Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2014: My Child
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival has come to London, screening a series of compelling documentaries covering major areas of current rights related issues, such as the Arab Spring movements and its consequential armed conflict, and all manner of things related to women’s, children’s and migrant’s rights.
My Child deals with the struggles of LGBT families in Turkey. The feature documentary, directed by Can Candan, follows the stories of parents of people from the LGBT community and their struggle to break through the stigmatism and homophobic discrimination that penetrates Turkey. Through a series of narratives, told by the parents themselves, we learn how a group of loving mothers and fathers first had to battle with their own fears of sexual orientation and identity and accept their child for who they are.
As parental love prevails over prejudice and personal injury, the film uncovers the power of cooperation, support and activism in a country frightened of the unconventional. The voluntary support group for the families of LGBT people, LISTAG, is now a major force in Turkey, raising awareness and offering regular meetings to provide solace and encouragement for the socially discriminated against and their families.
After the screening, producers Ayse Cetinbas and Gokce Ince were gushing with pride and joy when they revealed how positively Turkish audiences had responded, supplying relief and education to those less open and confident.
The harsh depths of homophobia cannot be expressed more perfectly than watching a parent’s heartbreak over their child’s sexual preferences – but, as they grow to realise, it is not a choice. People are still murdered today in Turkey for being transgender, but the happiness and liberated countenances of those featured in My Child as they share feelings and experiences is inspiring, impressive and very comforting.
Watch the trailer for My Child here: