Documentary

Libbie Dina Cohn & J.P. Sniadecki – People’s Park (2012)

A mesmerizing, one-of-a-kind window into modern China, People’s Park is a single-shot documentary that immerses viewers in an unbroken journey through a famous urban park in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Read More »

    Joshua Oppenheimer & Anonymous & Christine Cynn – The Act of Killing [Dir. Cut + Commentary] (2012)

    Quote:
    In The Act Of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the filmmakers expose a corrupt regime that celebrates death squad leaders as heroes.

    When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading death squads in the mass murder of over a million opponents of the new military dictatorship. Anwar boasts of killing hundreds with his own hands, but he’s enjoyed impunity ever since, and has been celebrated by the Indonesian government as a national hero. Read More »

      Paul Kenworthy & Ralph Wright – A True-Life Fantasy: Perri (1957)

      Quote:
      Perri is a 1957 film from Walt Disney Productions, based on Felix Salten’s 1938 Perri: The Youth of a Squirrel. It was the company’s fifth feature entry in their True-Life Adventures series, and the only one to be labeled a True Life Fantasy. In doing so, the Disney team combined the documentary aspects of earlier efforts with fictional scenarios and characters. Read More »

        Richard Leacock & Mark Woodcock – Two American Audiences: La Chinoise – A Film in the Making (1968)

        Two American Audiences (Richard Leacock, Mark Woodcock, 1968, 40 min., 16mm): Announcing itself as “a typical Pennebaker production of a typical Godard visit,” JLG speaks with grad students and Serge Losique at NYU in April 1968. Pennebaker: “When Jean-Luc Godard came to New York to make a film [1 A.M./1 P.M.] with me and Ricky Leacock, he was anxious to see America before the revolution broke out, torn up as it was with the Vietnam furor. Godard’s most recent film, La Chinoise, was playing, and Columbia University students, who had initiated their student uprising on the day the film opened, were pouring into the theater. Read More »

          Hartmut Bitomsky – Die UFA (1992)

          Quote:
          The latest film by Hartmut Bitomsky is, just like much of his early work, a original film essay about film and film history. Just as in earlier films, he makes inventive use of the potential offered by the medium video to analyse films.The history of the UFA is the story of a risky financial venture in the twenties and a propaganda instrument in the thirties. Bitomsky’s approach stands out because he involvesthis social and political context in investigating and dissecting films. Read More »

            Hartmut Bitomsky – Der VW-Komplex aka The VW Complex (1990)

            Quote:
            However a VW is put together, what comes out is always the Federal Republic of Germany.

            The VW factory is a museum of industrial technology, and at the same time it is its Utopia. The old factory buildings convey the impression of almost like being in a cathedral. In order to communicate with the crane operators high above, the workers beat on the steel griders with heavy hammers. The new buildings, however, are much lower – like in a complex of new apartments, in which you can touch the ceilings with your hands. While going around inside the buildings, you can follow the creation of an automobile and at the same time bid farewell to the industrial age. Read More »

              Marlo Poras – The Mosuo Sisters (2012)

              Synopsis from Women Make Movies:
              A tale of two sisters living in the shadow of two Chinas, this documentary by award-winning filmmaker Marlo Poras (Mai’s America; Run Granny Run) follows Juma and Latso, young women from one of the world’s last remaining matriarchal societies. Thrust into the worldwide economic downturn after losing jobs in Beijing and left with few options, they return to their remote Himalayan village. But growing exposure to modernity has irreparably altered traditions of the Mosuo, their tiny ethnic miniority, and home is not the same. Determined to keep their family out of poverty, one sister sacrifices her educational dreams and stays home to farm, while the other leaves, trying her luck in the city. The changes test them in unexpected ways. This visually stunning film highlights today’s realities of women’s lives and China’s vast cultural and economic divides while offering rare views of a surviving matriarchy. Read More »