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Amnesty International Film Festival returns

Still image from Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

Amnesty International Film Festival

Saturday, Jan. 29 @ The Capitol Theatre

The big screen offers the big picture this Saturday when the lights dim for the ninth annual Amnesty International Film Festival.

Two films in a Saturday afternoon double bill offer contrast and food for thought. At 1:30 p.m. Nero’s Guests, filmed in India in 2009, follows the filmmaker (a rural affairs editor of a Hindu newspaper) as he examines the story behind the almost 200,000 farmers who have committed suicide in the last decade.

Cut to The Yes Men Fix the World at 3 p.m., a two-time festival award winner in which two gonzo political activists infiltrate the world of big business, their outrageous pranks highlighting corporate greed.

By posing as top executives of the corporations they hate, Yes Men Mike Bonnano and Andy Bichlbaum don thrift-store suits, lie their way into conferences, and parody their corporate nemeses, from Dow Chemical to Exxon.

Saturday evening’s fare begins at 7 p.m. with H2Oil, an examination of the downstream effects of the billion-dollar Athabasca tar sands industry, particularly as it impacts the community of Fort Chipewyan.

When alarms are raised about occurrences of rare cancers, industry and government cover-ups are exposed.

At 8:45 p.m. Pray the Devil Back to Hell, the final film of the festival, chronicles the story of courageous Liberian women and their crusade to end a bloody civil war and mend a shattered country in a film that honours strength, perseverance, and grassroots activism.

Amnesty International is an independent organization that works to protect human rights around the world through education and advocacy. The annual film festival is one way to reach out and engage, educate, and inspire, the better to foster understanding of human rights issues.

Tickets, available at the Capitol Theatre box office or online at www.capitoltheatre.bc.ca, are just $6 for either afternoon or evening presentations. For more information visit www.amnestyfilmfest.ca.