Documentary Fortnight 2013 Overview

momaBeginning this Friday, February 15 and running through Monday, March 4, MoMA holds its 12th annual nonfiction series, Documentary Fortnight. In addition to showcasing nearly two dozen new international feature docs, the program includes a selection of short films from Cuba, New Cuban Shorts; a tribute to the pioneering African American gay activist filmmaker Marlon Riggs; and a retrospective of some of the standout films championed by POV over its 25 year existence.

20211-sofias-last-ambulanceThe series opens with two films, Ilian Metev’s Cannes award-winning SOFIA’S LAST AMBULANCE (pictured), which follows one of the few paramedic teams in Bulgaria’s capital; and Chico Pereira’s IDFA award-winning PABLO’S WINTER, a portrait of a cranky old man and the old mining town in which he lives, which I previously wrote about here.

machine which makesAmong other films screening here that I’ve previously written about include: Tinatin Gurchiani’s Sundance award-winning THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR (pictured), a kaleidoscopic portrait of modern-day Georgia; Jose Alvarez’s CANÍCULA, capturing the traditional rituals of a Mexican Totonac village; and Alessandro Comodin’s SUMMER OF GIACOMO, a charming portrait of a pair of young adults.

homegoingsI’ve also had the chance to see a couple of other films that I’d recommend, but haven’t yet covered here: Michael Grigsby and Rebekah Tolley’s WE WENT TO WAR, an engrossing revisitation of the Vietnam veteran subjects of Grigsby’s 1970 I WAS A SOLDIER; and Christine Turner’s HOMEGOINGS (pictured), a fascinating look at a Harlem undertaker and African American funeral traditions.

documentarianAmong the titles that I haven’t yet seen and am most curious about are: Sarah J Christman’s AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, a meditation on mortality and ecology; The Otolith Group’s THE RADIANT, a consideration of the past promises and potential future dangers of nuclear power in the wake of Fukushima; Salomé Lamas’ NO MAN’S LAND, in which a mercenary discusses his past deeds with the filmmaker; Ivars Zviedris and Inese Klava’s DOCUMENTARIAN (pictured), a meta-doc on the relationship between an unwanted filmmaker and his reclusive would-be subject; and Marc Schmidt’s MATTHEW’S LAWS, a portrait of the filmmaker’s childhood friend, an autistic man with an elaborate way of trying to make sense of his surroundings.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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