Northern Ireland / USA
Out of the heart of a violently divided region rose a unique form of expression that has given voice to two groups of people on opposing sides of a centuries-old conflict. Narrated by Vince Vaughn, this eye-opening documentary examines how the street art of murals tells the story of Northern Ireland’s history and the violent Troubles through interviews with muralists, political figures, art historians, and people who live and work in the region.
English, 73 min
The aftermath of the American financial crisis is perfectly distilled in Janesville, WI, where the shutdown of a GM plant suddenly leaves thousands of workers without jobs. Following both laid-off employees struggling to make ends meet and local business owners trying to lure investment back to town in alliance with Governor Scott Walker, As Goes Janesville gives refreshing insight into the very real effects of the recession that are so often diluted as rhetorical abstractions.
English, 88 min
Clayton Brown Monica Long Ross
In 1989, the future of energy production seemed at hand, when Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced to the world the discovery of “cold fusion.” Garnering sensational media attention, their fast-rising reputation quickly faded when nobody could reproduce their claimed results. The Believers is not only the story of a quirk in the history of science, but a personal tale of belief, integrity, disappointment, and acceptance.
English, 80 min
Germany / Uruguay
The Bella Vista tells the story of a onetime soccer team’s clubhouse in Uruguay. Left abandoned for years, the house is revived as a brothel for the town’s transvestite prostitutes, raising the ire of residents who seek to reclaim the building for a Catholic chapel. In capturing the opposing sides of this conflict over a rather small, mundane building, director Alicia Cano creates a lyrical, intimate portrait of a provincial city.
Spanish with subtitles, 73 min
Coodie and Chike
In 1984, all eyes were on Ben Wilson, a high school senior on the verge of leading Chicago’s Simeon High to its second straight state basketball championship and seemingly destined for NBA greatness. But Benji’s story was cut tragically short when he was shot and killed in broad daylight on his way to school. Interviews with family and friends give fresh insight into Benji’s life and untimely end, illuminating one of sport’s most tragic “what if”s.
English, 79 min
The Hilton sisters’ incredible story begins in England in the early 1900s when their mother, after discovering she had given birth to conjoined twins, sold the babies to a woman who viewed the girls exclusively as “cash cows.” Their new caretaker/manager put the young pair on display in the back of pubs, eventually taking them on tour in carnivals and circuses. When the twins came to America, they instantly became a gigantic success, but the 23-year-old sisters were unable to cope with the dishonest agents and managers that would exploit them over and over again throughout their lives. Leslie Zemeckis’ compelling documentary explores the colorful, tragic lives of the world’s most famous conjoined twins.
English, 91 min
Ken Burns and Sarah Burns and David McMahon
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. Each spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before the actual criminal’s confession led to their exonerations. This powerful documentary from the great Ken Burns (The Civil War) explores this horrific crime and the appalling, racially-fraught miscarriage of justice that followed in its wake.
English, 119 min
In the arid plains of northeastern Mexico, a group of communal ranchers confronts the annual drought, eking out survival as conditions force them to search far and wide for any signs of water. Following the residents of the community throughout their daily lives, the filmmakers create an inspiring portrait of human perseverance in the face of a natural environment that defies domestication in this much-praised, award-winning documentary.
Spanish with subtitles, 90 min
Zach Math and Jonah Bekhor
Everyone has a dream, and for Sigurdur Hjartarson, it is the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Having established the pre-eminent shrine to the penises of the world’s diverse species, his collection is only missing one vital piece: that of a human being. Chronicling his bizarre but sincere quest, The Final Member reveals the lecherous elderly Icelandic man and eccentric American who are vying to claim a very unique “world’s first.”
English and Icelandic with subtitles, 75 min
Produced by Hou Hsiao-Hsien and bearing a touch of the master’s ability to craft moments of quiet, contemplative beauty and revelation, Hometown Boy follows artist Liu Xiao-Dong on his first significant visit back to his hometown of Jincheng in decades. The film captures Liu as he works on a project to re-paint friends who had posed for him more than 30 years earlier, creating a compelling portrait of a major artist at work, and of Jincheng.
Mandarin with subtitles, 72 min
14 years in the making, activist and filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s chronicle of the plight of the Dalits (known under the caste system as “untouchables”) provides a singular document of oppression and those who fight against it. Starting with an incident in which 10 protesting Dalits were gunned down by police, the film details both the history of their struggle and the music and poetry that has helped sustain the vitality of the culture.
