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Films & Schedules - Documentary Views

ABOVE AND BELOW

Sun, Feb 14, 2016
at 1 PM (Cinema 21)
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Wed, Feb 24, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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ABOVE AND BELOW

DIRECTOR: Nicolas Steiner - SWITZERLAND

Nicolas Steiner’s sublime exploration of lives lived on the fringe is set in a seemingly apocalyptic world that happens to be our own. Living above ground, April dons a spacesuit to simulate life on Mars as part of a remote science program in Utah, while Dave has left modern society for an abandoned military bunker in the California desert. Meanwhile, finding shelter below in Las Vegas storm drains, are Lalo, Rick, and Cindy, who contend with frequent, dangerous flooding to survive on their own terms. “…[Above and Below] treats its subjects with a dignity that transcends judgment and a poetic...

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COUNTING

Thu, Feb 25, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Fri, Feb 26, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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Sat, Feb 27, 2016
at 3 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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COUNTING

DIRECTOR: Jem Cohen - UNITED STATES

Cohen (Museum Hours) evokes the fabric of urban life with this richly textured combination of sound and image. A essayistic documentary in 15 chapters, Counting  weaves 15 “snapshots” of New York, Moscow, Istanbul, and more into a tapestry that captures a range of ephemeral moments with an elegiac tenderness—from street protests to flickering lights and the movement of clouds across the sky. Cohen, who has noted that the film initially began in response to the death of cine-essay pioneer Chris Marker, emerges as both rigorous documentarian and consummate flaneur. “Counting is like taking a Sunday walk through spatial and temporal...

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DON'T BLINK: ROBERT FRANK

Sun, Feb 21, 2016
at 7 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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DON'T BLINK: ROBERT FRANK

DIRECTOR: Laura Israel - UNITED STATES

“The life and work of Robert Frank—as a photographer and a filmmaker—are so intertwined that they’re one in the same, and the vast amount of territory he’s covered, from The Americans in 1958 up to the present, is intimately registered in his now formidable body of artistic gestures. From the early ’90s, Frank has made his films and videos with the brilliant editor Laura Israel, who has helped him keep things homemade and preserve the illuminating spark of first contact between camera and people/places. Don’t Blink is Israel’s like-minded portrait of her friend and collaborator, a lively rummage sale of...

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FOR GRACE

Sat, Feb 13, 2016
at 4 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Wed, Feb 17, 2016
at 6 PM (World Trade Center)
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FOR GRACE

DIRECTOR: Kevin Pang, Mark Helenowski - UNITED STATES

An in-depth look at what it takes to create and manage one of the world’s greatest restaurants—from concrete box to its opening night—For Grace also tells the complex story of a man in a quest to overcome his past and create his own future. Curtis Duffy, one of the country’s most renowned chefs, is building his dream restaurant. Already the recipient of two coveted stars from the Michelin Guide, Duffy has ambitions for his Chicago restaurant Grace to become the best in the country, but his laser focus on his cooking career cost Duffy his family. A story about food, family,...

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A GOOD AMERICAN

Sat, Feb 13, 2016
at 1:15 PM (World Trade Center)
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Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 8:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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Wed, Feb 17, 2016
at 8:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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A GOOD AMERICAN

DIRECTOR: Friedrich Moser - UNITED STATES

The explosion of information in the digital age left government agencies like the NSA struggling with bureaucracy and technology to keep up with the changing times. Responding to the challenge, NSA technical director Bill Binney and a small team of code breakers developed ThinThread, an astonishingly effective data collecting and sorting program that also protects privacy. ThinThread’s built-in safeguards would have prevented the massive surveillance methods later exposed by Edward Snowden. Despite its success, ThinThread was discontinued just weeks before September 11, 2001. How did this program work? Who was behind it? Why was it killed off? After Binney and...

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IN TRANSIT

Sun, Feb 14, 2016
at 7 PM (World Trade Center)
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Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 1 PM (World Trade Center)
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Sun, Feb 21, 2016
at 7 PM (World Trade Center)
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IN TRANSIT

DIRECTOR: Albert Maysles, Lynn True, Nelson Walker III, David Usui, Benjamin Wu - UNITED STATES

The final, fitting film of documentary legend Albert Maysles, In Transit, journeys into the hearts and minds of everyday passengers aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder, the busiest long-distance train route in America. Unfolding as a series of interconnected vignettes, ranging from overheard conversations to moments of deep intimacy, we are swept into a fleeting community that transcends normal barriers. To some passengers, the train is flight and salvation; to others it is reckoning and loss. But for all, it is a place for personal reflection and connecting with others they may otherwise never know. (76 mins.)

Director Lynn True in attendance at...

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IRAQI ODYSSEY

Fri, Feb 12, 2016
at 7 PM (World Trade Center)
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Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 12 PM (Cinema 21)
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IRAQI ODYSSEY

DIRECTOR: Samir - SWITZERLAND

Bombs, war, angry bearded men, shrouded sobbing women, shattered cities: Iraq, as seen through the eyes of the Western media these days. In this riveting and timely film, author and director Samir tells the compelling story of his globalized middle-class Iraqi family—now scattered between Auckland, Moscow, Paris, London and Buffalo, New York—recounting their stories of departures and uprootings. Samir also engrossingly chronicles how Iraqis’ dreams of building a modern and just society after their nation achieved independence in the 1950s were brutally dashed over the course of half a century of dictatorship, war, and foreign occupation. (162 mins.)

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KING GEORGES

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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Sun, Feb 21, 2016
at 4:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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KING GEORGES

DIRECTOR: Erika Frankel - UNITED STATES

Fiery French chef Georges Perrier is on a crusade to save his world-renowned 40-year-old Philadelphia restaurant Le Bec-Fin from closing. For decades, Perrier was on top of the world and Le Bec-Fin was consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the country. But times and tastes have changed: what was once cutting edge is now out of favor. Frankel captures the mastery in the kitchen and charisma on the dining room floor, and has us rooting for a determined, tragi-comic figure and his quixotic fight to keep his cherished culinary traditions alive. Interviews with such legends as Thomas...

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NO HOME MOVIE

Sun, Feb 14, 2016
at 4 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Tue, Feb 16, 2016
at 5:45 PM (World Trade Center)
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NO HOME MOVIE

DIRECTOR: Chantal Akerman - BELGIUM

“At the center of Akerman’s enormous body of work is her mother, a Holocaust survivor who married and raised a family in Brussels. In recent years, the filmmaker has explicitly depicted, in videos, books, and installation works, her mother’s life and their own intense connection to each other. No Home Movie is a portrait [of Akerman’s mother] in the last years of her life. It is an extremely intimate film but also one of great formal precision and beauty, one of the rare works of art that is both personal and universal, and as much a masterpiece as her career-defining...

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OPEN YOUR EYES

Sun, Feb 21, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium )
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OPEN YOUR EYES

DIRECTOR: Irene Taylor Brodsky - UNITED STATES

Living under the Himalayan sun, their eyes have slowly gone milky white. Manisara and Durga have cataracts, and their mountain home in Nepal has become a warren of darkness. Shot over three days, Open Your Eyes follows their extraordinary journey down the mountain for a chance to see again. (34 mins.)

WITH
50 Feet From Syria
Skye Fitzgerald | Portland  
For Dr. Hisham Bismar, a successful hand surgeon in the United States, images of wounded Syrian refugees flowing across international borders compels action. Hisham’s journey serves as a portal into a tragic conflict and remarkable people working to save...

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THE OTHER SIDE

Fri, Feb 12, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Moreland Theater)
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Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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THE OTHER SIDE

DIRECTOR: Roberto Minervini - ITALY

“By turns tender and disturbing, Minervini’s powerful docu-fiction hybrid profiles people living on the fringes of society. While they essentially play themselves, he clearly intervenes to create situations rather than observe them. Following his superb Texas-based Stop the Pounding Heart [PIFF 38], Minervini moves to Louisiana, where we come face-to-face with a group of people who seem to have stepped out of Deliverance. Faces carry the lines and scars of hard living, clothes are tattered, living conditions are chaotic. Some are addicts; others are libertarian fanatics. Yet Minervini finds a compassion and tenderness behind their gruff exteriors as he peers...

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THE PEARL BUTTON

Sat, Feb 13, 2016
at 8:45 PM (World Trade Center)
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Sat, Feb 20, 2016
at 6 PM (World Trade Center)
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THE PEARL BUTTON

DIRECTOR: Patricio Guzmán - CHILE

A poetic meditation on the history of brutal colonization and devastation throughout Chile’s history, Guzmán elegantly builds an argument for the importance of preserving memory when all culture is lost. Devastated by foreign conquest, indigenous culture has little left than cherished memory. That genocide is contrasted by the more recent tragedy of Pinochet dictatorship, when thousands of political prisoners were murdered or disappeared, many of whose bodies were dumped into the sea. Using water and Chile’s 2,670 miles of coastline as the entry point to pull diverse experience and ideas together, Guzmán finds the memory and voice that bind a...

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ROBERT BLY: A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY

Sat, Feb 13, 2016
at 4 PM (World Trade Center)
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Sun, Feb 14, 2016
at 4 PM (World Trade Center)
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ROBERT BLY: A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY

DIRECTOR: Haydn Reiss - UNITED STATES

Poet Robert Bly stands out even among the celebrated, revolutionary generation of American artists who burst forth in the 1950s, and Haydn Reiss charts his singular path from second son to taciturn father on a wintry Minnesota farm to radical anti-Vietnam War activist to wild man of the 1990s men’s movement. The bespectacled, white-haired Bly is every inch the politically and spiritually engaged mystic, seeking each moment’s fervid heart as well as the eternal, intuitive bedrock beneath our cultivated ideologies and “personas.” A confounding whirling dervish, Bly’s life embodies the quest for personal honesty and shared truth. (81 mins.)

Director Haydn...

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SONGS FROM THE NORTH

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6:15 PM (World Trade Center)
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Fri, Feb 19, 2016
at 6:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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SONGS FROM THE NORTH

DIRECTOR: Soon-Mi Yoo - SOUTH KOREA

An intimate essay, Songs from the North provides a deep look at the enigma of North Korea. Bypassing and decoding the country’s jingoistic propaganda, as well as derisive satire from the West, Soon-Mi Yoo interweaves footage from three visits to North Korea with songs, spectacle, popular cinema, and archival footage to understand, on their own terms, the psychology and popular imagery of the North Korean people and the political ideology of absolute love. “Rare and extraordinary… profoundly strange, immediate, and real.”–The Village Voice. Best First Feature at both the Locarno International Film Festival and Bueos Aires International Festival. (75 mins.)

...

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THRU YOU PRINCESS

Sat, Feb 20, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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Sun, Feb 21, 2016
at 4:30 PM (Roseway Theater)
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THRU YOU PRINCESS

DIRECTOR: Ido Haar - ISRAEL

The Israeli musician and artist Kutiman rose to fame with his “Thru You” project, which mashes up samples from You Tube clips featuring amateur musicians. Samantha, a nurse in New Orleans, uploads her songs and candid video diaries, hoping for an audience. Director Ido Haar documents her attempt to make it in the music scene in her hometown and mixes these scenes with footage of Kutiman at home on a kibbutz, watching Samantha online, singing her a cappella vocals and sampling them in a video. Samantha couldn’t possibly imagine that halfway around the world, there’s someone who is about to expand her...

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