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Films & Schedules - Documentary

CAIRO DRIVE

Sun, Feb 9, 2014
at 1 PM (CANCELLED)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 9 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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CAIRO DRIVE

DIRECTOR: Sherief Elkatsha - EGYPT

Cairo, Egypt. 20 million people. 23,600 miles of road. Two million cars. Taxis, buses, donkey carts, and swarms of people, all jockeying to move through the obstacle course that is their daily lives. Here, traffic is a chaotic experience where rules are constantly challenged: an elaborate dance of leading and following, flow and resistance, and impeccable, almost miraculous timing. Shot in 2009-2012 (before and during the Egyptian revolution and ending with the most recent presidential elections), the film explores the country’s collective identity, inherent struggles, and the sentiments that led to the historic changes taking place in Egypt today. Here,...

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CODE BLACK

Wed, Feb 19, 2014
at 6 PM (OMSI)
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Fri, Feb 21, 2014
at 7 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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CODE BLACK

DIRECTOR: Ryan McGarry - UNITED STATES

“C-Booth,” the trauma bay at the LA County Hospital, was the first, the toughest, and the best training ground for ER doctors in the country. But when the hospital moved to a modern facility, the dedicated medical staff faced a growing crisis. Code Black follows a group of young doctors as they grapple with the divide between their idealistic expectations for improving patient care and the realities of an underfunded and overly bureaucratic system. McGarry—a full-time doctor at the hospital while making the film—explores the frustrations. How and why do they persist in saving lives in the face of thwarting...

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FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

Sun, Feb 9, 2014
at 3 PM (CANCELLED)
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Tue, Feb 11, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Tue, Feb 25, 2014
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

DIRECTOR: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel - UNITED STATES

Street photographer Vivian Maier was a mystery even to those who knew her. A secretive nanny in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, she died in 2009 and would have been forgotten. But Maloof, an amateur historian, uncovered thousands of her negatives at a storage locker auction and changed history. Now Maier is hailed alongside the likes of Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Weegee as a major artist. And that is just where the story begins. Finding Vivian Maier follows the filmmakers as they unearth Vivian’s story, combing through thousands of negatives and tracking down the families she worked...

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GABRIELLE

Sat, Feb 8, 2014
at 1 PM (Cinemagic)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 6:15 PM (OMSI)
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GABRIELLE

DIRECTOR: Louise Archambault - CANADA

Gabrielle is a 22-year-old woman with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that often slows cognitive skills while increasing outgoingness and musical talent. She sings in a Montreal choir for other disabled adults, where she’s met and fallen in love with the dashingly handsome Martin. The bliss of first love is interrupted, however, by Martin’s interfering mother, who worries that special needs individuals aren’t sufficiently fit for romantic relationships, and by Gabrielle’s beloved sister, who is planning a move abroad to live with her fiancé. What emerges in Archambault’s warm film is a portrait of a young woman fighting for acceptance,...

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THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR

Sat, Feb 8, 2014
at 3:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Thu, Feb 13, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR

DIRECTOR: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine - UNITED STATES

Darwin meets Hitchcock in this gripping, stranger-than-fiction murder-mystery. In 1929, Berlin physician Friedrich Ritter and his lover Dore Strauch left Germany for the deserted Galapagos island of Floreana. Inspired by Nietzsche, Ritter intended to escape “monster” civilization and write in solitude. But soon the couple was discovered by the international press, who trumpeted them as “the Adam and Eve of the Galapagos.” Others flocked to the island—first, the Wittmer family, who fancied themselves as “the Swiss Family Robinsons of the Galapagos,” followed by an Austrian baroness with two lovers and plans for opening a luxury hotel. Then, two inhabitants were...

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GOOGLE AND THE WORLD BRAIN

Wed, Feb 12, 2014
at 6 PM (OMSI)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 1 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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GOOGLE AND THE WORLD BRAIN

DIRECTOR: Ben Lewis - GREAT BRITAIN

Lewis’s engaging documentary uses science fiction writer H.G. Wells’s prophetic declarations of a “complete planetary memory for all mankind,” or a “World Brain,” as his springboard. Talking with librarians, Google engineers, and futurists worldwide, his film offers a big-picture examination of the ambitious Google Book Scanning Project, which in its first decade has now captured over 30 million texts. Lewis travels the globe, from the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, to the 11th-century monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain, to capture the vast undertaking and to contemplate the future of libraries, technology, money, and intellectual property. More than just algorithms...

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LA ULTIMA PELICULA

Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 9 PM (Cinemagic)
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Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (Fox Tower)
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LA ULTIMA PELICULA

DIRECTOR: Raya Martin, Mark Peranson - MEXICO

“Film and digital, documentary and fiction all do battle as an egomaniacal director journeys to the Yucatán to prepare for his (the?) last movie to be shot on celluloid, just as the Mayan apocalypse threatens to bring forth the end of the world—and cinema. Schizophrenic in the best ways possible, this madcap-experimental-comedy-fever-dream is alternately hilarious, poetic, and beautiful. Inspired by Dennis Hopper’s infamous The Last Movie (1971), as well as the documentary shot during its editing on Hopper’s ranch, The American Dreamer, the film is a loving tribute to a great American artist—and to that sacred material known as celluloid—and...

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THE LAST OF THE UNJUST

Sun, Feb 9, 2014
at 5:30 PM (CANCELLED)
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Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 1 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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THE LAST OF THE UNJUST

DIRECTOR: Claude Lanzmann - FRANCE

In 1975, while making his landmark Holocaust documentary Shoah, Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein. Age 70 and living in exile in Rome, Murmelstein was the only surviving “Jewish Elder” appointed by the Nazis to run the “model ghetto” camp at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. Murmelstein’s interview wasn’t included in the film, but it’s the focus of this compelling postscript. Condemned after the war as a collaborator, he explains the terrible accommodation he had to strike with a murderous regime. Lanzmann returns to sites that marked Murmelstein’s wartime experiences and uncovers their savage history, but it’s the intelligent, witty, courageous Murmelstein who provides the...

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LEVITATED MASS

Mon, Feb 17, 2014
at 2:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Tue, Feb 18, 2014
at 6 PM (Fox Tower)
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LEVITATED MASS

DIRECTOR: Doug Pray - UNITED STATES

Levitated Mass chronicles the journey of a 340-ton granite boulder that was moved from a quarry in Riverside to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and mounted upon the walls of a 456-foot-long concrete slot. First attempted in 1968, the 2012 permanent installation “Levitated Mass” is the latest land sculpture by one of America’s most misunderstood and exciting artists, Michael Heizer. His rock’s 105-mile transport captured international media attention and challenged the imagination of thousands of southern Californians over 10 nights as it crawled through four counties on a football-field-long transport. As fascinating is the dramatic story of Heizer’s...

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MAIDENTRIP

Sat, Feb 8, 2014
at 6:15 PM (OMSI)
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Tue, Feb 18, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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MAIDENTRIP

DIRECTOR: Jillian Schlesinger - NETHERLANDS

“At just 14 years old, Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage ‘to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.’ While the Dutch teen’s announcement spurs a highly publicized custody battle with the Child Welfare Office, Schlesinger focuses on the real heart of the story, a fiercely independent girl and her audacious dream. Schlesinger films Laura at her many exotic ports of call, but it’s the young captain herself who shoots all the footage at sea in journal-like conversations with the camera. Far from scrutiny and land, she’s visibly free and speaks so confidently and...

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MANAKAMANA

Sat, Feb 8, 2014
at 8:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 3:15 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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MANAKAMANA

DIRECTOR: Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez - NEPAL

“Spray and Velez’s (literally) transporting film—shot inside a cable car that carries pilgrims and tourists to and from a mountaintop temple in Nepal—is radically simple in conception. Each of its 11 shots lasts as long as a one-way ride, which corresponds to the duration of a roll of 16mm film. This newest work from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab—which previously produced Sweetgrass (PIFF 32) and Leviathan (PIFF 36)—is thrillingly mysterious in its effects: a staged documentary, a cross between science fiction and ethnography, an airborne version of an Andy Warhol screen test. As with the richest structural films, Manakamana is a...

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THE MISSING PICTURE

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
at 6 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 6 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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THE MISSING PICTURE

DIRECTOR: Rithy Panh - CAMBODIA

As the only family survivor of Pol Pot’s reign of terror (1975-1979), Cambodian-French director Rithy Panh has been searching for images all his life. While already a chronicler of Cambodia’s genocide, he shifts to his own childhood recollections with The Missing Picture. Unable to locate photos from the time, Panh uses hundreds of clay figures and dioramas to convey the action—the rice fields, the camps, the summary executions. Hand-carved and hand-painted, these figures stand in for Panh’s parents and family, along with key perpetrators. Scratchy, monochromatic stills from archival propaganda footage are eerily juxtaposed with these colorful, miniature people, all...

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THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 2:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Wed, Feb 19, 2014
at 6 PM ( CANCELLED)
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THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM

DIRECTOR: Oeke Hoogendijk - NETHERLANDS

“The renovation of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum went on for 10 long, expensive years, so it is fitting that a documentary on this torturous (and often inadvertently hilarious) process should turn into not one but two feature-length movies. Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz have designed an ingenious new entryway, but the Dutch Cyclists Union won’t tolerate reduced access for the 13,000 bicyclists who ride through the passageway daily. The museum’s magisterial director, Ronald de Leeuw, and his successor, the younger, scrappier Wim Pijbes, battle with curators, politicians, designers, city bureaucrats, and the public as the price of construction soars to...

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PARTICLE FEVER

Sat, Feb 8, 2014
at 6 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Mon, Feb 10, 2014
at 6 PM (OMSI)
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PARTICLE FEVER

DIRECTOR: Mark Levinson - UNITED STATES

Physicists from all over the world in search of the theoretical Higgs particle collaborated on the planning and construction of the 18-mile-long Cern Large Hadron Collider. Situated in an underground complex near the Franco-Swiss border, it’s allegedly the biggest, most expensive scientific experiment ever made. The idea was to recreate conditions immediately after the Big Bang, allowing a closer understanding of the origin of matter. Physicist-turned-filmmaker Mark Levinson was there with his cameras when the collider went online, and he found a way of approaching the experiment as an epic adventure story, involving multiple setbacks, mysteries, and—according to hysterical press...

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REMOTE AREA MEDICAL

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
at 8:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Sun, Feb 9, 2014
at 3 PM (CANCELLED)
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REMOTE AREA MEDICAL

DIRECTOR: Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman - UNITED STATES

As the national debate over the future of healthcare continues on, this heartfelt film takes a step back from the politics to give an emotional, on-the-ground portrait of those who live every day without proper access to medical care. Unable to afford treatment, an estimated 45 million people in the US lack access to preventative care and often suffer through illnesses in the hopes that they’ll just go away. Remote Area Medical documents the annual two-day “pop-up” medical clinic operated by the nonprofit Remote Area Medical (RAM) in Bristol, Tennessee. During that time, doctors, nurses, and support workers provide care...

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THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Fri, Feb 21, 2014
at 9:15 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA

DIRECTOR: Oskar Alegría - SPAIN

In 1926, avant-garde artist Man Ray, a legendary figure in the Dada and Surrealist movements, shot a cine-poem on Spain’s Basque coast. The film was called Emak Bakia, a title rumored to be obtained from a gravestone in a Biarritz cemetery—or perhaps it was the name of the house in which the artist stayed. But what did it really mean? Alegría, inspired by the whimsically inventive Ray, determines to uncover the truth behind the layers of myth. His journey is not, however, a straightforward one. At one point he decides to follow the path of a hare. He finds references...

