a film by Michael Chanan
with Ariel Dorfman
A report on the politics of human rights at the start of the new century. Seen through the eyes of the Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman as he visits Washington DC in September 2000 for a series of events around human rights issues which include the presentation of his play ‘Speak Truth to Power’, based on a book of interviews with human rights defenders by Kerry Kennedy Cuomo.
The film features several of the actors who appeared in the reading of the play at the Kennedy Center, including Hector Elizondo, Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Alfre Woodard. Also featured are contributions from several of the subjects of the book and the play who participated in a Round Table at the Washington College of Law, including Bruce Harris (Guatemala/UK), Kailash Satyarthi (India), Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh) and Harry Wu (China), and from one of the lawyers at the event, Prof. Michael Tigar.
Shot and edited in digital video by the British documentarist and film scholar Michael Chanan while he was visiting professor at Duke University, North Carolina. This video was made with unpaid labour and at a cost of less than $3000, with support from Duke University Literature Program, Film Program, Center for Documentary Studies and Center for International Studies.
A useful resource: Ariel Dorfman Resource Page
Alec Baldwin Kevin Kline Rita Moreno Hector Elizondo
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Sigourney Weaver Giancarlo Esposito
John Malkovich Alfre Woodard
The play directed by Gregory Mosher
The photographs by Eddie Adams
The film made with support from
Duke University Literature Program,
Film & Video Program,
Center for Documentary Studies,
Center for International Studies
With special thanks to
Fredric Jameson Nan Richardson Monica Henriquez
Kerry Kennedy Cuomo Craig Brownstein Sankofa
Sound Recordist Michael Goren
Filmed, edited, produced and directed by Michael Chanan