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Human Rights Watch Film Festival: The Lesson (12*)

Cinema On Demand

a group of teenagers stand in a line next to each other

It is often said that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

At the age of 14 children in Germany are taught about the atrocities under Nazi rule. Director Elena Horn follows four children as they learn about the Holocaust. From their study of the topic in history class, to their school trip to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, each of the children grapple with the gravity of their findings differently.

Filmed over five years, the film offers a window into deeply rooted social and political attitudes in Germany amid a resurgence of the far-right and violent xenophobia.  The collective memory of a nation’s history highlights the essential role of education to avoid repeating historical wrongs.

Register for free and join us for a live ScreenTalk via zoom at 8.30pm on Wed 24 Mar with director Elena Horn, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN Human Rights Chief 2014–18, and Wenzel Michalski, Germany Director, HRW.

Germany 2020 Dir Elena Horn 60min


UK Digital Premiere

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Watch all 10 films throughout the Festival

‘When times get harder, it’s easy to tell ourselves that the bad things we do are a necessity of human nature. But if we have learned one lesson, it’s that we always have a choice‘
Elena Horn, Director, The Lesson

How to watch

Please note this rental is only available within the UK

1.    Choose the film you want to watch.
2.    Add to basket and proceed to purchase.

3.    If you already have an account, you can log in during the purchase. If not, create an account as you buy. 

4.    Once your purchase has gone through, you can click on the button to click to ‘Watch your films', or click on the link in your email, or go to your account.
5.    Your film will be available to watch from Thu 18 to Fri 26 March. Enjoy! 

If you have any issues, please contact our Box Office team via [email protected] between 9.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or browse our help centre.

The festival does not want the cost of entry to these films to be a barrier for participation in these events. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from taking part, please email [email protected] and Human Rights Watch Film Festival will email you a free ticket code. There are a small number of tickets set aside, first come, first served. Once all free tickets are claimed, the code stops working.

For anyone that purchases a ticket, thank you. Your ticket purchase allows us to support the filmmakers and organisations that are bringing the films to you.