Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 5, the 12th edition of the True/False Film Festival takes over Columbia MO through the weekend. More than forty features figure in the popular destination event’s programming, representing an eclectic cross-section of brand new work, recent Sundance titles, standouts from the past Fall’s European festivals like IDFA, CPH:DOX, and elsewhere, several “secret screenings” that offer attendees sneak previews of upcoming debuts, and works on the border of fiction and nonfiction, as featured in the event’s Neither/Nor series. I’m looking forward to returning to the festival again, with the below highlights foremost on my watch list:
Several projects offer portraits of individuals and their distinctive environments, including: Khalik Allah’s FIELD NIGGAS (pictured), an impressionistic view of Harlem; Morgan Knibbe’s THOSE WHO FEEL THE FIRE BURNING, a reflection on the experiences of migrants within Western Europe; Hanna Polak’s SOMETHING BETTER TO COME, a fourteen-year chronicle of a girl’s life in a Moscow landfill; Cyop & Kaf’s IL SEGRETO, which follows Neapolitan street children as they prepare for the holidays; and Maite Alberdi’s TEA TIME, about the monthly meeting of a group of Chilean women over six decades.
Families are at the core of a number of other selections: Eri Daniel Erlich’s LIFE ACCORDING TO OHAD finds the titular protagonist, an animal rights proponent, agreeing to eat with his meat-eating family once again; Anna Roussillon’s I AM THE PEOPLE, a view of changes in the Arab world from the perspective of a middle-class Egyptian family; and Ioanis Nuguet’s SPARTACUS & CASSANDRA (pictured), about a pair of Roma siblings forced to contend with their shiftless, drunken father.
Finally, a couple of films bring a nuanced, singular approach to journalistic or historical nonfiction: T/F True Vision Award recipient Adam Curtis’ BITTER LAKE (pictured), an archivally-driven portrait of Afghanistan; and Tonje Hessen Schei’s DRONE, a multiperspectival exploration of modern warfare, its targets, and collateral damage.