Powerful films and unforgettable documentaries can highlight human rights in ways speeches and documents never will says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.
“This year’s winning film at Cannes “Dheepan” gives a face to the millions of men, women and children who are refugees: homeless, stateless and often faceless,” said Dame Susan.
“Understanding human rights starts with understanding the struggles other people face, being able to see the world through their eyes even if just for a few hours.”
Documentary Edge is New Zealand’s International Documentary Film Festival, it opened last week in Auckland and will open in Wellington on the 1 June.
“Documentary Edge showcases everyday people from around the world facing extraordinary challenges,” said Dame Susan.
“These films are the human stories behind the headlines and breaking news items and they’re stories that you’ll probably never forget.”
Dame Susan is repeating her call made on Race Relations Day for New Zealand to increase our refugee quota – that has remained unchanged since 1987.
“We have a responsibility to do more and to play our role on the world stage, it is the right thing to do,” said Dame Susan.
“We do not want to look back in years to come and say “we wish we did something for those poor people”, The time to do something is right now: we must increase our refugee quota,” said Dame Susan.