July 19, 2017. Although the “Human Rights Watch Film Festival” ended on June 18, I am still making my way through its many fine and important offerings. The problem that can occur in writing about a film festival that has ended, is that I usually end up critiquing films that are not yet available to the public. Fortunately, the documentary “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press,” featured in the “Human Rights Watch Film Festival,” is already available on Netflix. Netflix produced it, and more power to them for having done so!
“Nobody Speak” comes at a crucial time in our country’s history. By now everyone has seen the re-purposed video, originally shot several years ago, of Donald Trump tackling someone to the floor as part of a World Wide Wrestling Federation stunt, during a wrestling match. In the version “tweeted” by Trump this week, the CNN logo was superimposed over the face of the person being tackled. Clearly the image symbolized that someone wealthy, and politically connected (Trump), could take down a media organization, a frightening thought, considering Trump’s railings against mainstream media. This short clip, typical of the current level of antagonism toward the press at the highest levels of power, makes “Nobody Speak” even more relevant than it already was.