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TEENAGE

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
at 6 PM (Fox Tower)
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Mon, Feb 10, 2014
at 6 PM (Cinemagic)
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TEENAGE

DIRECTOR: Matt Wolf - UNITED STATES

Who was the first teenager? Based on punk-historian Jon Savage’s book Teenage: The Creation of Youth, Wolf’s compelling collage of archival images, Super-8mm recreations, and the actual diaries of mid-century teens, all set to an alluring post-punk contemporary soundtrack, is an entertaining look at the birth of the iconic, eternally cool figure of the teenager. Though the seeds of youth culture were planted even before the hipsters of the 1920s, the word and concept of “teenager” was a post-World War II invention. Before then, childhood and adulthood were two completely discrete phases with nothing in between. Wolf’s historical survey finds...

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TIM’S VERMEER

Fri, Feb 14, 2014
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Tue, Feb 18, 2014
at 8:30 PM (OMSI)
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TIM’S VERMEER

DIRECTOR: Teller - UNITED STATES

In 2001, in his book Secret Knowledge, artist David Hockney argued that some classical painters—Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with the Pearl Earring”) especially—had used camera optics in making their great paintings. There was controversy. Was this cheating? Why shouldn’t an artist do whatever he can think of? answered Hockney. But Tim Jenison, a Texas software inventor, considered how he might use 17th-century technology to achieve Vermeer’s photographic look. When his first experiment seemed to work, he thought, “Why not paint my own Vermeer?” Spanning eight years, Jenison’s riveting mystery-adventure takes him to Delft, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces, on a pilgrimage...

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TRANSIT

Thu, Feb 13, 2014
at 6 PM (OMSI)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 3:30 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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TRANSIT

DIRECTOR: Hannah Espia - PHILIPPINES

This year’s Philippine submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Transit deals with the struggles of an extended Filipino family that has lived and worked in Tel Aviv for years. In 2009, the Israeli government passed a new law allowing the children of foreign workers to be deported back to their parents’ country. Janet’s work visa has expired, and she may be deported back to the Philippines. Her teenage daughter Yael, born of an Israeli father from a past relationship, wants to stay, and Janet’s brother Moses hides his four-year-old son at home for fear that if he is...

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VILLAGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Wed, Feb 19, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 6 PM (OMSI)
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VILLAGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

DIRECTOR: Sarah Gavron, David Katznelson - GREAT BRITAIN

This rich, real-life human drama, full of humor and hope, is set against the backdrop of steadily melting ice that portends larger ecological changes for the whole planet. The Inuit village of Niaqornat in spectacular northern Greenland grapples with many  of the same challenges as other small communities around the world: a dwindling population, a lack of industry and jobs, the traditional giving way to modernity. It also happens to be one of the most remote human habitations on Earth. The film focuses on four townsfolk—Lars, the only teenager, who dreams of another life; Karl, the huntsman who has never...

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VISITORS

Mon, Feb 10, 2014
at 8:30 PM (OMSI)
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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VISITORS

DIRECTOR: Godfrey Reggio - UNITED STATES

Thirty years after their groundbreaking Koyaanisqatsi (Qatsi trilogy), director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass have joined forces with associate director Jon Kane to create a cinematic time capsule for the 21st century. If the Qatsi trilogy reflected on ideas of balance, transformation, and war, Visitors asks a very different question: who and what is a visitor when we look around ourselves on this planet? Using this idea as a metaphysical departure for his visual reverie, Reggio takes us on a unique voyage into the mysteries and wonders of the universe. Shot in dazzling black and white, Reggio’s visual genius...

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A WORLD NOT OURS

Fri, Feb 14, 2014
at 6 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 5:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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A WORLD NOT OURS

DIRECTOR: Mahdi Fleifel - LEBANON

Drawing on a family history of videomaking, Fleifel offers an intimate glimpse into the crumbling Ain el-Helweh (“Sweet Spring”) refugee camp in Lebanon—a settlement of less than a square mile that has, for more than 60 years, been home to more than 70,000 people. Fleifel spent his formative years there in the 1980s, before his family settled in Denmark. For years he’s been returning and keeping a video diary, and in A World Not Ours, he provides a frank, funny, and nostalgic insider portrait of the community. The conversations with residents, friends, and family provide an unfiltered take on Palestinian...

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