Amnesty International PSA

by Karen Carmen on May 31, 2011

Title: Amnesty International – 50 Years
Director: Carlos Lascano
Music: Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
PSA Source Credit:

Check out the making of this PSA at:

Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose stated mission is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”

Source Credit:

Did you know that there is an Amnesty International Group for Upper School students at CDNIS?

Amnesty International

How has this PSA related to our past unit on Sharing the Planet and our central idea that actions can support or deny access to children’s rights and equal opportunities?

This PSA is rife with symbolism. Explain the images and ideas you see represented.

How might Amnesty International change access to equal opportunities?

How can Amnesty International help you to take responsibility for your own rights and the rights of others?

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

et25 May 31, 2011 at 7:49 pm

The video is related to our past unit because it is talking about human rights and how they are violated. I think the reason why it also relates to our unit is because it shows the Klu Klux Klan burning a black man. And that’s violating human rights.

The PSA had a lot of symbols such as the red flower meaning peace, the doves as in freedom and the black man being burnt by the Klu Klux Klan was a symbol of violated rights. Most of the symbols were peace, freedom, war or rights that are violated. I think that the PSA was really shocking and the music made it even more shocking. Some symbols I didn’t quite understand, but I knew most of them.


Austin May 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm

This relates to our last unit because Amnesty International is trying to show that we have to put an end to the abuse and violation that is currently done to children’s rights. I think that the boy holding the red flower represents that he is trying to show the freedom.

Then in the part where there was the clean environment and then a giant needle came and sucked up the clean stuff and then everything turned into skyscrapers of a first world country. I think that means people are replacing to much of our grass and clean environment with stuff that causes pollution.


ET26 May 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I think this relates to our Sharing the Planet UOI because this PSA demonstrates, in an indirect way, how different human rights are violated in many ways. The brick wall, featured in the PSA, blocked the light from reaching the flowers, so they died. The flowers were blood red, meaning blood, which causes life in our bodies. To simplify would mean the flowers represented free and peaceful peoples, and so when the wall denied their freedom to the outer world, so they withered, perhaps to mean they were filled with despair. The rest of the PSA mostly done like graffiti on a wall, so it meant, “This can be changed like graffiti can be rubbed off a wall”. AI stressed this by toppling the wall over at the end, where everything “freedomless” had happened. I also think the boy and old man in the beginning and end represented Amnesty International, because they attempted to bring the last formerly free person left back to freedom.

I think this also relates to the unit Where We Are In Place and Time because this seemed almost like a mixed up time line about various happenings.


karencarmen June 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

What a clever observation! I hadn’t considered the medium of graffiti art as being another symbol in itself! Your understanding of the world of metaphor is truly impressive, Whitney!


ET8 May 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I think this PSA relates to our unit and central idea because in the PSA, it shows a lot of people’s rights denied, and people having different perspectives about people, for example: the KKK (Klu Klux Klan), in the PSA it shows the black man being burnt up, and the white person, he was running from the black shadows.

The most important symbol I saw was the red flower, I think it shows freedom, and the white doves, I think they show peace. The tanks, they obviously show war and the needle full of blood turning into the dollar signs, I think that means that people own lands and resources are taken away and they can’t use any of them.

I think Amnesty International should go all around the world to tell people about them, so that more people will support them. They should continue doing this like they have for the past 50 years! We should be happy that we are in a place where people’s rights are free.


Cyrus May 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I think that this video relates to the past unit about human rights. For example, in the video we see images of tanks in war, and this video relates to freedom, also like the dove represents peace. I also noticed when the red flowers were growing a needle came in and sucked everything and inside the needle were dollar signs.

I think that Amnesty International should make more of these clips, so people will know what is happening to the world or how is people being tortured or are in slavery. We should all take action now. And if we take these actions we can change the world, then there will be no more wars, and have peace.


karencarmen June 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

What are some of the ways that you can take action, Cyrus?


extraT012 May 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

This PSA connects to our last unit because it is showing us that some human rights are denied.

I think the metaphor I understood most is the one when the white doves flew towards the sky, representing freedom and hope. I think when the needle pulled out the red liquid out of the ground and it turned into money, it meant that the masters that earn money from labour, the people who are making carpets and other things aren’t using them, the masters sell it to make more and more money as the needle pulls out more and more red liquid. And the people who made them don’t get what they made, what they made are sold to the developed cities.

Everyone should have equal rights no matter who they are, where they come from, what skin color, what they believe in, or their personality.

I just don’t understand some of the metaphors. ex. The black shadows, the white kerchief, tank…etc… Does the red flower represent hope? When the baby disappeared from the mothers hands, does it mean they don’t have enough money because the father was killed or is there another reason? Why were the people shot by guns?

I think the pictures, the music, sound effects and the words were really powerful. I just thought it might be powerful but I think it might be too shocking or it might be too much for some people.


karencarmen June 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

You’ve thought of some great questions!


