some people think he’s a model of openness and transparency, and other people have said that the scene is very offensive. In the end, whenever he’s asked about it, he engages with the questioner and he does it honestly.

FJI: The one overwhelming impression of China for me were the interior screens that organize personal space and hint at these complex layers of social and cultural cues. Sometimes I thought of them as a metaphor for things that must remain hidden.
AK: I think that is an interesting observation because Weiwei is continuously talking about transparency as a kind of universal value. You do have this layer on top of the cultural context in the film because, as much as Weiwei is talking about universal values and is an international figure and a symbol, I did not want to take away from him his Chinese-ness, the fact that he is a Chinese citizen and entrenched in the Chinese culture, politics and way of life. There is a clash there.

Now that I look back at transcripts, I realize that Weiwei was talking about transparency all the time. As I was making the film, I didn’t necessarily know what the big ideas were going to be. Freedom of expression and transparency are probably the two most important values that he talks about besides rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free press. I learned the value of transparency through his life, and the scenarios that he’s in and that he creates, and also through the art work and the ways that Weiwei speaks. An infusion of transparency in any system of power is going to be something that is on the road to justice and liberty. I didn’t know that beforehand; it’s something I have thought about from working on the film.

FJI: In creative work, the larger themes always emerge in reflection.
AK: Yes, and to me this project was not a film about an issue. It was a film about a person, and I wanted to present the best and most in-depth look at Ai Weiwei and what motivates him. Also, I wanted to capture what happens to him as it unfolds in real time. I thought it was important because it would give an international audience as accurate and honest a look at him as possible. In doing that, I thought it would enhance the conversation about China. I didn’t necessarily know how or why, and I did not want to push that on the story. It wouldn’t be interesting if you went into it and you knew what was going to happen.

FJI: I felt that you were sometimes exploring this boundary between filmmaker and subject.
AK: That makes a lot of sense. I felt that every day—I was having fun, but having to make those kinds of choices. For example, I filmed Weiwei being interviewed by many other journalists as well as myself. My distinct challenge to myself, and what I thought was important for the film, was to find those moments when I was the only camera in the room. I was working hard to find stuff that wasn’t being captured by anyone else, yet I always tried as much as possible to give myself a choice in the editing room.

FJI: Did you use some of the videographer’s footage?
AK: I did. For example, the fight scene during the third trip to Chengdu in August. There are two camera angles, the videographer being pushed around and me filming from the car. On those trips, it wasn’t always possible or desirable for me to film; sometimes, I stayed in the car. My number-one goal besides making a good film was not to do any harm or make anybody’s life more difficult, and my presence could do that. The shot of Weiwei taking off the man’s sunglasses, and the cop taking the photo of him, and the shot of him being jostled, those are all Zhao-Zhao’s camera. The wide shots were from the car.

FJI: So were you and your crew in danger at any point?
AK: Except for some of the sit-down interviews with his peers, the filming in the field was just me. I had no crew; that’s the only way I could get that kind of footage. From Weiwei’s perspective, it wasn’t a big deal having one person around. I ran sound by getting a Lavalier on him. That was the first mission of every day. I had a mike on the camera as well, so I could have two tracks of audio. If there was a day when I could not get a Lav on him, that was a day when I had to stay really close to the action. My background is in radio, so I did care a lot about the sound.

The people who are taking the real risks and facing the greatest consequences are the Chinese citizens, Weiwei included. I didn’t feel like the risk I was taking was anywhere near that in terms of any repercussions I would face. When Weiwei gets asked why the videographer is there, he doesn’t say it is because he’s making a video that he’s going to put online. It is for his own record. He wants evidence of what’s happening. People did not feel that way about me; the assumption was that I was reporting. That made me more conspicuous, and of course I was as a white person and a foreigner.

FJI: So you did all the filming yourself?
AK: Yes, except in situations where we were doing interviews with other artists or Weiwei’s brother; my producer Tom Jones came with me and did some of that camerawork.

