November 3, 2009 7:00 pm
Are you convinced that there were no voting irregularities in 2004? Then witness Fannie Lewis in action on November 2, 2004 as she struggles to manage a polling station in a predominantly African American precinct in Cleveland, Ohio. Facing record numbers at the polls, Ms. Lewis spends her day on a cell phone begging for the machines and the technical support Ward 7 needs to handle the throngs of frustrated voters. On the one hand, No Umbrella is a sobering reminder of the United States’ inadequate election process. But the film sharpens its satiric edge by emphasizing Fannie Lewis’s steadfast sassiness in the face of the day’s frustratingly repetitive rituals. This delightful documentary won the Jury Award for Best Short at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Is democracy a universal value that suits human nature? Do elections inevitably lead to manipulation? “Please Vote for Me” is a portrait of a society and a town in through a school, its children and its families. A Grade 3 class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents. The purpose of Weijun Chen’s experiment is to determine how democracy would be received if it came to China.
The film will be followed by a panel featuring guest speakers TBA.
This new film series features documentaries about human rights themes that were award winners at the annual FullFrame Documentary Film Festival. Exploring issues as diverse as voting rights, the right to die, the death penalty and access to education, these exceptional works of art move us even as they pose tough questions about whose rights are protected and why. The films are archived at the Duke Library and are part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials. The film series is sponsored by the Archives for Human Rights, the Duke Human Rights Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute.