The latest effort from “Manufacturing Consent”-maker Peter Wintonick, with Katarina Cizek, is a rough primer on how, and how quickly, communications technologies are changing the nature of human rights struggles and protests around the world. It’s a natural for many classrooms, and for politics-minded fests and conferences of all stripes. The well-made one-hour “Seeing is Believing” is also a possible pilot for a tube series delving into each area in more depth.
Pic focuses on Joey Lozano, an avid urban videographer helping a hard-bitten tribe in the rural southern Philippines, where big-biz interests are riding roughshod over human rights. It also touches lightly on Serb atrocities in Bosnia, skinhead activity in Prague, and the way cameras can be used against the “good guys,” as when police film protesters. There are side trips into sister technologies, as in the role of faxes in the Tiananmen Square uprising and text messaging in more recent upheavals, and a visit to a new hardware show, where sellers are increasingly wise to social uses of their shiny new products.