The 12 O’Clock Boys are a notorious urban dirt bike pack, weaving through the streets of Baltimore at dizzying speeds. In this wild, dynamic documentary, their stunning antics are seen through the eyes of young adolescent Pug - a bright kid obsessed with the riders and willing to do anything to join their ranks. 12 O’Clock Boys presents the compelling, intimate story of a young boy in search of his dangerous, thrilling dream.
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth tells the extraordinary story of one of America’s greatest living writers, from her childhood in a family of Georgia sharecroppers to a distinguished career as an activist and author. The first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple, Walker found herself at the center of a national controversy surrounding the book and the film adaptation’s depiction of the relationship between black women and the men in their lives.
Finland and Denmark / USA
Growing up gay in a family and a community that refuse to accept him for who he is, James leaves his hometown for San Francisco. Moving with his boyfriend Tyler, James imagines easily finding a home in the world’s gay Mecca, but without jobs they end up living among the city's sizable community of homeless queer youth. Both stylized and deeply personal, this moving documentary provides an intimate portrait of its subjects' joys and struggles.
Pioneering documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (Titicut Follies, Crazy Horse) has become the cinema’s great chronicler of institutions. With his characteristic focus on the human side of a large and complex organization, Wiseman trains his camera on the University of California, Berkeley during the fall 2010 semester. With unrestrained access, Wiseman goes inside classrooms and administration meetings to paint an engrossing, multi-layered portrait of an elite university in a time of financial uncertainty.
Just before winning the Miss World beauty pageant in 1998, Linor Abargil was held captive, stabbed, and violently raped. Ten years later, Abargil resolves to confront her past and reach out to other survivors, encouraging women around the world to speak out. Director Cecilia Peck (Shut Up & Sing) follows Abargil as she speaks with teens in South Africa, visits campuses in the US, and returns to Italy for the first time since her attack in search of closure.
English, Hebrew, Italian with English subtitles, 92 min
An inspiring portrait of Mozambique’s founding president, Comrade President traces the life and legacy of revolutionary leader Samora Moisés Machel. At the forefront of a popular uprising, Machel helped establish a fledgling government and continued fighting for justice until his suspicious death in 1986. With candid interviews from those who knew Machel best - including his opponents - this documentary examines the indelible legacy of a revolutionary hero.
Portuguese with English Subtitles, 90 min
Filmmaker Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David and director of the notorious Boxing Helena, traveled to India in 2008 to make Hisss, a modern-day comedy-horror-musical film about the beautiful but vengeful snake goddess Nagin. But everything devolves rapidly into chaos as the bloated production falls behind schedule, the set growing increasingly tense and combative as Lynch fights with her producers for control of the film, all the while trying to look after her young daughter and maintain her sanity.
English, Hindi with English subtitles, 85 min
A ferocious, funny, and poignant portrait of the one-of-a-kind Broadway legend still belting out Sondheim numbers at age 87, this documentary tribute showcases the brash, uncompromising Tony and Emmy winner both onstage and off. The film captures her immeasurable charm, acerbic wit, and impressive accomplishments with candid footage and interviews with friends and collaborators, including Sondheim, Tina Fey, and Nathan Lane. Sparkling with Stritch’s delightful character, this film is an inspiring portrait of an American treasure.
In an attempt to deflect the public gaze away from Canada's most notorious serial killer and onto the lives of his victims, artist Pamela Masik creates paintings of the women killed by Robert Pickton. However, her work is quickly met with a backlash from the victims' families and the Vancouver Aboriginal community. Unafraid to confront moral ambiguity, this documentary examines every nuance of the debate over whether her work is art, tribute, or exploitation.
Canada / UK / USA
Spurred on by the Arab Spring, nine courageous women’s rights advocates gather to discuss gender inequality and a long history of oppression. Provided a platform by filmmaker and human rights lawyer Paula Kweskin, these women speak from personal experience about the hardships women endure in Muslim-majority societies. This inspiring documentary gives voice to these women as they recount their efforts to effect change in their own communities and in the larger world.
