Cinéma du Réel 2020 Overview

The 42nd Cinéma du Réel

March 13-22

This Paris event presents nearly 50 new and recent documentary features.


Title in the French Selection include: Taina Tervonen’s TALKING WITH THE DEAD, which follows a forensics expert as she attempts to identify the bodies in a recently discovered mass grave in Bosnia; Jean-Baptiste Alazard’s THE GOLDEN AGE, a portrait of a couple living in the remote French countryside; Vladimir Léon’s MY DEAR SPIES, in which the filmmakers seeks to uncover his grandparents’ secret past; Judith Auffray’s A HOUSE, a portrait of a household of young adults with autism; Qutaiba Barhamji’s GEVAR’S LAND, about a Syrian transplant to France as he tries to farm; Rares Ienasoaie’s THE MISSING ONE, a profile of the filmmaker’s morphine-addicted sister; and Marie Dault’s CHRONICLE OF THE STOLEN LAND, in which Caracas barrio dwellers reveal the history of their neighborhood.


Among the films in the International Selection are: Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati’s EXPEDITION CONTENT, which explores ethnography through an audio record of a 1961 encounter with an indigenous people in West New Guinea; Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino’s MAKONGO, a portrait of two young Central African Republic pygmies; Joshua Bonnetta’s THE TWO SIGHTS, about the Scottish Outer Hebrides and their connection to legends about precognition; Marina Meijer’s CARROUSEL, about a Dutch program for troubled men and teens; Gu Xue’s THE CHOICE, which follows a Chinese family as they reckon with the fate of their comatose relative; Juan Manuel Sepúlveda’s THE SHADOW OF THE DESERT (OR PARADISE LOST), a dual portrait of migrants seeking entry into the US through the Sonoran Desert and the indigenous people whose homeland is threatened by the border wall; and Jonathan Perel’s CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY, which attempts to expose cases of Argentine workers’ rights abuses since 1976.


Other offerings include: Muriel Cravatte’s DEMAIN EST SI LOIN, which looks at the migration crisis at the French-Italian border; Florence Lazar’s YOU THINK THE EARTH IS A DEAD THING, an exploration of environmental resistance in Martinique; Leïla Porcher and Sarah Guillemet’s I AM NO LONGER AFRAID, which follows two Kurdish women as they begin guerrilla training; Patrick Sobelman and Hugo Sobelman’s GOLDA MARIA, which revisits a 1994 interview with the filmmakers’ Holocaust survivor grandmother; and Babette Mangolte’s CALAMITY JANE & DELPHINE SEYRIG, A STORY, an exploration of feminism and motherhood through a film project by the French actress about the legendary American frontierswoman.

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

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