Category Archives: Documentary

On Cable: PRIVATE VIOLENCE

private violenceComing to HBO tonight, Monday, October 20: PRIVATE VIOLENCE

Cynthia Hill’s illuminating exploration of the impact of domestic violence debuted at Sundance this year. Other festival berths have included True/False, New Orleans, Full Frame, Dallas, Hot Docs, Heartland, Seattle, Human Rights Watch, and DOXA, among others.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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In Theatres: WATCHERS OF THE SKY

watchers of skyComing to theatres today, Friday, October 17: WATCHERS OF THE SKY

Edet Belzberg’s exploration of genocide’s past and present debuted at Sundance this year, winning two awards. Other fest berths have included Nantucket, Cleveland, Hot Docs, Melbourne, Sydney, and Human Rights Watch, among others.

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

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Morelia 2014: Documentary Overview

morelia_film_festival_2014One of Mexico’s most celebrated film events, the Morelia International Film Festival/Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia, kicks off its 12th edition tonight, Friday, October 17, presenting 87 films before it winds down on Sunday, October 26. Focusing exclusively on Mexican cinema, the event spotlights twelve shorts among its 62 shorts lineup and twelve feature documentaries within its 25 feature selections. The following looks at some of the latter: Continue reading

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In Theatres: PRIVATE VIOLENCE

private violenceComing to theaters tomorrow, Friday, October 17: PRIVATE VIOLENCE

Cynthia Hill’s poignant look at domestic violence had its world premiere at Sundance at the beginning of the year. It has gone on to screen at True/False, Full Frame, Dallas, Hot Docs, and DOXA, among other events.

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

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance

ON DVD: EVERY THREE SECONDS

everythreeseconds_flat1-1412144073Coming to DVD today, Thursday, October 16: EVERY THREE SECONDS

Daniel Karslake’s look at practical solutions to poverty made its debut at Orlando’s Global Peace Film Festival last month. Community, university, and museum screenings have followed and the film will be screening at the New Orleans Film Festival, which begins today.

Named after the statistical incidence of death due to extreme poverty, and timed to be released today, World Food Day, Karslake’s film profiles five inspirational individuals who take their concerns about poverty and hunger and transform them into positive action. Senior Gloria organizes volunteers to glean unused crops from local farmers to provide fresh vegetables for a food bank. Pre-teen Charlie is motivated to raise funds for Haiti relief, only to unexpectedly have his campaign go viral. Ingrid, a Swedish woman living in Kenya, formed a microfinance bank to encourage street beggars to become green grocers. Lisa, a former beauty queen, becomes involves in efforts to address conflict in Congo and to help its victims. Medical student Josh develops an innovative program to use cellphones to provide better coordination between health workers in Malawi. As is clear by the diverse topics and locations covered by Karslake’s subjects, his film takes a sweeping survey approach to universal issues, interweaving the various threads to make the simple but necessary point that these individuals have not just acknowledged that poverty exists – they’ve actually set out to do something about it, even if their impact is on a relatively small scale. While the film is fairly conventional in approach, and could have used some trimming, its message is a worthwhile one.

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Doclisboa 2014 Overview

imagesThe 12th edition of Doclisboa launches tomorrow, Thursday, October 16, with nearly 70 feature docs unspooling until the fest comes to a close on Sunday, October 26, bookends by Sergei Loznitsa’s MAÏDAN and Peter von Bagh’s SOCIALISM, respectively. Taking an expansive view of nonfiction, the festival showcases a number of hybrid or fiction projects, essays, and experimental work within its lineup – sometimes with inscrutable program notes – as well as a significant amount of retrospective works. What follows are selections from some of the event’s programming strands: Continue reading

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Woodstock 2014: Documentary Overview

woodstockThe 15th anniversary Woodstock Film Festival opens today, Wednesday, October 15, and wraps up this Sunday, October 19. The upstate New York event will present over 125 films over the course of its five-day run, of which just over 20 are documentary features. Here are some highlights:

enquiringFamiliar film subjects are profiled in Pauly Shore’s stand-up self-portrait, PAULY SHORE STANDS ALONE; Chuck Workman’s look at the life and career of a Hollywood legend, MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE AND WORK OF ORSON WELLES; and Ric Burns’ investigation into tabloid history, ENQUIRING MINDS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE MAN BEHIND THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER (pictured).

handStories about overcoming adversity through self-empowerment include: Lesley Chilcott’s A SMALL SECTION OF THE WORLD, about a pioneering Costa Rican women’s coffee-growing collective; Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick’s THE HAND THAT FEEDS (pictured), chronicling food service workers attempt to organize for better working conditions; Nicole Boxer’s HOW I GOT OVER, on several women’s path from trauma to redemption through theatre; and Michael Lessac’s A SNAKE GIVES BIRTH TO A SNAKE, which follows South African actors as they try to create dialogue in divided communities.

little whiteFinally, filmmakers address topical issues in Thomas G. Miller’s intimate look at transnational gay marriage, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; Alix Lambert’s poignant exploration of school bullying, MENTOR; and Lacey Schwartz’s exploration of family secrets, race, and religion, LITTLE WHITE LIE (pictured).

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