Category Archives: Documentary

On DVD: THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR

galapagos affairComing to DVD today, Tuesday, September 9: THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN

Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller’s chronicle of a bizarre 1930s murder mystery bowed at Telluride last year. It went on to screen at the Hamptons, Berlin, New Orleans filmOrama, Palm Springs, and Bermuda, among others.

I previously wrote about the doc upon its theatrical release here.

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On DVD: WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?

dayaniComing to DVD today, Tuesday, September 9: WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?

Marc Silver’s intimate look at immigration debuted at Sundance last year, winning the World Cinema Documentary Cinematography Award. Its festival circuit also included Hot Docs, San Sebastian, San Diego Latino, Abu Dhabi, Zurich, Rome, Miami, and the New York Film Festival, among others.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On VOD: ELENA

ElenaComing to VOD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 9: ELENA

Petra Costa’s meditation on family premiered at the Festival de Brasília in 2012. It went on to IDFA, SXSW, Hot Docs, Planete+ Doc, ZagrebDox, Havana, and Rooftop Films.

I included the film in my SXSW coverage here.

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On DVD/VOD: FED UP

fed upComing to DVD and VOD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 9: FED UP

Stephanie Soechtig’s provocative investigation into America’s obesity epidemic debuted at Sundance this January. Screenings followed at San Francisco, Hot Docs, Martha’s Vineyard, San Francisco, and Traverse City.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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Special Screening & In Theatres: THE GREEN PRINCE

green princeComing to NYC’s JCC Manhattan for its CineMatters series tomorrow, Tuesday, September 9 and opening in theatres this Friday, September 12: THE GREEN PRINCE

Nadav Schirman’s stranger-than-fiction tale of unexpected Israeli/Hamas cooperation premiered at Sundance this year, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award. It went on to screen at Human Rights Watch, San Francisco Jewish, Dallas Jewish, Seattle, Sarasota, Moscow, DocAviv, and the upcoming Atlantic fest.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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In Theatres: THE RULE

ruleComing to theatres today, Friday, September 5: THE RULE

Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno’s profile of a Newark prep school debuted at the Montclair Film Festival this year. It now comes to NYC, with a Los Angeles run to follow next week.

Founded in 1868, St Benedict’s Prep is run by the monks of the Newark Abbey and operates according to the principles of the Rule of Saint Benedict, stressing community, trust, leadership, commitment, and several other virtues that have helped its predominantly African- and Latin-American students to succeed where so many other inner city schools instead see dismal drop out rates and underperformance. Monks go through each of these principles at length through the course of the Bongiornos’ film, offering practical lessons for how they apply them to their students and their particular circumstances – often involving broken homes, the lack of male role models, gangs, and the like. While students are heard from on occasion, more of their voices would have helped to cement the effectiveness of the pedadogy. Instead, intermittently, the filmmakers interject with crude animation and strange computer-voiced factoids which unfortunately cheapen the proceedings as a whole. Similarly, an extended consideration of the school’s history would be welcome – what’s related here – the internal schism that came after the 1967 Newark riots and eventually led to the closure of the school and the exodus of several of the monks – is more intriguing than the rule play-by-play offered instead.

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On DVD: TEENAGE

teenageComing to DVD next Tuesday, September 9: TEENAGE

Matt Wolf’s meditation on the emergence of the teenager premiered at Tribeca last year. It went on to Hot Docs, AFI Docs, Melbourne, Traverse City, BFI London, DMZ Docs, Hot Springs, CPH:DOX, Denver, and Big Sky, among others.

I included the doc in my Tribeca coverage here.

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