Thor Halvorssen, orator, human rights activist, and film producer is the founder of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) located in New York City, New York. Under his activist leadership, the HRF does many things to improve freedoms, human conditions and defeat dictatorships. One program, Exposing Dictatorships discourages celebrities from performing in locations subject to dictator ruling, in addition they publicly berate American Public Relation firms for exchanging their services for “donations” to their firms. This list has included but has not been limited to:
- Jennifer Lopez for her performance in Turkmenistan;
- Kanye West, who performed at President Mursultan Nazabavev’s grandson’s wedding in Kazakhstan;
- Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj for their performances in Angola.
- The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation in Equatorial Guinea who is believed to have cleaned up President Teodoro Obiang’s public image of operating the country with no concern for human rights.
Through his film producing efforts, Thor has persistently attempted to advocate against suppression and educate people about poor conditions across the globe regarding human rights. Among these efforts are movies:
- Freedom’s Fury is a documentary that focuses on the 1956 Summer Olympics in Australia. More specifically the semifinal water polo competition between the then USSR and Hungary, which would come to be known as the violent “blood in the water match.” This film debuted in 2006 at the Tribeca Film Festival on the 50th anniversary of the event.
- Released in 2009, the science fiction movie, 2081 projects a possible future America, where individual inequality has been eliminated by the make-believe 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the constitution.
- The Singing Revolution, another 2006 film is about Estonians who together fight against Russian occupation by singing patriotic songs. Certainly, not your typical idea of a revolution, but it makes the point regarding human suppression.