Out Of The Silence: Fighting For Human Rights

Documentary made up of narration, archive footage, and current footage and interviews highlighting human rights struggles. The first half focuses on the victorious fight for human rights in Czechoslovakia, concentrating on methods of underground information dissemination, including samizdat literature and The Video Journal created by Czech dissidents. The second half focuses on the ongoing struggle for human rights in Guatemala. This main concentration is on the human rights workers and the Guatemalan government's attempts to squelch them through beatings, kidnappings, and killings.

0:00Copy video clip URL Opening: Introduction to the two main human rights struggles to be addressed, in Prague and Guatemala.

2:09Copy video clip URL Montage of WW II archive footage, including clips of Hitler, bombings, and concentration camps. History of the formation of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

7:00Copy video clip URL Importance of Non-governmental Organizations such as Amnesty International in the application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

8:28Copy video clip URL History of Communist regime in Czechoslovakia beginning in 1948. Archive footage of demonstrations in 1968 Prague. Samizdat literature is mentioned briefly.

10:45Copy video clip URL Archive footage from the signing of the Helsinki Accord.

11:26Copy video clip URL Photo montage and interviews with some of the dissidents who drafted Charter 77.

13:16Copy video clip URL Photos and interviews with people who were arrested because of their political activities. Interviews with exiles and people in human rights organizations that work to help the dissidents.

17:25Copy video clip URL Gorbachev begins the reform program called Perestroika in 1985.

18:11Copy video clip URL Footage of Prague demonstrations in 1988 & 1989. Jan Urban describes the work of independent journalist during this period.

21:07Copy video clip URL Footage from demonstration on November 17th,1989. Montage of people in Czechoslovakia after the demonstrations, interviews with journalists and students who speak of the success of the Czech struggle for human rights.

27:13Copy video clip URL Shots of Guatemalan mountains and countryside. Description of the Government’s attack on insurgents in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Human rights activist discuss the need for the International Declaration to applied to the situation in Guatemala.

30:38Copy video clip URL Footage of Guatemalan militias (civil patrols) marching. History of the formation of these militias as a counter-insurgency weapon for the government. A man describes how men are intimidated into to joining the patrols, while General Benedicto Ortega claims that participation in the patrols in voluntary.

33:22Copy video clip URL Some peasants have joined together to formed the Council of Ethnic Communities (CERJ). Teacher Amilcar Mendez educates a group of people on the new Guatemalan Constitution, as well as the Declaration of Human Rights. General Ortega denounces Mendez, saying that is actions only serve to support the guerillas.

36:04Copy video clip URL In Santa Cruz, peasants and Amilcar Mendez gather to discuss the civil patrols. Mendez sits with his family as his wife speaks about how they live in fear.

38:13Copy video clip URL Footage of demonstrations in Guatemala.

38:47Copy video clip URL Four CERJ members are disappeared on a coffee plantation. The men’s families describe how members of  the military came and took them in the night.

41:33  Amilcar Mendez writes up a CERJ report on the disappearances which includes testimonials from the families. Members of Amnesty International describes what is done with these reports. Mendez brings one of the families to the local government office which he claims does nothing.

43:25Copy video clip URL Representatives from Americas Watch meet with the families of the disappeared men.

45:09Copy video clip URL In Geneva, a representative from Amnesty International speaks about the four missing CERJ men.

46:24Copy video clip URL Amilcar Mendez lobbies Congress, to speak against U.S economic support of Guatemala and speaks with members of Americas Watch about the situation in his country.

47:40Copy video clip URL Footage of Guatemalan villages, activists speak on the importance of the Declaration of Human Rights in their struggles.

50:30Copy video clip URL Photos of world leaders in the struggle for human rights, Czech journalist Jan Urban speaks.

51:38Copy video clip URL Credits roll over Prague demonstration footage.



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