January 22, 2017

The Filmography of Thor Halvorssen

Spreading The Word

As the president of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen wants to promote progress towards the creation of open societies and the fight against authoritarianism. He understands he can’t do these things by himself, so he encourages others to do so through the use of film. Through both documentaries and fiction, he has fostered interest in the protection of human rights abroad. Even when his films are detached from their political goals, Halvorssen’s work still stands as impressive and thoughtful productions of a talented director.

Taking On Dictators

A major focus of the documentaries of Halvorssen is on dictatorships around the world. Halvorssen’s documentaries focus on important issues happening in closed societies. A great example of his documentaries is displayed during his work in Vietnam. In Vietnam, activists who speak out against the current regime are jailed for their criticisms and the organizations they run are dismantled. Halvorssen decided interview a Buddhist religious leader who spoke out against the government of Vietnam, but he was arrested for this act. Eventually Halvorssen was able to secure his release by convincing the authorities he was simply converting to Buddhism, but the work in that documentary gives just one example of how Halvorssen’s films have endangered him.

Promoting Free Speech

Beyond the work he does in promoting open societies, Halvorssen has also worked tirelessly to defend free speech in America through his films. In his 2007 documentary Indoctrinate U, he exposed the culture of censorship common on many American campuses. All too often, students and professors who disagree with left wing opinions are forced to hide their opinions. Halvorssen does not want this problem to continue. Through Indoctrinate U, he hopes to foster more discussion about campus culture and the acceptance of differing opinions.