Description: Japan’s obsession with cutesy culture has taken a dark turn, with schoolgirls actually offering themselves for “walking dates” with adult men. Last year the US State Department, in its annual report on human trafficking, flagged so-called joshi-kosei osanpo dates (Japanese for “high school walking”) as fronts for commercial sex run by sophisticated criminal networks.
Description: Survivors presents an intimate portrait of Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the sociopolitical turmoil that lies in its wake.
Description: The Queen’s Hamlet is a palace disguised as a peasant’s cottage hidden in the Versailles gardens. A romantic hide-away, Marie Antoinette conceived it as a reminder of her carefree youth in Vienna. The Revolution left it for a ruin. 230 after its construction, it reopens to the public, restored to its original glory, as an extraordinary jewel of Versailles. Following the restoration, this docudrama in 4K uncovers Marie Antoinette’s greatness as a master of fashion and revisit the saga of France’s legendary Queen. An intimate portrait of a ‘too-modern woman’ caught in the whirlwinds of History.
Description: The Karlovy Vary International Movie Festival is one of the world’s oldest and most respected. Movie Spa was made to celebrate its belated 50th edition in 2015 in its 69th year – belated because from 1959 to 1993 it was forced to alternate with the festival in Moscow.
Description: A compilation of archival footage saying the happenings of August 1968 from a distinctly Slovak perspective. Opening with reportage of a meeting of the Warsaw Letter signatories in Bratislava in July 1968, the movie portrays the Soviet invasion and people’s responses to the arrest of Alexander Dubček, the reformist Slovak First Secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party and principal architect of the Prague Spring.
Description: She is one of the last shepherdesses who still lives with her flock in the heights of the Gya-Miru valley in Ladakh. At the age of 50, Tsering is the youngest in her village to drive her 350 goats and sheep at the expense of transhumance in this region of the Himalayas, located between 4000 and 6000 meters above sea level. A harsh and precarious life, often solitary, mishandled by hard climatic conditions and a sometimes hostile nature, which does not prevent this small bit of girl to sing, laugh and ... philosophize.
Description: Marijuana as a cancer fighting drug? Science tells yes, federal law tells no. Patricia Crone is caught in the life-and-death stand-off. Patricia Crone, a professor of Islamic history at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2011, when the cancer had already spread to her brain. She was busy preparing for the end when she saw that the National Cancer Institute described some of the chemicals in marijuana, or cannabis, as having cancer-fighting potential. With only grim prospects for the future, she wanted to test it. So Patricia, who had never had as much as a puff of pot, started a hunt for marijuana, and for credible evidence of its medicinal potential.
Description: From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an zone of our modern-day lives that is not affected by the oil industry. The storyline of oil is the storyline of the modern world. And this is the storyline of those who helped shape that world, and how the oil-igarchy they created is on the verge of monopolizing life itself.
Description: Charles Ferguson reopens the situation of Watergate, from the 1972 break-in to Nixon’s 1974 resignation and beyond, and gives it a fresh and bracing life. The filmmaker creates a real-life political suspense story, one remarkable feature at a time, built from archival footage; interviews with surviving members of the Nixon White House (including Pat Buchanan and John Dean), reporters (Lesley Stahl, Dan Rather and, of course, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein), unique prosecutors (Richard Ben-Veniste, Jill Wine-Banks); the Senate Watergate Committee (Lowell Weicker), members of the House Judiciary Committee who debated Nixon’s impeachment (Elizabeth Holtzman), modern commentators, and historians; and carefully executed recreations based on the Oval Office recordings. Ferguson also accomplishes the hard and instantly relevant task of drawing extremely disquieting fact-based parallels with other presidency and criminal investigation, still underway.
Description: This Petersburg you will not see on the covers of glossy magazines and advertising brochures. This town is ghosted and brutal, and it is inhabited by very different, often very gloomy people.
Description: Can the sun lie? asked a US court in 1886. This legal question arose when photographs or sun pictures as they were also named at the time first entered into juridical proceedings as a fresh form of evidence. Should chemistry and light manipulate the natural order of the things worried the court or were the realities depicted by photographs incontrovertible?
Description: It follows the band around as they leave the UK and zoom off to Tokyo. It charts almost everything they did while they were there (for reasons of nice taste we left out the vomiting)
Description: When a documentarian filmmaker interviews young Israelis about their settlement in the West Bank, the effects are an urgent movie of revealing and sometimes challenging conversations.
Description: This ebullient documentary about trend-setting Soho hair salon Cuts also serves as a reminder of how pre-gentrification London was a fertile ground for multicultural DIY creativity.
Description: Ross Lipman's fresh movie frames an act of self-archiving within a larger, essayistic mediation on the relationship between experimental practice and independent arthouse cinema.
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