top of page

Stories on Human Rights

22 Short films on


Some of the world’s most prominent filmmakers, artists, and writers were called upon to join forces and contribute to the making of Stories on Human Rights (2008) in observance of the Sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Created and produced by ART for The World, Stories on Human Rights was the first large-scale film project produced by the High Commissioner of Human Rights with award-winning filmmakers and artists, using the universal language of art to sensitize people across the planet to what “human rights” actually means. In the making of each three-minute short film, the artist-director was inspired by one of the six themes that capture the ideals enshrined in the declaration: Culture, Development, Dignity and Justice, Environment, Gender, and Participation.

    The result was twenty-two short films edited into one long feature film, revealing the world’s great diversity and cultural wealth, as well as hopes and concerns about the present state of human rights around the world. Indeed, by conveying the timeless significance of human rights and their underlying values, Stories on Human Rights offers an opportunity to reflect on the wide historical and human significance of the adoption of this landmark Declaration.


The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. Drafted as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations”, the Declaration for the first time in human history set out basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human beings should enjoy. It has over time been widely accepted as the fundamental norms of human rights that all Governments should respect. December 10, the day of its adoption, is observed worldwide as International Human Rights Day.


Directors and Artists:
Marina Abramovic (Serbia/The Netherlands), Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine), Armagan Ballantyne (New Zeland), Sergei Bodrov (Russia), Charles De Meaux (France), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Ange Leccia (France), Runa Islam (UK/Bangladesh), Francesco Jodice (Italy), Etgar Keret e Shira Geffen (Israel), Zhangke Jia (China), Murali Nair (India), Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), Daniela Thomas (Brazil), Saman Salour (Iran), Sarkis (France/Turkey), Bram Schouw (The Netherlands), Teresa Serrano (Mexico), Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania), Pablo Trapero (Argentina), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand) and Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia). 

Music by
Michael Galasso 


The Short Movies:

Dangerous Games by Marina Abramović (color, 3 min. 34 sec., no dialogue)

A Boy, a Wall and a Donkey by Hany Abu-Assad (color, 3 min. 11 sec., Arabic)

Lily and Ra by Armagan Ballantyne (color, 3 min. 30 sec., English)

The Voice by Sergei Bodrov (color, 3 min., Russian)

Garish Sun by Charles de Meaux (color, 3 min., English)

Des Films à Faire by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Ange Leccia (color, 3 min. 20 sec., French)

What About Me? by Shira Geffen & Etgar Keret (color, 4 min.7 sec., Hebrew)

Trust by Runa Islam (color, 3 min., no dialogue)

Black Breakfast by Jia Zhang-Ke (color, 3 min., no dialogue)

A Water Tale by Francesco Jodice  (color, 3 min. 44 sec., Kazakh)

The Crossing by Murali Nair (color, 3 min., no dialogue)

La Mangue by Idrissa Ouédraogo (color, 2 min. 45 sec., no dialogue)

I Drink Your Bath Water by Pipilotti Rist (color, 2 min. 32 sec., no dialogue)

The Final Match by Saman Salour (color, 3 min., Persian)

La victoire sur les sachets by Sarkis (color, 3 min.15 sec., no dialogue)

Impasse by Bram Schouw (color, 3 min. 49 sec., no dialogue)

Glass Ceiling by Teresa Serrano (b/w, 2 min. 17 sec., no dialogue)

N'Dimagou (Dignity) by Abderrahmane Sissako (color, 3 min.15 sec., Hassanya and Pulaar)

Voyage by Daniela Thomas (color, 3 min., no dialogue)

Sobras by Pablo Trapero (color, 3 min. 20 sec., no dialogue)

Mobile Men by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (color, 3 min. 15 sec., Thai)

Participation by Jasmila Žbanić (color, 2 min. 59 sec., no dialogue)

Film credits

Trailer, Stories of Human Rights, 2008. 
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mobile Men, 2008.
Film still
Hany Abu- Assad, A Boy, a Wall and a Donkey, 2008.
Film still. 
Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia, Participation, 2008. Film stills
Sergei Bodrov, Russia / USA, The Voice, 2008. Film stills
Jia Zhang-Ke, China, Black Breakfast, 2008. Film stills
Idrissa Ouédraogo, Burkina Faso, La Mangue, 2008.
Film still
Saman Salour, Iran, The Final Match, 2008. Film still
Daniela Thomas, Brazil, Voyage, 2008. Film still
Francesco Jodice, Italy, A Water Tale, 2008. Film stills
bottom of page