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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

HRWFF logo
‘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

Filmmaker Introduction

a line of school children stand next to each other

Filmmaker Introduction: The Lesson

Director Elena Horn introduces her film The Lesson for Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2021.

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 with this title, please contact our Box Office team via [email protected] or via Live Chat between 9.30am–5pm and 6.30–9.30pm throughout the festival, Monday to Sunday (except Mon 22 Mar, 9.30–5pm only), or browse our help centre.

Screen sharing is strictly prohibited.

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.