February 11, 2011, 7:00pm
Film Screening: "Pushing the Elephant"
Presenter: Lina Cherfas (Hands United/Manos Unidas, Latino Commission on AIDS)
Location: International House, 37th and Chestnut

Pushing the Elephant (2010), dir. Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel, USA, BetaSP, 84mins, color, English and Kinyamulenge and Swahili with English subtitles

An intimate family drama set against the backdrop of the 1998 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pushing the Elephant tells the story of Rose Mapendo, who was separated during the conflict from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. Rose survived the atrocities of those years and was eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona, with her other children. Now, after 12 years apart, Rose and her daughter Nangabire are reunited in the US. Through the story of their reunion, we come to understand the excruciating decisions Rose made in order to survive and the complex difficulties Nangabire faces as a refugee in the US—torn between her painful past and a hopeful future.

Part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. The works featured during Selections from the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival help to put a human face on threats to individual freedom and dignity, and celebrate the power of the human spirit and intellect to prevail. They enable people to see human rights issues and their impact through the art of film, a medium that has the power to share individual stories of suffering and of strength across borders of all kinds. We see these films as capable of creating forums for discussion in communities across the Philadelphia Region and seek to empower everyone with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a very real difference.

Human Rights Watch, The Greenfield Intercultural Center, The Middle East Center, and the African Studies Center.