Where: Fairhaven College Auditorium, S. College Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229

When: Sunday, February 18 at 3:00pm

Come to the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival for a free screening of The Return. Through an annual film festival BHRFF supports independent filmmakers, fosters dialogue and promotes action. For eighteen years, volunteer committee members have selected scores of insightful and moving films they hope will encourage the community to explore and engage with critical issues. The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion to increase awareness on the issues of released prisoners.

The Return Conversation Starters:

A preacher reminds his congregation that “your past is not your future”…But the reality that returned citizens often confront is summarized by Bilal: “I paid my debt to society. I paid my restitution. I stayed out of trouble. Why is my criminal history always gonna be at the forefront of who I am? It does not define who I am anymore. Brutally honest, that bothers me, and hurts me and worries me.” Why does Bilal’s criminal history continue to define him? What societal structures, practices, or beliefs make it difficult for returned citizens to get past the perception that they are perpetual criminals and nothing else? What do you think it would be/is like to be reduced to being identified exclusively by your mistakes?

For more discussion prompts, download the discussion guide.

Visit our local events calendar for a full list of events happening across the country and join our Community Network to host a screening of your own!

Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.