A highly controversial and beautifully crafted film on Syria’s dictatorship.
Omar Amiralay’s film about the dictatorship in Syria highlights the devastating effects of 35 years of autocratic Baath party rule on society. Thirty-four years ago, Amiralay was an admirer of the modernisation of his country and even made his first short essay-like documentary in praise of the Baath party’s new-built Euphrates River Dam. Today however, Amiralay regrets the naivety of his youth. Continue reading
The ocean contains the history of all humanity. The sea holds all the voices of the earth and those that come from outer space. Water receives impetus from the stars and transmits it to living creatures. Water, the longest border in Chile, also holds the secret of two mysterious buttons which were found on its ocean floor. Chile, with its 2,670 miles of coastline and the largest archipelago in the world, presents a supernatural landscape. In it are volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. In it are the voices of the Patagonian Indigenous people, the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Some say that water has memory. This film shows that it also has a voice. Continue reading
A cinematic essay in defense of remembering, The Royal Road offers up a primer on Junipero Serra’s Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, the pursuit of unavailable women, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes, and featuring a voiceover cameo by Tony Kushner.
This bold, innovative film from acclaimed San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson combines rigorous historical research with lyrically written personal monologue and relates these seemingly disparate stories from an intimate, colloquial perspective to tell a one-of-a-kind California tale. Continue reading
“If anything should happen to me, I beg you to show this tape to the whole world.” On November 23rd, 2006, these words, spoken on camera by exiled former KGB and FSB (post communist Russia’s dreaded new secret police) agent Alexander “Sasha” Litvinenko, became a gruesome self-fulfilling prophecy. After an agonizingly painful ordeal, Litvinenko succumbed to what was allegedly radiation poisoning from a lethal dose of toxic Polonium-210, surreptitiously slipped into his tea during a London meeting with two FSB ex-colleagues three weeks earlier. In Poisoned by Polonium: Continue reading
An Open Secret is an American documentary directed by Amy J. Berg. Berg decided to make the documentary after she was approached by Matthew Valentinas in 2011. Valentinas and Gabe Hoffman wanted to make a film about victims of sexual exploitation. Valentinas said, “We chose Amy because we didn’t want it to be exploitative or tabloid. We wanted it to be empowering for the victims.
A feature documentary from Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg follows the stories of five former child actors whose lives were turned upside down by multiple predators, including the convicted sex offenders who owned and operated the now infamous Digital Entertainment Network (DEN). Continue reading
A documentary directed by Abel Ferrara for the series ‘BOATS – Based On A True Story’ about the Padre Pio di Pietrelcina. Continue reading
73-year-old De Oliveira decides to make a personal movie that his audience will only know once heis dead. In 1982, the director takes the decision to make a movie about (and in) his (ex) house, in which he lived for over 40 years. The initial still shot is held for a long while with the presence oftrees in the garden of his house in Oporto. De Oliveira himself introduces the film and speaks all the credits out. The voices of a man and a woman guide us for most of the first part, in a sort of preliminary and formal tour around the totality of the house. They remain out of frame and the camera perspective is not necessarily theirs. After a few minutes, we see De Oliveira for the first time, writing on a typewriter at his desk. The most surprising element, in narrative terms, is the recreation of his arrest and his stay in a dungeon in times of the Portuguese military regime, during the 60s. Right from the start, the word memoryis a relevant operative term; the confession becomes explicit around half through the film. Continue reading