“Who is Chris Marker?” — is the question posed by the directors/ interlocutors, and every answer reveals a different reality. Some of the recollections are funny and bittersweet, such as Wim Wenders getting blind drunk with Marker at a bar in Tokyo.
In London’s bleak financial district, traders, bankers, and hedge fund managers describe an atavistic society, blood red in tooth and claw. As they move through the city streets, bodies become a metaphor for the extremity of an industry that twists and bends human nature into torturous form. -DW
When the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune lost her only child and then her mind, she embarked upon a descent into grief and madness, embodied in the creation of the Winchester Mystery Mansion. Director Bonello incorporates Sarah’s story into the creative collaboration between a composer, a performer, and a bloodied child spirit. -DW
Jacob Smith, Jon D. Erickson and Kathryn Goldman |
Five people — including a school bus driver from LA, an anti-poverty activist from West Virginia, the organizers of Democracy Spring, and Senator Bernie Sanders — all come together in an intersectional coalition that offers a glimmer of hope in these dark days.
In Jennifer M. Kroot’s warm and deeply affectionate film, Armistead Maupin tells his story in his own words. Friends and colleagues including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan weigh in, but Armistead needs little help. A natural born raconteur, he talks about his first sexual experience, and then bursts into the torchy standard, “Is That All There Is?”
Director Salome Jashi plays with the idea of perception in this enlightening film about contemporary Georgian life. The town folk in the interviews, as well as the journalists themselves, are acutely aware of how they are perceived. This often results in delicately painful conversations about just what aspects of the community, and its inhabitants, should be displayed, and what content is best left out.
Despite the ongoing environmental damage and pollution that have depleted his bee colonies, Lao Yu, a stalwart beekeeper in Northern China, is determined to keep his family tradition alive. After a year of living in the city, Lao’s son Maofu has returned home to their mountain village. It doesn’t take long before intergenerational conflicts erupt between father and son.
In Rwanda, there is a tradition of female pleasure that undoes all the standards of Hollywood and most of the Western world combined. It is kunyaza, a practice that centres on that mythic holy grail of human sexuality: female ejaculation. According to local mythos, a warrior queen, unsatisfied by her husband, took a servant as a lover and was so pleased with him that she brought forth the great waters that eventually turned into Lake Kivu.
The dirtiest thing in director Ovidie’s investigation of the global porn business is not the sex, but the money. The numbers are staggering. Much of the profit generated by "tube sites" comes from the poverty-level wages paid to an amateur workforce.
Meet Haya (bossy and manipulative), Leanne (who positively glows, even when flinching from loud noises in the playground), and Jorj (who casually jokes about post-war stresses, but still clearly suffers). They are three Syrian refugees between the ages of six and nine, now students in a small town in the Netherlands. And in the background, often as a disembodied voice, is Miss Kiet, their teacher. She is understanding but firm, working calmly and efficiently under extremely challenging circumstances.