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Oscar Hopeful 'Genghis Blues' at UCI

Documentary about blind American blues singer in Asia highlights a new film series devoted to human rights issues.


"Genghis Blues," nominated for this year's Academy Award for best documentary, will be shown tonight at UC Irvine, highlighting a new film festival devoted to documentaries that address human-rights issues.

Dubbed the United Nations Assn./UC Irvine Human Rights Film Festival, the event aims to be held yearly.

"Genghis Blues" is about Paul Pena, a blind American blues musician who traveled to the Asian region of Tuva to study that land's otherworldly "throat singing" style. The film's co-director, Adrian Belic, will speak after the 8:30 p.m. showing.

"Imagining Place," about people who feel marginalized in America, will precede "Genghis Blues" at 7:30 p.m.

Five more documentaries will be shown Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m.

"Good Kurds, Bad Kurds" examines contradictions in U.S. policy toward Kurds in Turkey and Iraq. "Passive Anarchy" documents the 1995 International Women's Conference in China. "I Was Born a Black Woman" concerns race in Brazil. "Divided Loyalties" is about the volatile political history of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. "Zapatista" goes behind the lines of the Chiapas uprising in Mexico and "The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez" is about radical nationalists in Puerto Rico.

The directors of most of the films will be on hand for question-and-answer sessions. Actor Mike Farrell of the television series "MASH" and "Providence" is co-chairman of Human Rights Watch and will give a keynote speech Saturday at 5:30 p.m. after the screenings.

Tonight's screenings are in the campus Film and Video Center, Room 100, Humanities Instruction Building. Screenings Saturday are at the Social Science Lecture Hall, Room 100.

Admission is $5-$8 each day, with two-day passes $8-$12. Parking in the structure at Campus and West Peltason drives is $2. Information: (949) 551-5186 or http://www.polyester

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