An essential documentary, Shakedown is the story of Los Angeles’ black lesbian strip club scene and its genesis. It's focus is the club Shakedown, owned and operated by women, underground and illegal in nature. Created from over 400 hours of footage that filmmaker Leilah Weinraub has been collecting for the past 15 years, the film incorporates live tapes, performances, backstage videos, archival material, flyers, and interviews. Shakedown is a window into this world.
The greatest hoax in the history of Modern Art. Driven to Abstraction unravels an improbable tale of self-delusion, greed, and fraud – the $80 million forgery scandal that rocked the art world and brought down New York's oldest and most venerable gallery. Was the gallery’s esteemed director the victim of a con artist who showed up with an endless treasure trove of abstract expressionist masterpieces? Or did she suspect they were fakes yet continue to sell them for millions of dollars?
Ada, just 19 years old, went to the house of a young man she knew. She didn’t fight back and it all happened very quickly, but the trauma remains. With humility and frankness, this powerful documentary tackles the delicate and intimate matter of rape. Through a diversity of experiences and perspectives, it examines stubborn prejudices without sanctimony or condescension, provoking the sort of collective introspection - and discussion - the #MeToo movement has necessitated.
A man goes into the woods alone. We know nothing about him, apart from his military-style attire with a nametag indicating he might be called Wilcox. Is he a traumatized veteran, a survivalist, a desperate man or even a philosopher-hermit? A documentary style fictional film, a minimalist adventure yarn haunted by reality, Wilcox, from award-winning filmmaker Denis Cote, is both simple and mysterious, a non-judgmental perspective on people who decide to remove themselves from the world.
Extending from filmmaker Jessica Sarah Rinland's ongoing research into natural habitats and various forms of preservation, this exquisite documentary traces, with sinuosity and exactitude the production of a lab-engineered replica of an elephant tusk dating from the late 19th century. The film gradually opens up to reflections on ecological and museological conservation, fabrication materials, and authenticity.
The chronic shortage of housing in Central Havana has pushed the city upwards forcing some to make their homes on building rooftops. This wondrous documentary tells the story of these remarkable and resilient rooftop dwellers - a secret village, hidden from the clamor of the streets below - who have a privileged point of view on a society in the process of major transformation.
A visit to her mother’s home art studio in Texas prompts the filmmaker to explore the meaning of home and the search for belonging across three generations of her Iraqi family. Winner of the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
To a stranger, he’s a guy obsessed with toilets, but to those who know him he's “Mr. Toilet,” a crusader in global sanitation. A former entrepreneur, Jack Sim uses humor to campaign for something no one dares talk about: shit. It's a crisis that impacts over 2 billion people. In India alone, 200,000 children die each year from lack of safe sanitation. Jack fought for and established UN World Toilet Day, but with recent corporate pushback and thinning resources, he is discovering there is a price to pay for being the world's #2 hero.
What does the future look like from where we are standing? The focus of this extraordinary documentary – filmmaker Brett Story’s follow-up to her critically-acclaimed The Prison in Twelve Landscapes – is one city over one month (New York during August 2017), a month heavy with the tension of a new President, growing anxiety over rising rents, marching white nationalists, and unrelenting news of wildfires and hurricanes. Empathetic and incisive, The Hottest August offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation at a unique moment in time.
In 1985, Claude Lanzmann debuted Shoah, one of the most monumental cinematic works of all time. Ziva Postec was an indispensable part of the project. In this fascinating documentary, Postec recalls this gargantuan, painful and necessary experience which consumed six years of her life. With previously unseen footage from the making of Shoah, it's a moving portrait of an artist who for a long time has largely gone unnoticed, eclipsed by the towering presence of her male colleague.
This vital, revolutionary documentaryisn't merely a biopic of Oscar Masotta - a pivotal theorist in the Argentinian avant-garde from the 1950s to 1970s - but a treatise on the artistic and political climate of the nation preceding the Dirty War, eerily mirroring the world today. The title, Segunda Vez, originates from a homonymous story written by a contemporary of Masotta’s, Julio Cortázar.
One of the most important record labels in the history of jazz — and, by extension, that of American music — Blue Note Records has been home to such groundbreaking artists as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Art Blakey. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with jazz icons and today’s groundbreaking musicians, this thrilling documentaryreveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.
