Patricio Guzmán – The Battle of Chile (2): The Coup d’Etat (1976)

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Synopsis of Part 2:
THE BATTLE OF CHILE (2): The Coup d’Etat (1976) opens with the attempted military coup of June, 1973 which is put down by troops loyal to the government. It serves as a useful dry run, however, for the final showdown, that everyone now realizes is coming. The film shows a left divided over strategy, while the right methodically lays the groundwork for the military seizure of power. The film’s dramatic concluding sequence documents the coup d’etat, including Allende’s last radio messages to the people of Chile, footage of the military assault on the presidential palace, and that evening’s televised presentation of the new military junta. Continue reading

Patricio Guzmán – The Battle of Chile (1): The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (1975)

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Synopsis of Part 1:
THE BATTLE OF CHILE: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (1975) examines the escalation of rightist opposition following the left’s unexpected victory in Congressional elections held in March, 1973. Finding that democracy would not stop Allende’s socialist policies, the right-wing shifted its tactics from the polls to the streets. The film follows months of activity as a variety of increasingly violent tactics are used by the right to weaken the government and provoke a crisis. Continue reading

Martin Scorsese & David Tedeschi – The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument (2014)

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The 50 Year Argument is Martin Scorsese’s latest film, co-directed with his longtime documentary collaborator David Tedeschi. It charts literary, political and cultural history as per the New York Review of Books, America’s leading journal of ideas since 1963. The film weaves rare archive material, interviews and writing by icons such as James Baldwin and Gore Vidal into original verite footage, filmed in the Review’s Greenwich Village offices with longtime editor Robert Silvers. Continue reading

Domingo Solano – Africa, Religion and Women (2015)

Ethiopia is a Christian island surrounded by Muslim countries and Harar is other island within that island: a difficult city for sorting, the fourth holiest city of Islam with almost a hundred mosques within its walls, and the place where the poet Arthur Rimbaud chose to refuge in his flight from Europe. Here women control on the street the sale of khat, a plant with stimulant powers that sets the pace of Harar. Consumption, ritualized in everyday life of the city, provides its inhabitants a unique identity Continue reading

Orlando von Einsiedel – Virunga (2014)

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Synopsis: A group of brave individuals risk their lives to save the last of the world’s mountain gorillas; in the midst of renewed civil war and a scramble for Congo’s natural resources.

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“Urgent investigative report and unforgettable drama, “Virunga” is a work of heart-wrenching tenderness and heart-stopping suspense.” – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

“The fights Virunga documents couldn’t feel more urgent. This is one of the year’s most compelling and important films.” – Alan Scherstul, The Village Voice

“This is muckraking journalism that moves confidently with the brio of an action thriller.” – Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine Continue reading

Hilla Medalia – The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (2014)

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The Inside Story of Cannon Films is a documentary about two Israeli-born cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who in pursuit of the American Dream turned the Hollywood power structure upside down, producing over 300 films and becoming the most powerful independent film company in the world. Up close and personal, the film examines the complex relationship between two contradictory personalities whose combined force fueled their success and eventual collapse.
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Jennie Livingston – Paris Is Burning (1990)

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Documentary about the Harlem drag balls thrown by predominantly inner city black and Latino gay men in the mid-1980s. The film features footage of the actual “drag” pageants, as well … Full Descriptionas interviews with ball participants, who describe their backgrounds and dreams, and the intricacies of their rich and detailed dialect. A fascinating look at the complexities of this elaborate subculture.

An unblinking, behind-the-scenes story of the young men of Harlem who originated “voguing” and turned these stylized dance competitions into a glittering expression of fierce personal pride. Continue reading