When it comes to social-issue documentaries, the citizenry has finally figured out that the best (and usually only) way to find out whats happening in the world is from independent filmmakers on the ground, not ad peddlers in the CNN Tower. A time-honored way of getting the lowdown is the annual array of docs touring under the banner of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Tonight brings Youth Producing Change, a revelatory compilation of short exposés from all over the planet, made possible by the advent of inexpensive digital camcorders and the courage of youthful would-be journalists and filmmakers. Onetime local Julie Bridgham, whos spent a large chunk of the last six years chronicling the plight of women and children in Nepal, returns home with The Sari Soldiers, a record of the campaign for justice waged by six unfathomably brave women amidst civil war. The chant from Chicago 68 still echoes: The whole world is watching.
Youth Producing Change screens at 7 p.m.
March 5-26, 2009