Film Synopsis: In her home in Nairn, actress and Oscar winner, Tilda Swinton reads a letter she has written to her 8½ year old son, who once asked her what people dreamt about before cinema was invented. In her letter she says that cinema is a kind of dreamland where anything is possible. Later in the film, cinema historian and documentary filmmaker, Mark Cousins, responds to Swinton’s letter. As he has no children of his own, he decides to write to his 8½ year-old self. Growing up in Belfast in the 1970s, Mark reflects on how movies comforted him against the anxieties of war. Both Swinton and Cousins suggest that Hollywood often dominates the films we see. Cousins calls it a form of cultural bullying. Each believe that a less commercial, more diverse film distribution system would allow for a more imaginative, international and magical cinema to be seen by everyone. 



Workshop Objectives:

To introduce participants to Article 18 of the UDHR and Article 9 of the ECHR.

To encourage participants to consider their Freedom of Thought and Inspiration as a Human Right, and a Right that can be intruded upon through commercial interests and industry.

To encourage open and reflective participant-led discussion on the Right to Freedom of Thought.

To introduce participants to the related idea of the Freedom of Belief and Religion.

To encourage individual and group based discussion on the issues surrounding the wearing of religious clothing in relation to Article 18 of UDHR.

The Right to Freedom of

Thought

Directed by Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton

Watch a short clip from the film

Learning Through Film:

Human Rights in Scotland

Film Menu:
The Right to Life 
The Right to Freedom of Assembly 
The Right to Asylum 
The Right to Freedom of Expression 
The Right to a Fair Trial 
The Right Not to be Tortured 
The Right to Liberty 
The Right to Privacy 
The Right Not to be Enslaved 
The Right to Freedom of Thought



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Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this

right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either

alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his

religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.


Article 9 of The European Convention on Human Rights

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this

right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either

alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his

religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance…