Venice 2021: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 78th Venice International Film Festival

Dates:
September 1-11

About:
The A list Italian festival returns with approximately 80 features, among them just 14 documentaries, while the autonomous sidebars present 17 docs among their 38 feature presentations, including the following.

Among the offerings:
Out of Competition

BECOMING LED ZEPPELIN
Director: Bernard MacMahon
With unparalleled access to the group and their personal archives, their full support and never-before-seen footage, a surprising revealing look at the legendary band’s early days.

DJANGO & DJANGO
Director: Luca Rea 
Previously unseen material, testimonies, and reconstructions reveal Sergio Corbucci, one of the best directors of Italian westerns of the 1960s.

ENNIO
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore 
A portrait of Ennio Morricone, the most popular and prolific film composer of the 20th century, a two-time Oscar winner and the author of over five hundred unforgettable scores. 

HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG
Director: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine
The definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, Hallelujah.

LIFE OF CRIME 1984-2020
Director: Jon Alpert
Over a thirty-six year period, this film follows Rob, Freddie, and Deliris on a relentless ride through the streets and prisons of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city. 

REPUBLIC OF SILENCE
Director: Diana El Jeiroudi
She grew up in the lands of dictators and surveillance, where images are censored, photos are burned, thoughts are discreet, and mouths are kept shut.

TRENCHES (TRANCHÉES)
Director: Loup Bureau 
In Donbas, Ukraine, while precarious truces and ceasefires are negotiated far away by diplomats, Ukrainian soldiers fight against separatists supported by Russia in this immersive journey into the trenches.

Special Screenings:

INFERNO ROSSO: JOE D’AMATO SULLA VIA DELL’ECCESSO
Director: Manlio Gomarasca, Massimiliano Zanin
Who was Aristide Massaccesi AKA Joe D’Amato? In America, a genius of the horror movie; in France, a master of eroticism; in Italy, the king of porn.

Venice International Film Critics’ Week:

THE LAST CHAPTER
Director: Gianluca Matarrese
An intimate and daring confession, a two-way conversation between the director and his lover, a game of domination and submission encompassing the universe of bondage, the traumas of AIDS and even the theory of images.

Venice Days:

CAVEMAN
Director: Tommaso Landucci
In a cave in the Apuan Alps, 650 meters below ground, one of the most intriguing and ambitious works by sculptor Filippo Dobrilla can be found: The Sleeping Giant, the result of over thirty years of work.

CÙNTAMI
Director: Giovanna Taviani
A road movie on a red truck driving around Sicily, on the lookout for new oral storytellers who draw on the great tradition of the cùnto (tale) and its tellers.

THE FORGOTTEN ONES
Director: Michale Boganim
The filmmaker meet several generations of Mizrahim – Jews from North Africa and the Middle East – to question notions of exile and inheritance.

THE PALACE
Director: Federica Di Giacomo
In the center of Rome stands the Palace, whose owner, like a Renaissance patron of the arts, has offered asylum to an eclectic community of friends, including Mauro, who unexpectedly dies at 45 before completing his ambitious film set in the building.

PRINCESA
Director: Stefania Muresu
A young Nigerian woman, who arrived in Sardinia as a victim of human trafficking, desires to make good in a new land.

SPIN TIME: CHE FATICA LA DEMOCRAZIA!
Director: Sabina Guzzanti
The main character of the film is a 17,000-m2 building occupied by squatters, famous for the intervention of the papal almoner in helping its residents; it is a political and social experiment in progress.

THREE MINUTES: A LENGTHENING
Director: Bianca StigterA home movie shot by David Kurtz in 1938 in a Jewish town in Poland – the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust – are examined to unravel the stories hidden in the celluloid.

THE WORLD IN SNAPS
Director: Cecilia Mangini, Paolo Pisanelli
A dialogue between two people musing over things that are visible and invisible in the world – Cecilia, in her 90s yet unstoppable, filmed by Paolo, as she transitions from analog to digital.

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

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