Beautifully photographed, Float follows the tumultuous journey of two American competitors as they prepare for and compete in the most elite model airplane contest in the world, the F1D World Championships, located 400 feet underground in the cathedral-like salt mines of Romania. The documentary brilliantly details the precise process and science by which these complicated machines—at once elegant and fragile—are constructed and flown.
The extinction of honey bees on a remote volcanic island of Hawaii, indigenous cosmology, and a secret NASA project intersect in this gorgeous, thought-provoking documentary. With an artist's eye for details and plenty of time for amazement, Swarm Season draws fascinating parallels between the micro- and macrocosm, and challenges our understanding of nature, the world and ourselves.
From performing in Jack Smith’s legendary Flaming Creatures to creating a series of groundbreaking experimental films to playing a pivotal role in the formation of The Velvet Underground, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, twenty-two years in the making, examines the pioneering life and work of artist, musician, and educator, Tony Conrad.
One night, meteors start to fall in a Kurdish village on Turkey’s southern border with Syria. Earlier that year, the villagers endured a sustained and brutal assault by Turkish military forces. Neither the incident nor the fatalities were ever covered by local media. Incorporating internet uploads, foreign news reports and intimate interviews, this poetic documentary attempts to correct the historical record during one night when the sky is lit up with meteors.
A multi-faceted portrait of the life and work of bestselling author Jonathan Lethem, whose acclaimed novels include The Fortress of Solitude,Gun With Occasional Music, and Motherless Brooklyn,Lethem considers the cultural influences that inform his writing and features interviews with family members, friends, and the author himself.
Five visionary short films selected from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, widely considered to be the premier showcase for shorts, and the launchpad, for more than 30 years, of many now-prominent independent filmmakers.. Grasshopper is proud to present the 2018 collection, Fauve, winner of the Short Film Special Jury Award, and Matria, winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize.
During NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999, a truck driver is hired to undertake a treacherous journey across his war-torn country to deliver mysterious cargo. Brilliantly photographed and overwhelmingly atmospheric - recalling Clouzot's The Wages of Fear and Friedkin's Sorcerer - The Load is a taut suspense thriller about the choices we make in difficult times.
Winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award, Antonio Méndez Esparza's (Aquí y allá) powerful second feature presents another sensitive portrait of a struggling family - a single mother raising her two children when her 14-year-old son has a brush with the law. Life and Nothing More employs documentary-style realism in this snapshot of race, class and the bonds of family in contemporary America.
Filmmaker Mike Plante (Be Like an Ant) thoughtfully explores the relationship between the Wyatt Earp legend and the emergence of filmmaking as a popular medium. Featuring a wealth of clips from film adaptations of Earp’s life, alongside insightful interviews, Plante demonstrates the mutability of historical record and the power of moving images to shape our national mythology.
Filmed across India, the central theme of Paweł Wojtasik’s (End of Life)stunning new documentary is work. With a patient, unobtrusive approach, itconsists of transcendent portraits of a broad spectrum of laborers, from a surgeon to a priest to a masseur, forming a composite vision of society, where each has a place in the tangled web of human endeavor.
A magical documentary, Los Reyes presents the world, or more specifically, a skate park in Santiago, Chile, from the perspective of two wise and adorable dogs, Chola and Fútbol. As the camera effortlessly follows them throughout the day and night, the conversations of young skaters are heard in the background; frank talk of drug use, sexuality, economic mobility and social marginalization.
At once literary and gently cinematic, Patrick Wang's (A Bread Factory, In The Family) second feature is based on Leah Hager Cohen’s critically acclaimed novel. After suffering a tragic loss, a family welcomes an unexpected visitor into their lives and find themselves growing more alert to the hurt, humor, warmth, and grief of others.
Gifted with sometimes-prophetic dreams, Sheila (Marin Ireland) is asked to investigate a potential haunting. It’s there she meets Richard (Jim Gaffigan), a recent widower who believes his wife may still be with him. Beautifully shot in rural East Tennessee, Paul Harrill's acclaimed feature avoids jump-scare clichés of the ghost story in favor of a nuanced character study that focuses on buried traumas and unspoken emotions.
Whether grabbing a sheet of paper from a printer, helping to push in a syringe, or comforting a veteran with PTSD while he sleeps, Buddy, the incredible new documentary from legendary filmmaker Heddy Honigmann is a beautifully composed, heartwarming portrait of six amazing service dogs and their heroic owners that explores the close bond between animal and human.
In the Mexican village of Milpillas, deteriorating economic and social conditions have led to a wave of suicides among its young people. The remarkable new documentary Cabellerango, from filmmaker Juan Pablo González, examines one such case, relying on conversations with family members and townspeople to piece together the factors that led to this tragic incident, and in the process, reflect upon the changes occurring across much of the country.
Named the best film of the year by The New York Times, Robert Greene’s extraordinary Bisbee ‘17 radically combines collaborative documentary, western, and musical elements to recreate a mass deportation of striking miners (mostly Mexican and Eastern European immigrants) that occurred in 1917. Greene confronts issues of immigration, unionization and environmental damage while linking a tragic moment in American history to our own turbulent times.
A visionary filmmaker and photographer, Khalik Allah exploded onto the scene with Field Niggas (2015), a grassroots production which went from a YouTube upload to a sensation on the festival circuit. In his celebrated follow-up, Black Mother, Allah brings us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica, the land of his mother's birth, informed by the island's turbulent history yet existing in the urgent present.
A stirring and beautiful documentary from Academy Award nominated director James Longley (Iraq in Fragments), Angels Are Made of Light traces the lives of young students and their teachers at a school in the old city of Kabul. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war.
Akosua Adoma Owusu is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose award-winning work addresses the collision of identities, and themes such as feminism, queerness and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture. This edition presents thirteen of her short films.
A beautifully composed and magical documentary, Distant Constellation introduces us to the colorful residents of a Turkish retirement home, a community made up of pranksters, historians, artists and would-be Casanovas. An Independent Spirit Award nominee, this playful, dreamy film is one of the most unforgettable cinematic experiences of the year.
A truly original Vertigo riff, based on a novel by Tomoka Shibasaki, Asako I & II is an enchanting, unnerving paean to the notion of love as a trance state. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, who gained plenty of attention for 2015’s five-hour-plus Happy Hour, has returned with a beguiling and mysterious film that traces the trajectory of a love—or, to be accurate, two loves—found, lost, displaced, and regained.
A new edition of the landmark documentary, William Eggleston in the Real World – from Michael Almereyda, director of Escapes, Marjorie Prime, Experimenter, and Hamlet, among others – is a brilliant and intimate look at the renowned photographer, whose hallucinatory Faulknerian images were featured in the Museum of Modern Art's first one-man exhibition of color photographs.
Three brothers confront the chasm between adolescent yearning and adult responsibilities when brought together to care for their charismatic ninety-three year old grandmother in this critically-acclaimed documentary, “a sublime, magical masterpiece.” (Joshua Oppenheimer, director, The Act of Killing)
Deep inside a pristine forest, we hear the sudden sound of a chainsaw felling a fir tree. So begins this breathtakingly photographed, puzzle-like documentary which follows the mysterious journey of the tree’s lumber entirely through thirteen 360° panning shots; a wide-angle picture of the role nature plays in a world defined by globalization.
Sometimes the end of the word can be a new beginning. In this boldly original take on the last man on earth genre, filmmaker Ulrich Kohler – part of the acclaimed Berlin School, a loosely defined group that includes Christian Petzold and Maren Ade – tells the story of a man adrift who awakens one morning to discover that seemingly all of humanity has disappeared.
An essential documentary exploring the remarkable life and legacy of the late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin, best known for her classic Earthsea series and masterworks of science fiction such as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed; with reflections from literary luminaries including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and more.
A political cartoonist known for his subversive and often controversial art, Mr. Fish’s work can be seen in publications like Harper’s, The Nation and the LA Times. In this revealing documentary, we are introduced to the dangerously funny cartoonist as he struggles to stay true to his creativity in a quickly changing political and economic climate.
Embodying strength and stoicism, five Venezuelan women from diverse backgrounds and generations each draw a portrait of their country as it suffers under the worst crisis in its history amid extreme food and medicine shortages, a broken justice system, and widespread fear, in this powerful and timely documentary.
Presented in the US for the first time, from filmmaker director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 35 Shots of Rum, Let the Sunshine In), Towards Mathilde utilizes sumptuous 8mm and 16mm cinematography, striking performances and the music by PJ Harvey to craft a singular documentary portrait of choreographer and dancer Mathilde Monnier.
