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 what is not. In this Spotlight, stories take the form of psychedelic portraits and reimagined cities; revived mothers and ghostly liberators; fictional ethnographies and true performances that both horrify and enlighten.

Welcome to the world of docu-fiction onscreen.


A Man Imagined
Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, Canada, 2024, 62 mins

Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky's striking film follows 67-year-old Lloyd, a man living with schizophrenia who has survived for decades unhoused, selling discarded objects on the streets. Immersive in sound and jarringly intimate, A Man Imagined invites us into a hallucinatory world saturated with dreams and visions juxtaposed against the bleak urban landscape.

For screening times, click here.


Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri, Italy/Lithuania, 2023, 102 mins

In Amor, director Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri reckons with the death of her mother and the site it took place: the Tiber River, in Rome. Ethereally shot and hauntingly surreal, the film wades into an alternative universe that looks very much like Rome, but with Serpieri's mother present.

Preceded by the short film El Neceser Rojo

For screening times, click here.


La Laguna del Soldado
Pablo Alvarez-Mesa, Canada, 2024, 75 mins

Immersing us in ethereal realms of mist and the fevered verses of Simón Bolívar's 1822 poem "Mi delirio sobre el Chimborazo," director Pablo Alvarez-Mesa crafts a cinematic tapestry of sound and light. Tracing Bolívar's steps across contested social and political geography, La Laguna del Soldado oscillates between Colombia's past and present with eerie hybridity.

For screening times, click here.


Mambar Pierrette
Rosine Mbakam, Belgium/Cameroon, 2023, 93 mins

Sought-after dressmaker Mambar Pierrette is preparing her children for the new school year when she is beset by a series of misfortunes: floods, a deadbeat husband, a broken sewing machine. Filmed with the clarity and simplicity of the most intimate observational documentaries, Mbakam's film demonstrates how the documentary form can elevate a narrative to reveal the truths of everyday life.

For screening times, click here.


My Worst Enemy
Mehran Tamadon, France/Switzerland, 2023, 82 mins

Filmmaker Mehran Tamadon is searching for the right collaborator—a fellow exiled Iranian citizen willing to reenact their interrogation by the Islamic Republic. But when one participant begins to question the project and Tamadon's integrity in proposing it, the rising stakes reach a breaking point. My Worst Enemy is a performative subversion of power, confronting the torturer and tortured with their own limits.

For screening times, click here.


The Zola Experience
Gianluca Matarrese, Italy/France, 2023, 101 mins

Theatre director and actress Anne plays the role of Gervaise in an adaptation of Emile Zola's L'Assommoir. But as the play starts to mirror Anne's personal life, it remains unclear where Gervaise's story ends and Anne's begins. Gianluca Matarrese's expertly woven film takes on the notion of life as art in ways both stimulating and uncanny.

For screening times, click here.


View the full DOXA 2024 program.