Victoria Film Festival: Article 12

You won’t leave the theatre thinking the same about your civil liberties for a while, even if you do live in Canada, land of the free.

You won’t leave the movie theatre thinking the same about your civil liberties and privacy, at least, for a while, even if you do live in Canada, land of the free.

Filmed in the United Kingdom and the United States, the 75-minute documentary features more than a dozen leading experts who weigh in on dwindling societal freedoms. The post 9-11 world has brought about a re-emergence of surveillance states in democratic societies, thanks to technological advancements.

The film is named for the twelfth article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, which states everyone has a right to have their privacy protected.

On screen, people who don’t know they are being filmed appear oblivious to the notion that Big Brother – their companies and governments – could be watching.

The provocative discourse – though largely one-sided – points to society’s willingness to give up more freedom in exchange for more security measures. But one professor questions whether our safety has improved as a result.

Director Juan Manuel Bliaiñ’s varied choice of experts includes Noam Chomsky, celebrated author and political scientist.

Despite the heady topic, older teen and adult audiences will likely be left feeling informed, rather than discouraged, about eroding civil liberties, and encouraged that these can be reclaimed.

Capital 6 Feb. 5 at 7:15 p.m. and Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m.