Before its infamous demise, ACORN had been the largest community organization in the US, a national political powerhouse for the poor that transformed lives and communities. Featuring a wealth of archival footage, this is a comprehensive portrait of the organization and its founder, Wade Rathke, as well as an exploration of that much maligned & misunderstood occupation -- community organizing.
In his masterful new documentary, Corneliu Porumboiu, a leading figure in the Romanian New Wave, introduces us to a former soccer star and current local bureaucrat whose dream of radically revolutionizing his beloved sport masks an attempt to understand far greater issues: functioning societies, social systems, fate, freedom, individual responsibility and utopianism.
Louisiana has suffered from hurricanes, flooding and oil spills, but nothing has been as insidious as the nutria. This giant swamp rat, known for its orange buckteeth, is prone to tunneling and eating plant roots, threatening the fragile wetlands. Rodents follows the sometimes peculiar efforts of Gulf residents as they try to defend their imperiled land from this invasive species.
In 2010, the sleepy fishing town of Taiji found itself in the world’s spotlight when The Cove, a documentary denouncing its whaling traditions, won an Academy Award. Fascinating and thought-provoking, A Whale of Tale revisits this story and discovers a different perspective as it unearths a deep divide in eastern and western thought about nature, wildlife and cultural sensitivity.
In this landmark documentary, celebrated filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson presents a series of single-take, black-and-white sequences filmed in and around Lake Erie to draw a profound connection between Black migration from the South to the North and the economic hardships currently facing working class communities.
A work of startling power and originality, acclaimed director Radu Jude’s documentary-essay examines the rise of anti-Semitism in Romania prior to and during World War II almost entirely through the diary of a Jewish doctor in Bucharest juxtaposed with recently unearthed photographs of provincial life in Romania between the years of 1937 and 1944.
A magical documentary that asks us to reconsider how we see – and hear – our world, In The Stillness of Sounds follows the work of a renowned sound engineer and biologist who ventures deep into the forest to capture sounds no one’s heard before: a bee rubbing its legs together, the drumbeat of marching ants, the songs of nocturnal animals, for a wondrous appreciation of nature’s ecosystem.
Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through de Los Santos Arias’ rapturous crime fable. Set in the Dominican Republic, Cocote follows a kind-hearted gardener, an Evangelical
Christian, who has returned home to take part in traditional mourning rituals for his father's death, only to discover that he is expected to commit an unthinkable act.
Filmed over the course of five years, The Area is a panoramic documentary about a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, home to more than 400 African-American families, that is being displaced by the Norfolk Southern railroad company. It is a complex story of economic revitalization, commercial interests, and community rights.
An intimate portrait of the great Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, the director of landmark films like La Cienaga and A Headless Woman, during the making of her fourth feature, Zama. Far more than a behind-the-scenes look, it is an attempt to evoke the oblique, transcendental tendencies that pervade Martel’s haunting films.
A tragicomic glimpse inside a traditional Iranian dating agency, The Broker introduces us to Mrs. Sadri and her cadre of female employees who are determined to find their clients a husband, at all costs. The documentary offers an acute reminder that the fiercest agents of the patriarchy aren't always men.
Born in 1917 in Uruguay, Eladio Dieste created industrial and agrarian works, public infrastructure and commercial buildings whose unique and innovative design, a melding of architecture and engineering, elevated these often humble buildings to masterworks of art. Directed by Heinz Emigholz, this audacious documentary presents twenty-nine of Dieste's buildings.
Considered the Architect‘s Architect of the 20th century, Nervi is the creator of style-forming constructions and a grand master of concrete buildings. Directed by Heinz Emigholz, Parabeton presents seventeen of his buildings punctuated by Ancient Roman constructions, suggesting, with its gorgeous compositions, a relationship between the two.
Both biography and cultural commentary, Perret tells the story of architectural pioneer Auguste Perret, whose groundbreaking works in two countries are mired in their volatile histories, including Parisian buildings destroyed (and later rebuilt) during WWII. Directed by Heinz Emigholz, this visually stunning documentary presents thirty of Perret's buildings.
One of the most inventive and iconoclastic American architects, Bruce Goff’s work, which comprised mostly churches and private homes, combined the harmony of nature with the innovation of modern construction. Directed by Heinz Emigholz, Goff in the Desert presents sixty-two buildings by Goff, who was never formally educated as an architect.
