Seattle 2019: Documentary Overview

The 45th Seattle International Film Festival

May 16-June 9

This popular regional event includes approximately 70 feature docs as part of its lineup of more than 400 features and shorts.


Among the fest’s eight-strong Documentary Competition are the world premieres of both Milena Pastreich’s PIGEON KINGS, about competitive pigeon flying in South Central LA; and David Shields’ LYNCH: A HISTORY, an essay on controversial former Seahawk Marshawn Lynch.


Regional filmmakers are highlighted in the Northwest Connections strand, including: Jan Haaken’s OUR BODIES OUR DOCTORS, which profiles several reproductive health care providers; Amy Enser’s THE LONG HAUL: THE STORY OF THE BUCKAROOS, about the local Seattle Chippendales-like burlesque dance troupe; Josh “Bones” Murphy’s ARTIFISHAL, which explores opposing sides of the salmon-hatchery industry; Mark Titus’ THE WILD, a look at the impact of salmon on Alaska’s Bristol Bay; and Melinda Raebyne’s STORIES OF US: CAMP SECOND CHANCE, an inside look at homelessness in Seattle.


Thematic strands include Asian Crossroads, with work like Takashi Watanabe’s LE CHOCOLAT DE H, which profiles a super star Japanese patissier; Indigenous, with Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti’s FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM, a portrait of a Tongan ex-patriate’s dedication to his island church; German-focused Deutschlandjahr, with Luigi Toscano’s LEST WE FORGET, which shares the stories of Holocaust survivors; Face the Music, with Ron Howard’s PAVAROTTI, on the legendary opera performer; Alternate Cinema, which offers work like Norbert Pfaffenbichler’s INVEST IN FAILURE (NOTES ON FILM 06-C, MONOLOGUE 03), an experimental portrait of James Mason, and Mark Cousins’ STORM IN MY HEART, which explores the parallel lives of Susan Hayward and Lena Horne; Culinary Cinema, with work like Bruno Sauvard’s WINE CALLING, on French organic winemaking, and Jose Luis Lopez Linares’ VIRGIN & EXTRA: THE LAND OF THE OLIVE OIL, an exploration of Spanish olive oil production; and fashion docs like Deyan Parouchev’s TIMELESS BEAUTY, on the industry’s attempts to diversify the idea of beauty, and Yann L’Henoret’s JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER: FREAK AND CHIC, a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic designer’s career retrospective at the Folies Bergere.

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

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