Venice 2020: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 77th Venice International Film Festival

Dates:
September 2-12

About:
The world’s oldest festival is also the first major Fall event to take place in theatres in the COVID-19 era, albeit with a somewhat truncated lineup of approximately 60 new features – 15 of those nonfiction. In addition, the autonomous parallel sidebars offer eight documentaries among their approximately 30 selections.

Among the offerings:

NOTTURNO

Competition:
NOTTURNO
Director: Gianfranco Rosi
Everyday life, shot over three years in the Middle East, on the borders between Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, and Lebanon, revealing the continuing tragedy of civil wars, ferocious dictatorships, foreign invasions, and interference, up to the murderous apocalypse of ISIS.

Out of Competition:
CITY HALL
Director: Frederick Wiseman
An epic look at Boston’s city government, covering racial justice, housing, climate action, and more.

CRAZY, NOT INSANE
Director: Alex Gibney
Why do we kill? Why do some of us kill, and others resist the temptation? What makes a serial killer? Dr Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a psychiatrist who’s examined numerous serial killers, including Ted Bundy, sought to answer these questions.

FINAL ACCOUNT

FINAL ACCOUNT
Director: Luke Holland
Interviews with the last living generation of Germans to have participated in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich – not the infamously chilling names in history books, but the everyday citizens who carried out the plans made by the architects of mass-scale genocide.

GRETA
Director: Nathan Grossman
In August of 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old student in Sweden, starts a school strike for the climate. Her question for adults: if you don’t care about her future on Earth, why should she care about her future in school? Within months, her strike evolves into a global movement.

HOPPER/WELLES
Director: Orson Welles
An intimate and revelatory 1970 conversation between two film giants, Dennis Hopper, then riding high on the massive success of EASY RIDER, and Orson Welles, ever the iconoclast and an offscreen interviewer of probing authority.

SALVATORE: SHOEMAKER OF DREAMS
Director: Luca Guadagnino
The mystery and fascination of an important, multifaceted and complex figure as Salvatore Ferragamo has led to a human, artistic and entrepreneurial story being told from different points of view.

WAR AND PEACE

Horizons:
WAR AND PEACE
Director: Martina Parenti, Massimo D’Anolfi
The story of the relationship between cinema and war, one that has lasted for over a century, from the time of their first encounter, way back in 1911, on the occasion of the Italian invasion of Libya, to our own day.

THE ROSSELLINIS

International Film Critics’ Week:
THE ROSSELLINIS
Director: Alessandro Rossellini
The filmmaker, the first grandson of great director Roberto Rossellini, decides to shoot his first film at 55, facing with irony the Rossellinis’ saga and forcing his family to an impossible therapy in front of the camera.

Venice Days:
ALGAMA
Director: Doriana Monaco
A whirlwind of activity sweeps us into the daily routine at the Archaeological Museum of Naples.

ISOLA
Director: Elisa Fuksas
An investigation of the power of storytelling, which is able to dispel the fear of living and dying, and probe the mystery of every friendship, every faith.

TO THE MOON

TO THE MOON
Director: Tadhg O’Sullivan
A beautiful and poetic cinematic ode to our moon, made primarily from international cinematic archives in combination with literary fragments and original moonlit cinematography filmed across five continents.

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

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