The Mensch! festival is taking place for the first time this year at the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Cinematheques. A joint effort of Switzerland, Austria and Germany, the festival celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone in the history of human rights and in the recognition by all countries of the inalienable dignity of all human beings.
The Mensch! festival offers an original selection of movies chosen for their artistic quality and their “human” content. Central to both languages, the word “Mensch” refers to a human being in the German language, and to a person who can be relied on to act with honor and integrity in the Yiddish language. Being a “Mensch” is acting with humility and empathy, being sensitive to the feelings and needs of others.
From Croatia to Switzerland, Austria and Germany, from Argentina to Israel, the movies deal with social and human rights issues such as hunger and climate change, total surveillance and the right to privacy, dehumanizing technology leading to alienation, poverty, racism, discrimination, war, missing people and truth commissions. Above all, they pay respect to women and men who struggle – through diverse acts, including journalism, banking or punk music - to make the world a more human one.