Hindi, English and Marathi with subtitles, 185 min
Chris James Thompson
By the time he was arrested, Jeffrey Dahmer had killed and dismembered 17 victims, mostly in his nondescript Milwaukee apartment. Through interviews with neighbors and police, this documentary offers new insights even for those who know Dahmer’s story well, and a mixture of archival footage and recreations brings fresh detail and surprising humanity to the life of one of America’s most notorious serial killers.
English, 75 min
Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala
Outrageous, funny, contentious, and talented, prolific Austrian actor and filmmaker Peter Kern is a sheer force of personality. Though Franz and Fiala set out to create a straightforward portrait of the aging artist, the mercurial Kern berates the filmmakers (and anyone else within earshot) every step of the way, and can’t help but assert his own sensibilities onto a film in which he is ostensibly the subject.
German with subtitles, 98 min
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
Set aboard a fishing vessel, Leviathan documents a story of treacherous waters and working conditions through the stunning imagery of waves, machinery, and animal life. Directors Castaing-Taylor (Sweetgrass) and Paravel offer a thrilling first-hand view of roughnecked oceanic exploration. Not to be missed on the big screen, this film is a visceral, purely cinematic experience.
English, 87 min
This feature documentary is an affectionate yet truthful account of the 42 years and 12 films long relationship between legendary actress Liv Ullmann and master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Told entirely from Liv’s point of view, this rollercoaster journey of extreme highs and lows is constructed as a collage of images and sounds from timeless Ullmann-Bergman films along with behind the scenes footage, still photographs, passages from Liv’s book Changing and Ingmar’s love letters to Liv. *Liv & Ingmar* is a candid and humane look at two of the greatest artists of our time.
From Oscar® and Gold Hugo winner Alex Gibney comes this searing documentary about the response to sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church. Starting with a string of allegations at a Milwaukee school for deaf boys in the late 70s and early 80s, the film charts a decades-long, systematic cover-up that reaches all the way to Vatican. Mea Maxima Culpa provides an impassioned and detailed look at one of contemporary society’s enduring controversies.
English and Italian with subtitles, 106 min
France / Thailand / UK
From Apichaptong “Joe” Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee…), whose gorgeous, thoughtful films are counted among the most acclaimed masterpieces of the new century, Mekong Hotel is a portrait of a hotel near the Mekong River on Thailand’s border with Laos. Blending fantasy and reality, fiction and documentary, the present and the future, this exquisite poem of a film strikingly expresses the bonds of love and family between people, and the looming presence of the river in their lives.
Thai with subtitles, 61 min
Dana Doron and Uriel Sinai
An estimated 400,000 people were tattooed with serial numbers at Auschwitz, of whom only a few thousand survive today. This intimate and visually rapturous documentary details the current lives of some of these survivors, their memories of the camps, and their relationships with the numbers. Numbered is an emotionally affecting portrait of memory and history, and their enduring presence in individual lives.
Hebrew with subtitles, 60 min
A “subjective documentary” exploring the numerous theories about the secret, hidden meanings of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Room 237 is a guided tour through the most compelling attempts to decode this endlessly fascinating film. Director Rodney Ascher introduces us to the passionate amateur critics who devote themselves to Kubrick’s gothic horror masterpiece, following their dizzyingly complex, brilliant, and inventive analyses wherever they lead, creating a compulsively watchable tribute to obsessive cinephilia, and to a remarkable film.
English, 102 min
Bill Ross and Turner Ross
Produced by members of the film collective behind the acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild, Tchoupitoulas provides a very different evocation of New Orleans life. The Ross brothers’ cameras follow three young boys and their dog as they cheerfully wander the French Quarter from sunset to sunrise. The result is a lyrical city symphony, capturing New Orleans, childhood, and the spirit of exploration with quiet observation and deft imagery.
One of the most revered actresses in Middle Eastern cinema, Soad Hosni was a staple of the Egyptian screen in the 1960s and 1970s. This unconventional, lovingly crafted tribute recreates Hosni’s life story exclusively through her fictional performances, mined from VHS tapes that preserve this rich period of Egyptian film history.
Arabic with subtitles, 70 min
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