Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (2016)

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A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage collected over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson.
Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A hybrid work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera. Continue reading

Cristi Puiu – Sieranevada (2016)

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Three days after the terrorist attack on the offices of Parisian weekly Charlie Hebdo and forty days after the death of his father, Lary, a doctor in his forties is about to spend the Saturday at a family gathering to commemorate the deceased. But the occasion does not go according to expectations. Forced to confront his fears and his past, to rethink the place he holds within the family, Lary finds himself constraint to tell his version of the truth. Continue reading

Juho Kuosmanen – Hymyilevä mies AKA The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016) (HD)

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The true story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli’s small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. There’s only one problem: Olli has just fallen in love. Inside of the ring, it’s Finland vs. the USA, but outside, boxing and romance become unlikely adversaries vying for Olli’s attention. This charming feature debut from Juho Kuosmanen was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Continue reading

Magdalena Szymków – Mój dom AKA My House Without Me (2012)

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Two women, one house. An intimate story about a Pole and a German placed by war on enemy sides and their parallel lives accidentally brought together.

The film reflects on the concepts of invaders, victim, guilt and forgiveness. It confronts different experiences and their paradoxical similarities. It deals with the controversial subject of the post-war accountings.

The visual narration is flowing, guided by memories and archives. Traditional documentation confronts experimental use of archival footage in the cinematic impression about displacement. Continue reading

Nacer Khemir – Looking for Muhyiddin (2014)

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A man (played by the filmmaker Nacer Khemir) returns home to Tunisia to bury his mother. After the burial, his father gives him an “amana” to be handed to a certain Sheikh named Muhyiddin. Taken by his father’s request, the man immediately sets out on an epic journey to find the long lost Sheikh and deliver the “amana.” Throughout the trip, he is guided by a mysterious spiritual master and the many friends of the Sheikh he encounters along the way. As the adventure unfolds, we discover the rich life of this Sheikh and his uncompromising love for humanity. For under his teachings, different beliefs, faiths, and ways of life can only converge and become one. The more we learn about Sheikh Muhyiddin, the more we understand why he is venerated across cultures and continents. Looking for Muhyiddin is a deeply lyrical odyssey into the soul of Islam through the life and work of one of its beloved mystics: Ibn Arabi. Continue reading

John Berger and Noam Chomsky – Times of Crisis (2014)

Exclusive material from writer, artist, critic John Berger and a virtual response and conversation with Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT. This event took place at Dartmouth College as part of GRID’s 2014 Spring Public Lecture Series: Times of Crisis

Note, Berger’s material is audio only and is accompanied by still images, and Chomsky is on a live video link in this session. Continue reading

Gabriel Mascaro – Boi Neon AKA Neon Bull (2015)

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We tend to view sex as a private, forbidden theater that’s detached from the remainder of life, rather than the origin of our life that courses through other acts. Films reflect this sentiment, of course. In most cinema, sex scenes scan as movies onto themselves, cordoned off from the rest of the narratives, though Neon Bull offers a confident refutation to this literal-minded squeamishness. Everything in this film is sensual, understood to be a subsumed sex act, with actual sex serving as a contextualizing catharsis. Continue reading