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Documentary

These real-life stories go up-close and personal with the people and issues that define who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going.


In-Person
Streaming

Alis

Clare Weiskopf & Nicolás Van Hemelryck  |   Colombia, Romania, Chile
Spanish  
Coming of Age, Social Commentary, Women Centered

When the residents of a Colombian youth shelter are asked to imagine a fellow adolescent, “Alis” emerges as an avatar for their own experiences in this innovative and moving portrait of youth and resilience.

In-Person

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Laura Poitras  |   United States
Political, Social Commentary, Women Centered

This compelling personal history chronicles Goldin’s tragedies and triumphs, as she uses her position as an artist and disrupter to affect cultural and political change.

In-Person
Streaming

Art and Pep

Mercedes Kane  |   United States
LGBTQ, Political, Social Commentary

A heartfelt tribute to activists Art Johnston and Pepe Peña, whose celebrated gay bar Sidetrack has fueled movements and created community on Chicago’s Halsted Street for decades.

In-Person
Streaming

Band

Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir  |   Iceland
English, Icelandic  
Comedy, Music, Women Centered

In this off-beat send-up of blind ambition that celebrates female friendship, Iceland’s Post Performance Blues Band give themselves one year to become avant-garde pop stars—or relinquish their dream forever.

In-Person

The Big Payback

Erika Alexander & Whitney Dow  |   United States
Political, Social Commentary, Women Centered

An inspiring look at rookie Alderman Robin Rue Simmons’ fight to redress the wrongs of “redlining” and the legacy of slavery through a groundbreaking reparations program in Evanston, Illinois.

In-Person

A Compassionate Spy

Steve James  |   United States, United Kingdom
Historical, Political, Social Commentary

The fascinating story of Manhattan Project scientist Theodore Hall, who passed crucial military secrets to Soviet intelligence in the hopes of saving the world.

In-Person

If These Walls Could Sing

Mary McCartney  |   United Kingdom
Historical, Music

In this personal film of memory and discovery, director Mary McCartney gives exclusive access to the most famous and longest-running studio in the world, Abbey Road Studios.

In-Person
Streaming

Innocence

Guy Davidi  |   Denmark, Israel, Finland, Iceland
Hebrew  
Family Affairs, Political, Social Commentary

With an uneasy beauty and a blistering moral force, filmmaker Guy Davidi chronicles the militarization of Israeli society and its impact on the lives of young people.

In-Person
Streaming

The Killing of a Journalist

Matt Sarnecki  |   Denmark, United States, Czech Republic
English, Slovak  
Crime, Political, Thriller

This exposé of crime and corruption delves into the brutal murder of a reporter, implicating a brazen oligarch connected to the highest echelons of Slovakia’s government.

In-Person

King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones

Harriet Marin Jones  |   France, United States
English, French  
Historical, Social Commentary

The thrilling life story of the legendary African American powerbroker, who built a multimillion-dollar empire running a racketeering syndicate on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s and ’40s.

In-Person

Loudmouth

Josh Alexander  |   United States
Historical, Political, Social Commentary

An in-depth look at controversial Civil Rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton detailing the roots of his political engagement and his evolution into a media-savvy showman.

In-Person

Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues

Sacha Jenkins  |   United States
Historical, Music, Social Commentary

An intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented
through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations.

In-Person

The March on Rome (Marcia su Roma)

Mark Cousins  |   Italy
English, Italian  
Film on Film, Historical, Political

For his latest masterful inquiry into the power of the moving image, director Mark Cousins ventures into Italy’s film archives to expose the machinations and faulty foundations of fascism through his dissection of an infamous 1923 propaganda film.

In-Person
Streaming

The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons

Judd Tully & Harold Crooks  |   United States, Canada
English  
Historical, Political, Social Commentary

A striking portrait of artist David Hammons, who emerged out of L.A.’s Watts Rebellion and whose provocative work was rooted in a deep critique of U.S. society.

In-Person
Streaming

Murmurs of the Jungle [short film]

Sohil Vaidya  |   India

Trees whisper tales of the Gods and the ancestors, spirits wander in the forest, and dark secrets buried in the time slowly emerge.

In-Person
Streaming

Nalujuk Night [short film]

Jennie Williams  |   Canada

An exhilarating and terrifying Labrador Inuit ritual takes place every January.

In-Person

The Natural History of Destruction

Sergei Loznitsa  |   Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands
English, German  
Historical, Political

In this mesmerizing documentary crafted entirely from WWII archival footage, Ukrainian-raised filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (Donbass) mounts a harrowing critique of the killing of civilian populations during war-time.

In-Person
Streaming

No Ordinary Campaign

Christopher Burke  |   United States
English  
Family Affairs, Political

In this inspiring story of love, hope, and activism, former Obama political director Brian Wallach, who was diagnosed with ALS at age 37, fights alongside his wife to find solutions for the debilitating disease.

In-Person
Streaming

Paint and Pitchfork [short film]

Christine Turner  |   United States

Celebrated artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley provide insight into their creation of the Obama portraits.

In-Person

Pray For Our Sinners

Sinéad O'Shea  |   Ireland
Political, Religion, Women Centered

Filmmaker Sinead O’Shea returns to her Irish hometown to scrutinize the Church’s pervasive history of abuse and neglect—and shine a light on the unsung heroes who fought back.

In-Person

The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile

Kathlyn Horan  |   United States
Music, Women Centered

Trailblazing country legend Tanya Tucker makes one of the greatest artistic comebacks in music history, forging an unexpected friendship with the acclaimed singer-songwriter she inspired.

In-Person
Streaming
Collection of four film stills representing Shorts Program 4

Shorts 4: Traditions (Documentary)

Various  |   Canada, India, United Kingdom, United States

These powerful non-fiction shorts highlight ambitious missions, modern artistry, and regional heritage.

In-Person

Sr.

Chris Smith  |   United States
Family Affairs, Film on Film, Social Commentary

In this tender yet fittingly irreverent portrait of iconoclastic filmmaker Robert Downey, Sr.), documentarian Chris Smith, together with the subject’s movie-star son, conspire to tell the story of a fearless American director.

In-Person
Streaming

Sub Eleven Seconds [short film]

Bajic  |   United Kingdom

A poetic imagining of track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympic journey.

In-Person
Streaming

Team Dream [short film]

Luchina Fisher  |   United States

Ann and Madeline prepare to competitively swim in the National Senior Games.

In-Person
Streaming

The Visitors (Návštěvníci)

Veronika Lišková  |   Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia
Czech, English, Norwegian  
Environmental, Political, Women Centered

A Czech anthropologist discovers her new home on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is threatened both by melting glaciers and a newly hardened stance against open border immigration policies.

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Logo: WTTW (2019)

Documentary Patron

Cynthia Stone Raskin