A fable-like road movie, Araby is a beautifully written and photographed story about a young boy who discovers an old notebook and is soon swept up in the writer's wanderings, adventures and loves; a twenty-year journey across the Brazilian countryside in search of a better life.
A new documentary from the groundbreaking filmmakers behind Leviathan, Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s Caniba reflects on the discomfiting significance of cannibalistic desire in human existence through the prism of one Japanese man, Issei Sagawa, and his mysterious relationship with his brother, Jun Sagawa.
Amidst a polarized debate marked by passion,
suspicion and confusion, this fascinating documentary – narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and
directed by Oscar-nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy – explores
the controversy surrounding GMOs and food. Travelling from the cornfields of Iowa to banana farms in Uganda, Food Evolution brings a fresh perspective to one of the most critical issues
facing global society today.
When her overprotective mother questions her relationship with a boy — going so far as to visit a gynecologist — Ava, fomery a model student, begins to rebel against her parents, her school, and the society at large. Based on her own experiences, Sadaf Foroughi’s gripping debut explores what its like for a young girl’s coming of age in a strict, traditional society.
Six innovative, surprising short films selected from the Sundance Film Festival, widely considered to be the premier showcase for shorts, and the launchpad of many now-prominent independent filmmakers. Grasshopper is proud to present the 2017 collection, which includes two Jury Award winners and Come Swim, the directorial debut of actress Kristen Stewart.
“In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins this acclaimed documentary which takes us on a journey through the American South – interweaving scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird and Rosa Parks’ investigation into the Recy Taylor case – to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that empowered it.
Charting the languorous, mysterious existence of two men who seem to share a deep, liminal understanding beyond words, until a third man enters their secluded space, Dane Komljen's debut feature, All the Cities of the North, is a radically open-ended but ravishingly beautiful work that’s animated by rhythms and ideas entirely its own.
“In our culture, almost everyone fears death,” says Ram Dass, the noted spiritual guru and author, and one of the subjects in this extraordinary documentary. Directed by John Bruce and Paweł Wojtasik, who underwent training as doulas in order to accompany people nearing death, End of Life is a deeply moving, revelatory work that captures the last years of five individuals in the process of dying.
From a women's correctional facility in the Pacific Northwest to a North Dakota oil field, Gray House deftly blends vérité footage, stunning landscapes, interviews with workers, and fictional elements – some of which involve actors like Denis Lavant (Holy Motors, Beau Travail) – for a prescient vision of modern-day America.
A captivating documentary about the ethics of activism in the modern media age, A River Below examines the efforts of two conservationists in the Amazon – one, a marine biologist, the other, an animal activist and host of a popular National Geographic TV show – whose methods to save the mythical pink river dolphin from extinction trigger unforeseen consequences.
Hailed as "the most significant 3-D film since Godard’s Goodbye to Language" (Village Voice), Blake Williams' experimental sci-fi masterwork immerses us in the aftermath of the deadly hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas in 1900 to create something entirely new; a haunting treatise on technology, cinema, and the medium’s future.
A new film from veteran filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer is always a cause for celebration; with My Coffee, Kirchheimer uses a simple, humorous title as a screen to ask serious questions, from gender inequality to secularism to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, for a deeply thoughtful exploration of contemporary Jewish identity.
Manfred Kirchheimer, director of award-winning films such as Stations of the Elevated and Tall: The American Skyscraper and Louis Sullivan, whom the New York Times recently called "an indispensable New York filmmaker," takes to the streets in an ode to the men and women who earn their daily bread by diligently collecting New York City’s bottles and cans.
From Northern Ireland to Kosovo, Nigeria to Iraq, The Peacemaker follows Padraig O’Malley, a highly influential peacemaker who has made it his life’s work to bring leaders on opposing sides of the most explosive conflicts to the table. Over five years, the film chronicles Padraig's journey as he works a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction.
Embodying the spirit of his poems, the new film from Billy Woodberry, director of Bless Their Little Hearts, is a vivid appreciation of Bob Kaufman, the legendary Beat figure, featuring interviews with his contemporaries, readings, rare photos and footage, and a soundtrack with the likes of Billie Holiday and Ornette Coleman.
Using letters Anna Magdalena Bach wrote to her husband, Johann Sebastian, filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet created one of the most precise, rewarding biopics ever put to screen. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, this masterpiece has been immaculately restored.
