Spotlights and Program Streams

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Guest Curator: Dennis Lim

"The film is an extraordinarily precise record of a particular time and place: the mythical tinder box of militancy, rage, repression, paranoia, and nihilism that was Italy in the 1970s. It’s also a movie that overflows its bounds at every turn." Dennis Lim chose Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli's Anna (1975) for this year's edition, a film virtualy unseen outside of Italy until its recent restoration.

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Retrospective: Cédric Dupire and Gaspard Kuentz

We are excited to dive deep into the sensorial universe of Cédric Dupire and Gaspard Kuentz’s filmography, which contains a multitude of inspiration, feeling, and form. As a duo they are known to push the limits of documentary (and in turn their audience)—these five films are proof.

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Paint Me A Film

In this assemblage of films, the documentary camera turns inward. Looping from director to lens like a cinematic carousel, the films in this Spotlight contend with the camera's role against a backdrop of sociopolitical themes, its gaze moving across images as both reckoner and redresser; disruptor and archivist; gatherer and memorialist; manipulator and liar.

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"The Devil Stole Our Laughter"

"If I could write about what has happened," says Mexican land defender Isela González Díaz, "I would title it The Devil Stole Our Laughter." In this rich collection of films, loss is the devil's weapon of choice—painfully wielded over land and life, power and infrastructure, and the historical gains of generations past. Existing in the aftermath, these films present individuals and communities moving (through) earth and sky in search of what truly remains.

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True Lies

The documentary films in this program are not real, nor are they unreal. They're what filmmaker and photographer RaMell Ross calls "true lies"—real myths, experimental truths and hybrid narratives that blur the lines between what is and what is not. In this Spotlight, stories take the form of psychedelic portraits and reimagined cities; revivied mothers and ghostly liberators; fictional ethnographies and true performances that both horrify and enlighten.

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Children of the Sun

Inspired by the late Lebanese painter and poet Etel Adnan, this Spotlight oscillates between the sociopolitical geographies of Palestine and Lebanon, whose histories intertwine with deep and harrowing complexity. In this lineup, Palestinian and Lebanese directors turn to cinematic inquiry as they traverse politics and power cuts, landscapes and loss, migration and water, revolution and war.

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