FJI: What do you want audiences to take away from the film besides the obvious, that it’s a portrait of an international artist?
AK: Yes, that’s the baseline. Bigger than that, and the thing that I hope people take away but is not spelled out is the importance of freedom of expression, transparency and the rule of law. We need to safeguard these in every society. Part of the way you do that is through creative expression, which requires courage. Using your voice is sometimes an act of courage and it’s also a matter of art. It is vital for safeguarding our rights.

I believe that art and expression really play an important role in shaping our fight for social change. I always knew that was a nice sentiment; now I feel that it’s a fact. The takeaway is not “do this,” or “sign a petition.” It encompasses that, but it’s bigger. Use your voice. Speak out.

FJI: Two sequences in the film were quite moving, when Weiwei asks people to call in with the name of a child who perished in the [2008] earthquake, and when ordinary people walk up to his studio to give him money after finding out about the fine China is imposing on him. They knew there was a camera there capturing their faces.
AK: Absolutely. Throughout the film, you see so many average people’s acts of courage. You realize that they’re coming from the same place as Weiwei. In the scene you mentioned from the second anniversary of the earthquake, Weiwei explains why the project is important. It wasn’t just about this very powerful audio recording and having a crowd-source reading of 5,000 names. It was about getting people used to making recordings, sending e-mails and using technology. It’s about getting people involved, getting them ready to use their voices. That’s an incredible message.

FJI: You really needed the amount of access you got because this is a portrait of a conceptual artist; lots of what is going on germinates in Weiwei’s head.
AK: Yes, that’s right. Ai Weiwei’s art is Duchamp-ian in the sense that the ideas behind his projects are the point. I have so many hours of interviews that are just about art work being made and meetings with the woodworkers, the sculptor and so on.

FJI: You see some of that in the documentary.
AK: Yes, and I could make a whole movie about one piece of art Weiwei created, like the sunflower seeds at the Tate. I thought at first I could say everything in 90 minutes since I started in radio and had two minutes to tell an entire story. In the end, I had 300 hours of footage and I felt I could do more. I had to decide on the most powerful story, which is to understand how Weiwei sees his role as an artist. That ends up being less about the art and more about the artist.

Fernand Melgar’s Vol Special (Special Flight), about illegal immigrants at a Swiss detention camp called Frambois, is a follow-up to The Fortress (2008), his previous documentary about immigrants seeking asylum in Switzerland. Both films feature mostly African and Arabic émigrés up against one of the uncompromising immigration laws in Europe. Few of the inmates at Frambois have committed a crime. Having escaped poverty or persecution in their native countries, they are often employed and pay taxes to the state. Many have children who were born there, and families who are dependent on their income. Despite their economic independence, the inmates nevertheless face almost certain exile.

A self-taught filmmaker, Melgar’s work is reminiscent of Frederick Wiseman’s, most notably in Special Flight when he turns his camera on the staff at the detention camp. He refuses to portray them as the problem. Rather, Melgar offers a picture of institutionalized violence and betrayal, the apparent result of xenophobia and the price the Swiss are willing to pay in order to maintain one of the most stable economies in Europe. Below is the transcript of my telephone interview with Melgar from Switzerland. His assistant, Elise Shubs, also contributed by translating difficult passages (Melgar’s native language is French) and responding to two questions.

FJI: How did you become interested in the fate of immigrants in Switzerland?
Fernand Melgar: When I was very young, in the 1960s, my parents came to Switzerland for work. Immigrants were allowed to work here, but they were not allowed to have children. At the beginning of my life, I was an illegal immigrant, so this issue is very close to my heart. Also, it was important for me to finish the story I had begun in my last film, The Fortress.

There are 350 of these detention camps in Europe for illegal immigrants, and they represent 600,000 men, women and children. These people are not in detention camps because they committed a crime, but just because they are illegal. When I had the opportunity to go in one of them with my crew, into Frambois, we stayed for three months. This film shows just the tip of the iceberg. It is a camp near Geneva, the city where the Red Cross and other human-rights institutions have offices.

