Filmmakers on what freedom really means

How is freedom celebrated in film? Tom Brook looks at recent movies that feature the concept, and interviews actors and moviemakers on what it means to them.

“Freedom to me is the ability to choose the shape of your day and your life – and the people that you surround yourself with.”

That’s the definition of freedom Julia Roberts  gives Tom Brook, who looks at documentaries on gay rights in Cameroon and the acts of Indonesian troops in East Timor as part of the BBC’s Freedom 2014 season.

Alongside films like 12 Years a Slave and Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom, recent documentaries including Alias Ruby Blade and Born This Way address how freedom is denied to individuals around the world.

Director Alex Meillier extols “the power of ordinary individuals to change the world”, while Singaporean Anthony Chen says: “Filmmakers are very good at working within limits and working within restrictions – Iran is one of the most restrictive countries in the world, but it’s produced some of the most subversive and most interesting cinema – nothing can stop art.”

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