A faithful adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s Othon, the classic tragedy that premiered at the court of Louis XIV at Fontainebleau in 1664 and today is more hallowed than actually performed, Eyes do not want to close… depicts the power vacuum that followed Emperor Nero’s death.
This complex interpretation of Brecht’s unfinished novel The Business Affairs of Mr. Julius Caesar explores history as it has been written by the victors, with their hero worship of tyrannical leaders (whether Caesar or Hitler), and offers an alternate view of history writing as fractured and potentially revolutionary.
One of Straub-Huillet's major films, this adaptation of Schoenberg’s unfinished opera is a thrilling and rigorous consideration of Biblical and archaeological history; set almost entirely within a Roman amphitheater whose history lends every precise line-reading and gesture, every startling camera move and cut, a totalizing force.
An elegiac and damning meditation on abuses of power and historical amnesia, this film records communist critic Franco Fortini reading excerpts of his book The Dogs of Sinai, which condemns capitalism and the state of Israel in the aftermath of the Six Day War while reflecting on his own Jewish heritage.
Based on six mythological encounters in Cesar Pavese’s Dialogues with Leucò, and on Pavese’s last novel, The Moon and the Bonfires, about the savage murders of Italian anti-Fascist resistance fighters during World War II, this film bridges history and myth, modernity and antiquity.
A major influence on contemporary filmmakers, consisting entirely of a sequence of landscape shots, Straub-Huillet's Too Early / Too Late reflects on Egypt’s history of peasant struggle and liberation from Western colonization, linking it to class tensions in France shortly before the Revolution of 1789.
Six scenes concerning resistance to “forms of domination and violence of man on man,” including Communist prisoners who face down their Fascist interrogators during World War II and Egyptian workers and peasants who revolt against their colonial exploiters in 1919.
From the directors of Marwencol, Spettacolo tells the story of a small town in Tuscany that came up with a remarkable way to confront their issues – they turned their lives into a play. Every summer for the past 50 years, their piazza has become their stage and residents of all ages play a part – the role of themselves.
Directed by Michael Almereyda and executive produced by Wes Anderson, a journey through 20th-century Hollywood via the experiences of Hampton Fancher – flamenco dancer, actor, and unlikely producer and screenwriter of Blade Runner - showing how one man's personal journey can shape a medium's future.
From director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times, Ivory Tower) comes an electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show "Bronx Gothic," a story about two 12-year-old black girls coming of age in the 1980s.
Emmy-winning director Andrew Cohn’s absorbing documentary observes the individual pursuits of four adult learners seeking a high school diploma, fraught with the challenges of daily life and the broader systemic roadblocks faced by many low income Americans.
Filmed on the set of Jess Franco’s Count Dracula starring Christopher Lee, Portabella’s masterpiece mixes making-of footage and an electronic soundtrack for an investigation into the figure of the vampire - as both a reflection on fascism and cinema - to create a subversive fever dream of a meta-film.
2018 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature, Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad’s breathtaking work – a searing example of boots-on-the-ground reportage – follows the efforts of the internationally recognized White Helmets; ordinary citizens who are the first to rush towards military strikes in the hope of saving lives.
With intimate access to the lives of women veterans, After Fire is an observational documentary that throws a spotlight on the human toll of military service - including military sexual trauma, combat injuries and bureaucratic dysfunction - examining the challenges faced by the fastest-growing group of American veterans: women
The first railway line in Thailand was inaugurated in 1893 – a sign of progress and prosperity. Shot over eight years on every active line of the railway system, this extraordinary documentary, produced by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, offers an unprecedented immersion into the country’s past and present.
An exploration of recent social and political upheavals across the Middle East, The Dream of Shahrazad contextualizes these events within a broader historical and cultural legacy by drawing on the famous collection of stories known as “The Arabian Nights."
Forced to flee his country after filming politically sensitive events such as the Saffron Revolution, a Myanmar filmmaker finds himself a refugee amongst refugees in Thailand, where he discovers the plight of fellow migrants working under slavery-like conditions.
Shot over the course of five years, Hugh Gibson's award-winning documentary examines the lives of habitual drug users at an urban health center staffed by both former and current users; expanding into a wide-ranging portrait of the conditions that can nurture addiction and the social and legal structures that surround it.
The widening gap between generations in China today is at the heart of this deeply resonant documentary about a son, recently returned from the city, trying to modernize his aging father’s beekeeping business.
The tormented romance between celebrated poets Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann – a Holocaust survivor and a daughter of a Nazi party member – is the subject of this innovative documentary in which two actors read from their nearly two decades worth of correspondence.
Referencing the digital display of electric appliances after the power’s been repeatedly cut off, Isiah Medina’s audacious experimental work – one of the most acclaimed in recent years – is a personal meditation on family, friendship and the experience of living in poverty.
Voiced and executive produced by Tilda Swinton, Letters from Baghdad is a visually rich, beautifully crafted documentary that tells the story of Gertrude Bell, who, more influential than her friend and colleague Lawrence of Arabia, shaped the modern Middle East in ways that still reverberate today.
One of the year’s most bracingly original debuts, The Human Surge is a global journey that jumps from Argentina to the Philippines to Mozambique, a road movie that fuses fiction and documentary for a portrait of today’s youth at a time of economic uncertainty and illusory hyper-connection.
Sailing ships, angels and executioners, this classic documentary chronicles the vanishing practice and language of Russian criminal tattoos. Recalling the prison writings of Solzhenitsyn or Dostoevsky, Lambert's harrowingly beautiful and penetrating study served as inspiration for Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.
Academy Award winning filmmaker Ruby Yang’s My Voice, My Life follows a group of students from underprivileged families who are cast in a musical theater performance. A moving story about the importance of art education in our schools.
From urban farms in Detroit to Native-owned agriculture projects across the midwest to guerrilla gardens in Zurich, Wild Plants is a kaleidoscopic portrait of activists around the world who are creating their own botanic utopias.
This tender portrait of an Inupiaq Eskimo community who are living on an island that is disappearing into the sea is both an elegy to the indigenous cultures of the Arctic and a harrowing vision of climate change in America.
Winner of the Critics Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Oliver Laxe’s stunning new film, Mimosas, is a breathtakingly-shot Western that follows a mysterious caravan transporting a dying sheikh into the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
Drawing on the work of German-Jewish ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann (1892-1939), filmmaker Jumana Manna sets out in search of the musical diversity of historical Palestine in this magical documentary.
In a remote arctic village, a young Inuk boy's transition into adulthood becomes a quiet and devastating portrait of the issues facing the entire Inuit community in the outstanding documentary Living with Giants
Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Greene's incisive documentary exploring the story of a newswoman who committed a shocking act on live TV in the 1970s is an inquiry into our culture, media, the role of women in society and the workforce.
Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia and ending in a ghost city west of Beijing, political documentarian Zhao Liang's visionary new film details the social and ecological devastation behind an economic miracle that may yet prove illusory.
This intimate, moving documentary follows young Lakota riders on a 300-mile trek on horseback through the South Dakota badlands, as they retrace the fateful journey of their ancestors that culminated at Wounded Knee.
Conceived as a documentary, director Pietro Marcello had to change course when his lead, a humble shepherd turned local hero, passed away during production. The resulting film is a beautiful and fantastical ode to his memory and their beloved country.
An enormous shipping freighter drifts endlessly across the Atlantic Ocean; its' crew toiling tirelessly below. At times resembling a dystopian science-fiction film, this is trenchant commentary on global trade, labor and capitalism.
The final year in the life of a small farm in Southern Oregon is vividly captured in this study of a way of life quickly disappearing due to strict government regulations and competition from corporate farms.
Candid, haunted and often shocking interviews with warlords from Liberia’s First Civil War form the core of this transfixing inquiry into Africa’s modern history and the nature and essence of war itself.
In this remarkable documentary, filmmaker Brett Story excavates the often unseen links and connections that prisons – and our system of mass incarceration – have on communities and industries all around us. Widely acclaimed, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is an essential documentary, a portrait of our criminal justice system in which we never see a penitentiary.
A bracingly original debut, filmmaker Benjamin Crotty uses the tragicomic plight of a frail young man stranded at a military outpost amid a lascivious band of army wives to craft a queer soap opera for the ages.
One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, a documentary about Robert Frank, the legendary photographer and filmmaker behind the seminal book “The Americans” and landmark films like Pull My Daisy.
In only his second feature, Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa (Horse Money) brilliantly reworked Jacques Tourneur's classic I Walked with a Zombie into a reflection on his country’s colonial legacy. Never before released in the U.S. and now beautifully restored.