Category Archives: Releases

In Theatres: NOWHERE TO HIDE

Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 23:
NOWHERE TO HIDE

Director:
Zaradasht Ahmed

Premiere:
IDFA 2016

Select Festivals:
CPH:DOX, Thessaloniki Doc, One World, Göteborg, Cleveland, Sarasota, Docs Against Gravity, Sydney, Seattle, DocAviv, Human Rights Watch NYC, London, and Toronto

About:
A personal tour through daily life in Iraq.

Ahmed provides an intimate, immersive view of the lives of everyday Iraqis through his protagonist, Nori Sharif, a nurse who he teaches to use a camera. When the film begins, in 2011, Nori and his fellow countrymen are hopeful that the withdrawal of American troops means that their independent nation might finally be permitted peace. By the time this powerful, evocative, and very personal film ends, it’s 2014, and the encroachment of ISIS forces Nori, his wife, and their four young children to flee for their lives. Nori initially captures moments from his work at the Jalawla Emergency Hospital, but this relative tranquility soon gives way to an increasingly unstable Iraq, which costs Nori his job, and, as the viewer is later shown, destroys the hospital. As the Sharifs try to find some sanctuary, Nori documents their dire situation, and that of their fellow Iraqis. He serves as an on-the-ground Everyman, a citizen, not a soldier, whose every moment is nevertheless consumed with the impact of war, making his collaboration with Ahmed a stark, human, and unforgettable chronicle of life in wartime.

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In Theatres: IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE

Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 23:
IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE

Director:
Patrick Shen

Premiere:
CPH:DOX 2015

Select Festivals:
SXSW, Atlanta, Cleveland, Ashland, Full Frame, Dallas, Docville, DOXA, Sheffield, San Francisco Green

About:
A meditation on silence in the cacophony of modern life.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Theatres & On VOD: NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS

Coming to theatres and to VOD via Netflix tomorrow, Friday, June 23:
NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS

Director:
Brian Knappenberger

Premiere:
Sundance 2017

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, AFI Docs, SXSW, Sheffield, Human Rights Watch, San Francisco, Miami

About:
An investigation into the erosion of the freedom of the press in the face of financial inequity.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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In Theatres: IN TRANSIT

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, June 23:
IN TRANSIT

Directors:
Al Maysles, Lynn True, David Usui, Nelson Walker, and Ben Wu

Premiere:
Tribeca 2015

Select Festivals:
IDFA, Vancouver, Full Frame, Dokufest Kosovo, Camden, DMZ Docs, Docs DF, Docslisboa, RIDM, AFI Docs, Hamptons, Denver, DocAviv

About:
Documentary legend Al Maysles’ last film observes life aboard a cross-country train route.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Theatres: FOOD EVOLUTION

Coming to theatres this Friday, June 23:
FOOD EVOLUTION

Director:
Scott Hamilton Kennedy

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2016

Select Festivals:
CPH:DOX, Cleveland, Seattle

About:
An exploration of the polarized debate surrounding GMOs.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
As society tackles the problem of feeding our expanding population safely and sustainably, a schism has arisen between scientists and consumers, motivated by fear and distrust. Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s film, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, explores the polarized debate surrounding GMOs. Looking at the real-world application of food science in the past and present, the film argues for sound science and open-mindedness in a culture that increasingly shows resistance to both.

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In Theatres: ALL THE RAGE (SAVED BY SARNO)

Coming to theatres this Friday, June 23:
ALL THE RAGE (SAVED BY SARNO)

Directors:
Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, and David Beilinson

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2016

Select Festivals:
BAFICI, San Francisco DocFest, Chicago Underground, Big Sky Doc

About:
A doctor’s controversial approach to treating back pain upends the medical establishment.

Filmmaker Michael Galinksy once suffered from crippling back pain. After conventional treatments proved ineffective, he was directed to read the work of Dr John Sarno, who championed a re-evaluation of chronic pain as psychosomatic in nature. Though often dismissed by his peers, Sarno’s work found its champions in those it helped. Similarly finding success in Sarno’s approach, Galinsky and his collaborators set out to tell the physician’s story, only to find the project stalled due to a lack of funding. Years later, after the death of his father, Galinsky’s pain returned, providing an impetus to revisit the Sarno project, explore his treatment’s effectiveness, and try to give the polarizing figure a platform. The filmmakers effectively balance the personal and the broader elements of the story, and, depending on how much the audience buys into Sarno’s approach, suggest larger implications for both the health care system and for how conventional medical opinion treats unorthodox thinking.

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In Theatres: GOOD FORTUNE

Coming to theatres this Friday, June 23:
GOOD FORTUNE

Directors:
Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell

Premiere:
Zurich 2016

Select Festivals:
Austin, Sedona

About:
A biography of John Paul DeJoria, a self-made billionaire and pioneer of conscious capitalism.

DeJoria, better known as simply John Paul, tells the rags-to-riches story of his life in this puffy but harmless hagiographical project. Born to Italian and Greek immigrants in East LA, and seemingly fated to never amount to anything given his humble beginnings, John Paul hustled to make a living, eventually hitting his stride as a salesman. He made his initial fortune in the world of hair care, developing John Paul Mitchell Systems, and later co-founded the tequila brand Patron, among multiple other ventures. The workmanlike doc, bombastically narrated by John Paul friend Dan Aykroyd, sketches out his various life and career milestones, while also emphasizing his philanthropy. Given the project’s authorized nature, it offers no critical voices, making this a one-note, diverting profile best geared to the admittedly likeable mogul’s existing admirers.

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