ET05 May 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

This PSA made me shudder because of all the ways we treat people and that no other animal treats their kind like we do. I think that who ever was in charge of this PSA really thought of how to make the message sink in, and it really did. The part of where the black man died made me think of why people are treating their own kind even with a different color. The Amnesty International can help change our lives by asking other people to join their company and help. How I can help is by telling other upper school students to join.


ET 13 May 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

This P.S.A. shows that some people’s human rights has been violated and now Amnesty International is trying to help and for over 50 years they have helped other people around the world. It also relates to our unit of inquiry, Sharing the Planet because in our unit we learned about how children’s rights are being violated. It is really bad when your human rights are being violated.

In this video we saw a lot of symbols, the symbols, including:
1. Red Flower = freedom
2. White Dove = peace
3. Klu Klux Klan(KKK) = Terrorism
4. Brick Wall = no freedom
5. Child = children’s rights
6. White Kerchief = widow or lonely lady
7. Tank = war
8. Dark Shadows = I don’t really understand what this symbol means
9. Color World = freedom
10. Needle full of blood turning into dollar signs = into the 1st developed country

The part where I thought was the most sad was the when the 3 men got killed by guns and their blood was everywhere. I almost cried and almost screamed too! The happy part was when I saw the boy in the colored world. I really didn’t like the part when people got burned or killed because it reminds me of war and war isn’t a good thing to be happening.

I think this video made me think of the children’s rights theme again and that it is very important and this video was very, very useful. People around the world would watch it and they might not understand our language, but from the sound effect they might understand what this video want to say. It can also make them be more aware about human rights.


Sam May 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm

This PSA shows that a lot of people’s human rights have been violated. The right to live in a safe place that’s free from war. To be free from racism with equal rights for women. When the KKK (Klu Klux Klan) burnt the black man, that showed that his right to life was violated. When the men were killed in the house by the soldiers, that showed the man’s right to live in a safe place was violated.

In this PSA there were a lot of symbols. The symbols probably represent freedom or war. Some parts I didn’t understand. When the tanks stopped in front of the boy, I think it meant that freedom is powerful. I think that the music really affected the mood. This PSA really had an effect on the way I looked at these things.


ET 1 May 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm

The PSA shows people’s rights being violated, and also talks a bit about what Amnesty International are doing to stop this. Some of the main rights that the PSA talks about are the right to freedom and equality.

AI could start by talking to governments and authorities, and gain their help by showing them information about the rights and opportunities being denied in other countries. Then, they could talk with the organizations and people leading the denying of these rights and stop them.

AI can’t really do that unless I and others want to. If I did want to, then they could show me some information and tell me ways to become more responsible. Some simple ways I could stand up for people’s rights without having to go and do different things with child slaves and such, would be I could just stop a bully, or give money to a charity fighting for child rights.

Some symbols I noticed were the rose and white dove (peace and freedom), the pointed hats of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) for racism, the walls and barbed wire could be a prison (no freedom), tank and soldiers (war), soldiers killing the old men/beggars (inequality), white hood/handkerchief (could possibly mean widow), hypodermic needle sucking up the flowers and land and it turning into money and skyscrapers (1st world/developed country), and finally, the colour world (freedom).

I felt so sad about the part with the baby dying, I almost cried. I have a 3 year old sister, and I could imagine not having her in my life. She is really funny and I look forward to seeing her everyday after school. If she died at birth, I would feel really sad, so I could imagine how a mother could feel.



ET7 May 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I think that in the first part of the PSA, the red flower dying represented some people’s freedoms being ignored. It links to the last unit because it shows that human rights have been ignored in the past. The tanks represent war. I think that Amnesty International can help me take responsibility human rights by coming to our school and talking to us about it. There are a lot of symbols in the video like the giant needle going into a nice place and sucking up the natural resources. It makes me feel like soon the whole planet will look like a mountain of garbage.

The music and the sound effects made me want to listen more carefully to the video, and made me pay more attention to what is happening. I didn’t understand what was happening to the kid when the those giant creatures were popping up. It did make me feel sympathy for people who have to live in those kind of conditions though.

I think that Amnesty International help people by giving people the resources they need to have, to live a proper life and this is symbolized by the wall falling down. I think that we need to keep on giving people freedom and if we do, it will make a better place for future people to enjoy.


ET 18 May 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I think that this video has lots of symbols like the red flower symbolizes life, and the white dove is freedom. The brick wall is not letting people have freedom and is using that land for money and new buildings/towers. I didn’t quite understand about the part when the men in pointy hats went to burn the man who had the flower until we had a conversation about it in class.

To be honest, I didn’t really like the beginning of it where the wall starts to build up and block all the spaces of freedom and the flower dies because it scared me a bit. But what happens at the end helped me to better understand what it was supposed to be.