In May 2009, Guatemalan lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano was shot and killed near his home. Shortly beforehand, he had recorded a video to be released in the event of his death, accusing President Álvaro Colom Caballeros of orchestrating an assassination, a charge all too plausible in a country very familiar with violence and corruption. Director Justin Webster brings the story of Marzano's work and the subsequent investigation to life in this gripping, edge-of-your seat documentary.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 85 min
Lebanon / Palestine / UAE
At the wall separating Israel and Palestine, artist and filmmaker Khaled Jarrar and his small, handheld camera observe people making the dangerous, difficult cross into Israel under constant threat of discovery by patrolling border guards, and the smugglers that assist them. With urgency and immediacy, Jarrar documents their efforts in this raw and endlessly compelling film that captures the struggle and determination of those whose lives have been forever disrupted by the wall.
Arabic with English Subtitles, 70 min
Austria / France
For his latest documentary epic, Claude Lanzmann (Shoah) revisits the footage of his 1975 interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the president of Theresienstadt’s Jewish Council of Elders, and the only "Jewish Elder" to survive the war. The strikingly intelligent, charismatic Murmelstein candidly reflects on his unique historical role, one for which he was both demonized and celebrated. Through these interviews and visits to historical sites, Lanzmann provides an incisive view of a complex, beguiling character.
French and German with English Subtitles, 218 min
Cambodia and France
Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Un Certain Regard prize, this highly personal, moving account of director Rithy Panh’s own experiences of the Cambodian genocide addresses the lack of images of the government’s atrocities by creating its own. Intricately detailed clay figurines are employed to represent young Panh, his family, and many others brutally victimized by the Khmer Rouge in this inventive yet rigorous approach to a haunting subject.
French with English subtitles, 92 min
In rural China, the job of enforcing the Communist Party's one-child policy falls on government bureaucrats tasked with imposing fines, birth control, and forced sterilizations. Xu Huijing documents this process in his native village of Ma, following the tenacious efforts of the local birth control chief during an increased sterilization quota period, revealing the absurd and tragic local consequences of high-level government policy.
Mandarin with English Subtitles, 68 min
Mexico and USA
By turns beautiful, brutal, and eye-opening, Rodrigo Reyes's documentary offers a thoughtful portait of the US-Mexico border. His wide-ranging aesthetic inquiry incorporates interviews with border-crossers, coroners, dog-catchers, police, and others on both sides, tying these disparate stories together through stunning imagery that depicts the border as an almost mythic place. Purgatorio is less concerned with polemics than it is with considering the human implications of defining and enforcing a line between two nations.
English and Spanish with English Subtitles, 80 min
France and Switzerland
Learning that his cousin Mohsen has left Iran illegally, filmmaker Kaveh Bakhtiari travels to Athens, a common middle ground for undocumented migrants hoping to reach other European countries. Stop-Over captures the constant tension of these immigrants’ everyday lives in the shadows, where every trip outside a crowded safe house is fraught with the danger of arrest and deportation, in a powerful first-person account of life lived under the radar.
French, Farsi with English Subtitles, 104 min
Austin Peck & Anneliese Vandenberg
On the streets of Kenya's cities, Tough Bond-brand glue is the drug of choice for kids living on their own, numbing themselves to hunger while surviving off scraps. This incredibly moving documentary provides an intimate look at four of these kids - who call themselves “Survivors” - following them over the course of three years and taking the viewer deep into their lives. Filmmakers Peck and Vandenberg employ their impressive technical virtuosity in capturing the world of these embattled but resilient children.
English, Swahili, Turkana with English Subtitles, 84 min
Newly released from a psychiatric hospital after a bout of severe depression brought on by the death of his pet fox, truck driver Mahmood Kiyani Falavarjani returns to his family, work, and favorite hobby - filmmaking. Having previously won awards for his short films starring his beloved, lamented fox, he sets out to film his most ambitious project yet: a love story between two donkeys. Arash Lahooti's sympathetic documentary captures Mahmood's fascinating life as family man, eccentric animal lover, and artist.
Farsi with English Subtitles, 78 min
Dedicated to Roger Ebert, The Unknown Known offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, the larger-than-life figure who served as George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense and as the principal architect of the Iraq War. Rather than conducting a conventional interview, director Errol Morris has Rumsfeld perform and explain his “snowflakes” - the enormous archive of memos he wrote across almost fifty years. The memos provide a window into history - not as it actually happened, but as Rumsfeld wants us to see it.
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