FJI: As a child, were you finally allowed to attend school and become a Swiss citizen?
FM: Yes, because my parents came in response to a great lack of workers in Switzerland. They took jobs that the Swiss would not do. So, when they discovered me and my sister, they finally accepted us, and my parents got green cards. My generation are called “cupboard children.” We were always hidden in apartments. Today, there is not so much need for immigrants. It is difficult for them to get work.

FJI: How large a crew did you have?
FM: We went to the camp for six months without a camera just to get permission from everyone there to film. We also wanted to study how the place works; it is fairly complex. My crew was composed of four people: me, a cameraman, Denis Jutzeler, a sound engineer, Christophe Giovannoni, and my assistant, Elise Shubs.

I think I should mention something Americans may not know about Switzerland: We have a direct democracy. We don’t have a Congress, so Swiss citizens vote for laws, and 20 years ago they voted for the law that created these camps or prisons. If you are illegal, you have to get out of Switzerland. I thought it was important for the Swiss to see the result of that law.

FJI: Was it difficult to get permission to film?
FM: It was not difficult for this camp because the staff is proud of what they do. We stayed all day, just like a worker in the jail. What was difficult is that we knew the day before or a few hours before what the fate of these men would be. We knew about the deportations before they did because we filmed the staff meetings. In those sequences where the family comes to visit, and the prisoner did not know what would happen, we knew. We could not say anything because a prisoner might commit suicide. Everyone, including the prisoners, knew we were in that situation.

FJI: That must have been very difficult emotionally for you and your crew.
FM: Yes, it was very, very hard. Also, when the men left, we did not have time to say “Goodbye.” We were also filming in that moment.

FJI: I kept thinking that if someone takes a camera inside Guantanamo, maybe they would find compassionate people who also thought they were doing social work, as was the case with the staff at this prison. When you screened the film in Switzerland, what was the reaction?
FM: The film was very successful in Switzerland. It was in theatres for two months. Always we tried to speak to audiences with a staff member from the jail. Audiences were shocked by what was in the film, and when they tried to criticize the staff, the worker would say that they were doing the job the society asked them to do.

I thought a lot about Hannah Arendt when I was filming. These prison wardens do the best job they can do, but in fact they do terrible things. Documentaries in Switzerland always have big audiences because people who vote want to know exactly what happens; they’re concerned with social issues. For six months, there were hundreds and hundreds of articles in the press about the expulsion of illegal immigrants.

FJI: Your way of work is similar to Frederick Wiseman’s.
FM: Yes, my job is to be a witness. I cannot do a film like Michael Moore. I wanted to show exactly what happens inside the prison. Sometimes it was difficult to keep my emotional distance. I knew that if I made an advocacy documentary or I became an activist, it would not work. The Swiss are conservative, and an objective film reaches the largest audience. Also, I always do a film in this way because I want to be a tool of democracy in my country.

FJI: Can you speak a bit about being a witness?
FM: Yes, for instance, I don’t want to use music or voiceover. As a filmmaker, I dislike seeing films with a house burning, and there a voiceover that says that the house is burning. I try to make a quiet film so that the audience is disquieted. I trust my audience. I devoted a lot of time to the staff as well as to the prisoners because I don’t want audiences to think that I am on either side. You mention Guantanamo. We can be angry with Obama because he promised to close it and he didn’t, but every American is responsible. I don’t want to say in my film that the authorities are responsible. Everyone must take responsibility.

FJI: What happens to the families of these men?
Elise Shrub: When they deport the father, they are hoping the wife and children will follow. Switzerland does not pay for their flights.

FJI: So they can stay in Switzerland?
ES: They live illegally in the country and then are sometimes arrested later.

FJI: You were not allowed to film the man who died from the constraints he was put in for his “special flight.” Do you think if that death was in your film, Switzerland would get rid of this law?
FM: No, I don’t think so. I tried to film up to the last moment, but I was not allowed. For me, it is stronger when the detainees come back from the airport and have to say what happened.

A few months ago, authorities released the results of their investigation into this man’s death and it said that he died a natural death. An organization in Switzerland which monitors medical ethics is trying to stop the “special flights.” I don’t think my film will stop them, but I think it helped to plant a seed. We showed the documentary to thousands of students, and they are the next generation of voters.