ET0016 May 31, 2011 at 11:34 am

This very powerful PSA includes symbols representing other ‘slaves’ and others (both black and white people) who have had their rights denied.

This connects to our U.O.I. Sharing the Planet because we were talking about child slaves and how others had their rights denied and they had no freedom. For the central idea, it connects because every action they take can be supported or denied by other people. When children don’t have their rights and few opportunities like the one we have. When they don’t have their rights, they may never see the real world.

There was a image of this boy holding a rose until he was a man, and then he was “burned” and he had to let the rose go. When the boy ran away from the black shadows, there was hard pounding drum beating to the sound of the footsteps. When there was the man with the baby, then changed into a women alone. This reminded me of being together with your family. The doves slowly flew away told me that that could be free, and its dove’s feet means peace.

Amnesty International can help by freeing the slaves from their masters or wrongly imprisoned people from jail. They try to protect the people whose rights have been denied and set them free so they can have the equal opportunities that we have everyday. We should be very/really grateful for everything we have because a lot of people have no rights, having to work all day without getting a lot of money. We should be happy for having a good education, a home and a full stomach.


Chester.C May 31, 2011 at 11:29 am

This PSA is linked to our our last unit because they both are talking about the same subject (Human Rights).

I think the red flower symbolizes freedom because it was the only thing that was glowing in the video. The flower was glowing, so maybe it also means hope. I think the kid that was holding the flower was trying to bring freedom to the world. The other symbol I saw was the shadows trying to catch the little kid. I think that means that some people are trying to stop him from bringing freedom to the world.

I think Amnesty International is doing a great job because they are trying their best to educating people about human rights, so that people could understand them, so they could know when human rights are violated.


ET #24 May 31, 2011 at 11:26 am

I think that this PSA relates to our previous UOI because the unit was about Human Rights, and this PSA is about freedom. The right to freedom is one of the Human Rights. I think it’s related to our previous central idea because when the little boy was holding the flower and trying to run to freedom there were all these dark shapes trying to get him.

I think that the red flower and dove both represent freedom and peace. When the tanks were going out and the little boy held up the red flower, the wall crumbled down and everything turned to color. I’m not sure about what it means… Why?

What Amnesty International is doing could really affect the opportunities for everyone, but I’m not sure how being a supporter would help if you just signed up and didn’t do anything.

It was really moving and sad…


ET 22 May 31, 2011 at 11:20 am

This PSA really shows how people are denying other people’s rights and, in particular, the right to freedom. There were a lot of symbols to the PSA showing freedom or lack of, such as the dove, the brick wall, shadows, tanks, colorful nature and much more. I think that the Amnesty International could change access to equal opportunities by encouraging other people to be braver and to spread a word to everyone about this PSA, so other people could be aware what is happening around the world. I would help and take responsibility for my own rights and the rights of others by showing respect, either if they are black or white, even if they are Christian or not.

I think this PSA is really effective because the audio really fits and has great rhythm. The picture was interesting, it just makes you really want to watch the first time you see it. The lighting is really nice, when it is like there was no right of freedom it was really dark, when there was freedom there was all these bright colors.


Nicholas May 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

I think this PSA is related to our unit because the people in the movie were all treated badly and they are not having equal rights as the whites because they were a different skin color.

I think most of the symbols represented the need for freedom and peace by representing war and harshness. The main symbol is the red flower. I think that represents sadness. At the end, the world is colorful. This scene was very powerful because it gives you hope.

I think that Amnesty International will inspire other people to help out and really take action. I also think that Amnesty International can help out by going around the world and show everyone what is really happening and then maybe people want to know more and help.


ET3 May 31, 2011 at 11:09 am

I think this PSA is related to our past unit on Sharing the Planet, because in this video, I saw a lot of rights being denied. For example, when the needle injected into the ground and has taken money, making all the buildings. I think that symbolizes greed and selfishness, because people are just taking resources from the land and are making money, and are too selfish to help other people in need. Because there are a lot of people who do not have enough money to buy a house, and are forced to live on the streets. There is a right for that, it is that you have the right to have a safe place to live, and I do not think every single human being has that, because a lot of people are just too selfish to share with other people in need, and are leaving the poor people to die.

I think Amnesty International can change access to equal opportunities by influencing others, because if everybody is influenced to help others whose rights have been denied, then we could all take a stand for these people and help them. Amnesty International might be able to provide them food, water, and maybe even shelter. But Amnesty wouldn’t be able to do that if nobody helps them.

I think Amnesty International can help me take responsibility for my own rights, and the rights of others, by teaching me and other people what kind of rights I have, because then, everybody would know what they should have, and what things that should not have been denied.


