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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 5:31 am | Fair 46º


Double Feature to Open Santa Barbara Human Rights Film Festival

Reception will precede April 9 screenings of Granito: How to Nail a Dictator and The Siege (La Toma)

UCSB Arts & Lectures and the Carsey-Wolf Center will present Granito: How to Nail a Dictator and The Siege (La Toma), two outstanding films exploring government malfeasance and the quest for justice in Central America, at 7 and 9 p.m. respectively on Monday, April 9 at the UCSB Pollock Theater.

The double feature will kick off the Seventh Annual Santa Barbara Human Rights Film Festival, a compelling showcase of a dozen eye-opening international documentary films.

An opening night reception with wine and refreshments will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. before the screening.

Part political thriller, part memoir, Granito is a riveting film set in Guatemala that spans four decades. Directed by Pamela Yates (of When the Mountains Tremble), this extraordinary, prize-winning documentary weaves together stories of people affected by the Guatemalan military’s killing and disappearance of nearly 200,000 Mayans in 1982 and the attempt, years later, to bring a dictator to justice.

The Siege (La Toma) relates the bloody insurrection that took place in Bogota, Colombia, in 1985, when armed guerrillas took over the Palace of Justice. The Colombian military responded, turning Bolivar Square into a battlefield, with hundreds of civilians taken hostage.

This film deftly explores what happens 25 years later, long after the smoke has cleared, when a colonel is confronted in a highly charged trial and the families of the “disappeared” demand answers about their loved ones.

Additional support for the film festival was provided by the Human Rights Watch Santa Barbara Committee and The Fund for Santa Barbara.

An evening pass to see one or both films is $10 for the general public and $5 for UCSB students with a current student ID. For tickets or more information, call 805.893.3535 or click here to purchase online.

— Karna Hughes is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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