17th Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival Ongoing 17th Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival Ongoing

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)—The 17th annual Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival(SUHRFF) has been launched from Thursday, September 26 through Saturday, September 28. Just as the past 17 years, SUHRFF provides students and the public a good chance to watch movies free at the end of September.

This year, the opening night movie Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements is definitely a great success. More than 300 people came and highly commented on the movie. The film tells a story about an 11-year-old deaf boy Jonas, the director’s son, who has cochlear implants and is discovering a profound world of hearing—and music. As Jonas learns Beethoven’s famous moonlight sonata on the piano, his grandparents, deaf for nearly 80 years, watch with deepening awe what time and technology have bestowed their grandson.

Sobia Paracha is deeply touched by the movie. She’s a SU PhD student in political science department originally from Pakistan. The beautiful flow of Beethoven’s music going with the movie, and the love between the deaf generations have impressed her most. Syracuse resident Bill Gilber also loves the film and said he would love to talk to the parents about their successful education. He can not even feel the implant since the boy acts so normal—he’s being naughty, and tired of practicing the piano—just like every other boy.

As the kick-off movie of the 17th SUHRFF, Moonlight Sonata not only has a great story but also is the best present of the 2019 festival’s theme “Silence”. Tula Goenka is the co-director of SUHRFF since the very beginning in 2003. She’s a Television, Radio and Film professor in Newhouse, a film producer and a human rights activist for more than 30 years. Explaining why Moonlight Sonata, she said the film really opened up people’s minds and hearts to what the deaf community goes through on any given days.

The Movie is also a huge motivation for people to care about human rights, which Goenka firmly believes is something that worth all of us to fight on, “It’s not enough to only do your job, to look after your family, and say that’s it. Any change will only happen when people speak up. It’s happening because the young, the citizens of the country, or our humanity speak up together.” Paracha says we can always show our empathy. Gilber would rather just treat them as ordinary people, but our community needs to do something and let them feel they are living in ordinary ways.

Even though human rights sounds to be a big topic, but it’s not as hard as be we imagine to start doing something. The easiest way is to use social media to share related stories and inform as many people as we can. Or we can simply start with coming, seeing and sharing the wonderful movies in the annual film festival in Syracuse University. Here’s the schedule.

Reported by

Yuhan Zhao

Yuhan Zhao (Jaynee) is a graduate studying Broadcast & Digital Journalism at Syracuse University.

Other stories by Yuhan Zhao

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