Sunrise, not Sunset: a short film celebrating the Human Rights Act

Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Scene from 'Sunrise, not Sunset'

How the Human Rights Act helps ordinary people in everyday situations – watch Sunrise, not Sunset

(13 minutes, via René Cassin’s You Tube Channel)


Educational resources

Educational resources have been created to accompany the film Sunrise, not Sunset, by its writer, Debora Singer, with the support of Jon Meier, teacher/advisor.  They are aimed at key stages 3, 4 and 5 for Citizenship Education and for ages 11 – 18 for Cheder and Youth Movements.   The activities are based on the film and on the Human Rights Act more generally.  The resources provide opportunities for young people to engage with the issues raised.

The resources consist of:

  1. Human Rights Act background paper for teachers/leaders
  2. Human Rights Act discussion before the film
  3. Human Rights Act comprehension
  4. Human Rights Act articles exercises

If you would like to use these resources please contact


Premiere of ‘Sunrise, not Sunset’

7th November 2018

In celebration of the Human Rights Act, René Cassin held the premiere screening of ‘Sunrise, not Sunset’, a short film by Debora Singer MBE that tells Edith and Sydney’s story. Directed by Oscar-nominated Paul Morrison and featuring acting couple Leila and Alfred Hoffman, the short film ‘Sunrise, not Sunset’ is both funny and moving.

The film was followed by a panel discussion on the ways in which the Human Rights Act has helped ordinary people, both within the Jewish community and beyond, giving meaning to human rights in small places, close to home.


  • Debora Singer MBE, author of ‘Sunrise, not Sunset’
  • Adam Wagner, human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and founder and chair of
  • Dalia Fleming, Executive Director of Keshet UK
  • Rabbi David Mason, Muswell Hill Synagogue

Debora Singer is a human rights activist and campaigner.  Her work has focused on the rights of women seeking asylum and also on victims of sexual and domestic violence in the UK.  Over the past thirty years, Debora has worked for Asylum Aid, Victim Support, Amnesty International and Rene Cassin in either a paid or voluntary capacity.  Her work has involved managing research, developing policy, influencing decision-makers and coordinating national campaigns, as well as training and supporting grassroots activists.  She brings creativity and persistence to her campaigning work.  In 2012 she was awarded an MBE for services to women. By using drama, she aims to reach hearts and minds to change the discourse about the Human Rights Act. This is demonstrated in another of Debora Singer’s films, The Boy who Changed the Law.

Sunrise, not Sunset – “Why can’t we live together in our old age?”

Edith and Sydney have just celebrated their wedding anniversary. 60 years together. Then, suddenly, they are torn apart. Not by death or divorce, but by a social care system that says “their needs are different” and places them in care homes miles apart.

Luckily, the Jewish couple have two powerful allies. The first is their dedicated and tenacious daughter Judith. The second is the Human Rights Act. Public authorities must comply with the Human Rights Act and the couple’s right to private and family life (Article 8).

Happy birthday, Human Rights Act

In an address to the United Nations 1958, Eleanor Roosevelt professed “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home…”.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, which is incorporated into UK law through the Human Rights Act, both emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War as practical expressions of the determination to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust recurring.

This November marks the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights Act receiving Royal Assent. The Act has brought rights home, and enabled many people – like Edith and Sydney – to use local courts to assert their rights and ensures that all public bodies (and other bodies carrying out public functions) comply with the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.