ET19 May 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

This PSA showed a lot about how people are not getting their own Human Rights or how their rights are being violated. At the start of the video, the screen was very colorful, but when the tanks came in, the nature turned into a brick wall and the screen became black and white. It looks like a time when a war starts and everything becomes messy and dull, just like when people’s lives has been violated. Then the part when the humans are destroying the colorful land of red flowers could mean that the humans are taking the world’s resources and taking the money from destroying the land and using it to build buildings (which isn’t fair to the nature).

The part when the mother is holding the baby and suddenly the baby vanishes from the mother’s arms and she is left alone with a handkerchief around her head reminded me of one of the articles that talked about how families are supposed to stay together. Then after that, more handkerchiefs appeared and then they slowly turned into doves and flew away. This part of the video was very emotional because it felt like all the peace and harmony has gone (like the dove flying away) and the mother is left with no hope.

I really encourage Amnesty International to create more PSAs showing how much they care about human rights. Then they can spread the message around to every person so more people would be aware of it. That way, there would be a bigger community/team trying to fight for Freedom for people who have lost their own rights.

After I watched this video, I also want to take action and spread the message to my readers, so I think it would be a great idea to post this video on my own blog.


karencarmen May 31, 2011 at 11:17 am

What a great idea, Keona!


Chance May 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

I think this video is related to the last unit because Amnesty International is an organization that tries to end abuses of human rights. Children are humans so the same basic rules apply to both of them. I think Amnesty International is an organization that supports children’s rights because they help children whose rights are being abused.

One of the symbols I saw was near the end of the PSA. It was the same boy the PSA started with. He was holding the red flower and he was standing in front of 3 big green tanks. I think that represents “Tank Man” or “The Unknown Rebel” from the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. He stood in front of the tanks making them stop all by himself. Then he got taken away by what some say were the police and what others say were concerned people in the crowd. Some people also say he was executed later in time. That incident also reminds me of the Ai Wei Wei video we watched because “Tank Man” was just saying he disagreed with something related to the tanks. He has the right of free speech as that is one of his human rights.

I think Amnesty International might change access to equal opportunities by continuing what they have been doing for the past 50 years since so far they have helped many people regain their rights and not have their rights be abused. I think Amnesty International can help me take responsibility for my own rights and the rights of others by having visits to different schools around the world and presenting what they do, how we can help and many other things. I also think Amnesty International is a worthwhile cause.


karencarmen May 31, 2011 at 11:12 am

Amazing connections to the past and present, Chance!


ET23 May 31, 2011 at 10:54 am

I think that this PSA is related to our past unit because in the beginning, the child was running away from black shadow’s on the wall so that might mean that they were denying access to the child’s rights. :?

When a picture of white handkerchiefs peeled of and turned into white doves. I think it means that people have the right to be free but I’m still wondering what do the handkerchiefs mean? When there were tanks and they were shooting, it represented war, and so on.

I think that this video gives us a really clear and powerful message. At the end of it, I could fell my eyes tearing up! I think that the effects were outstanding! It was really one of the reasons why I was scared. Because of it, I really had a feeling that I was at the cinema! Apart from the sound, the art was really creative and realistic.


ET 17 May 31, 2011 at 10:52 am

This movie gives a really good impression of different races and how they are treated.

I like the way the symbols represent different things. You get a really clear message on which symbol goes with what.
For example, the doves represent freedom, the tanks and the shooting represent war, etc. But there was one symbol that I didn’t understand: the women with the white kerchiefs.

I liked the sound effects of the PSA. It really gets your attention at first by having that deep drumroll.
The graphics were brilliant! It had a mix of cartoon (for the boy) and the visuals, making it have a lot of variety (and eye-pleasing).

This Amnesty International PSA links to our UOI Sharing The Planet on Human and Children’s rights.
Amnesty International is an organization that helps people with unequal rights.

Question for the LSSC: since the Upper School has an Amnesty International club, why can’t the Lower School have one?

~ :mrgreen: :rolls: Yan Yan


ET11 May 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

This video is linked to our past unit because both of them have something to do with human rights. This video shows a child running with a red flower. He is taking action, trying to save freedom. In the end he succeeds in doing so. I think this video is trying to tell us that one individual can make a difference in this world. Even if it is a small difference, it counts. Lots of small actions can lead to something that can save the world.

The most important symbol I saw was the red flower. I think the red flower is representing freedom. As I said before, the boy is trying to save human rights. He is representing Amnesty International which is trying to take action for humans who have had their rights denied. The second most important thing I saw was the white dove. There were some people in the video who got shot. I noticed that when there blood trickled down it formed the picture of a flower. It probably symbolizes their will to live.

I think that Amnesty International is doing the right thing . The world as I see it is having war every minute. I’m not saying everyone’s bad but actions like swearing and bullying your siblings, these things happen every day. As I said in the previous paragraphs, lots of small things can lead to something big. I think we should all try to take action. We have to leave a good future behind for our future generations.


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