BAMcinemaFest 2019: Documentary Overview

The 11th BAMcinemaFest

June 12-23

Nearly half of this well-curated Brooklyn event’s lineup consists of docs.


The festival includes one world premiering doc, Lana Lin’s THE CANCER JOURNALS REVISITED, an experimental extension of Audre Lorde’s work as read by women who have or are facing breast cancer.




Remaining docs include three from Sundance’s lineup, featuring two award-winners, Liza Mandelup’s JAWLINE, which follows a wide-eyed Tennessee teen as he tries to develop an online following; and Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra’s hybrid THE INFILTRATORS, exploring the work of undocumented youth activists; as well as Ben Berman’s THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY, a meta doc about the unexpected challenges of making a film about the titular magician.


Another three docs made their debuts at SXSW: Andrew Hevia’s LEAVE THE BUS THROUGH THE BROKEN WINDOW, also a meta project, detailing how the heartbroken filmmaker reckoned with a lonely trip to Hong Kong; Julie Smith Clem and Ken Druckerman’s IT STARTED AS A JOKE, a love letter to the world of stand-up comedy through the decade-long story of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival and its founder; and Rodney Evans’ VISION PORTRAITS, the filmmaker’s personal journey of coming to terms with the loss of his sight through profiles of other visually-impaired artists.


The final three docs screened at True/False: Brett Story’s THE HOTTEST AUGUST, an essay exploring climate change and late-stage capitalism; James Blagden and Roni Moore’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, which looks at the buildup to prom in majority black high school in Flint MI; and Juan Pablo González’s CABALLERANGO, which explores a case of suicide in Jalisco.

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

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