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Description: In Burma, the “Venerable Wirathu” is a highly influential Buddhist monk. Meeting him amounts to traveling to the heart of daily racism and observing how Islamophobia and hate speech lead to violence and destruction. Yet this is a country in which 90% of the population has adopted Buddhism as a faith: a religion based on a peaceful, tolerant and non-violent method of life.
Description: The Disobbedienti emerged from the Tute Bianche during the demonstrations vs the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. The “Tute Bianche” were the white-clad Italian activists who used their bodies – protected by foam rubber, tires, helmets, gas masks, and homemade shields – in direct acts and demonstrations as weapons of civil disobedience. The Tute Bianche first appeared in Italy in 1994 in the midst of a social setting in which the “mass laborer,” who had played a central role in the 1970s in production and in labor struggles, was gradually replaced in the transition to precarious post-Fordist means of production. “Disobbedienti” thematizes the Disobbedienti’s origins, political bases, and forms of direct action on the basis of conversations with seven members of the movement.
Description: In the Honduran coup of June 28, 2009, where the Constitutional President was kidnapped, a famous movement was born without precedent because of its national character. The students, members of the famous resistance, explain their reasons and their vision in the middle of this conflict that received continental uproar. Filmed in August 2009 while the president is still in involuntary exile. Filmed days after the coup, this documentary shows impressions, opinions and positions of the Central American folks in their struggle for democracy and the restitution of the Constitutional President José Manuel Zelaya. In the voice of the students and another Honduran protagonists.
Description: In the hot summer of 1975, in the middle of the revolution, in the heat of political and social conflicts, a crime is committed in a slum neighborhood on the outskirts of Lisbon. Analyzing this crime, as its causes, its protagonists, its local and national context, the movie proposes a hot reflection on the Revolutionary Process in Progress (Processo Revolucionário em Progresso ) that throughout the year and throughout the country, and on how political contradictions, Social and economic rights that divided Portugal as a effect of the military coup of 25 April 1974.
Description: Who Wants to Live Forever, the Wisdom of Aging is a one hour documentary movie about the myths, facts and contradictions in the never-ending war for both longevity and healthy aging.
Description: Based on attentive research, this documentary touches on the most striking aspects of Foxilandia, the management of President Vicente Fox, and dissects this national tragicomedy from the political, economic and social points of view.
Description: A portrait of a difficult rocking band known for their substance-fueled live performances on their evolutionary adventure to become one of the best cult rock bands of our time.
Description: Set within the Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford, Illinois, Chosen: Custody of the Eyes forms an intimate portrait of Heather*, a former blogger and painter confronting what she believes is her calling: Becoming a cloistered contemplative nun in one of the strictest religious orders. Selected is a coming-of-age storyline by first-time filmmaker Abbie Reese in collaboration with Heather, who became the film's basic cinematographer. The Novice Mistress deemed this project a "once in a lifetime" occurrence - permitting a video camera to capture monastic life from the inside. *She chosen the alias "Heather" to reflect the Terrible Clare Colettine pursuit of anonymity.
Description: This fascinating political look at a little-known chapter in women's history says the storyline of "Jane", the Chicago-based women's health group who performed nearly 12,000 secure illegal abortions between 1969 and 1973 with no formal medical training. As Jane members describe finding feminism and clients describe finding Jane, archival footage and recreations mingle to depict how the repression of the early sixties and social movements of the late sixties influenced this special group. Both vital knowledge and meditation on the process of empowerment, Jane: An Abortion Service showcases the importance of preserving women's knowledge in the face of revisionist history. JANE: AN ABORTION SERVICE was funded by the Independent Tv Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Description: The ancient Chinese minigame of Go has long been considered a grand challenge for artificial intelligence. Yet in 2016, Google's DeepMind squad announced that they would be taking on Lee Sedol, the world's most elite Go champion. AlphaGo chronicles the squad as it prepares to use the limits of its rapidly-evolving AI technology. The movie pits boy vs machine, and reveals as much about the workings of the human mind as it does the future of AI.
Description: THE PERFUMED GARDEN is an exploration of the myths and realities of sensuality and sexuality in Arab society, a globe of taboos and of erotic literature. Through interviews with boys and girls of all ages, classes, and sexual orientation, the movie lifts a corner of the veil that usually shrouds discussion of this topics in the Arab world. Made by an Algerian-French girl director, the movie starts by looking at the record of a more permissive history, and ends with the experiences of contemporary lovers from mixed backgrounds. It examines the private problems raised by the desire for pleasure, amidst societal pressures for chastity and virginity. The movie discusses pre-marital sex, courtship and marriage, familial pressures, personal vs. public spaces, social taboos (and the desire to break them), and problems of language.
Description: In this provocative documentary, worldwide experts in the fields of futurology, anthropology, neuroscience and philosophy consider the impact of technological advances on the two certainties of human life: work and death. Charting human developments from early man, past the Industrial Revolution, to the digital age and beyond, THE FUTURE OF WORK AND DEATH looks at the astonishing exponential rate at which mankind creates technologies to ease the process of living. As we embark on the next phase of our 'advancement' with automation and artificial intelligence driving the transformation from boy to machine, the movie gives a shockingly realistic look into the future of human life.
Description: Ernesto Gainza stands 4,000 meters above the ground in Dubai, preparing to set a Guinness globe record skydiving with the smallest and fastest parachute in history. Experts tell he is likely to die, but he jumps. Born in Valencia, Venezuela, Ernesto's father died days before he was born, leaving his mother to care for him and his sister singlehandedly in humble circumstances. After a hard divorce, Ernesto gave up everything to transport to Europe and took a skydiving course. His life changed forever and a career in parachute stunts quickly developed in a dream of setting a globe record by April 5, 2014.
Description: Documentary tribute to Ouagadougou, capital of one of the world's poorest countries, and its Fespaco movie festival, founded in 1969 and the biggest in Africa. Includes recollections from the old school of African filmmmakers, but looks also to the fresh generation representing the future of African cinema.
Description: The Drift traces the shifting economies of objects in contemporary Lebanon. The movie moves between three main characters: the gatekeeper of the Roman temples of Niha in the Beqaa Valley; a young mechanic from Britel, a village known for trading automobile parts; and an archaeological conservator working at the American University of Beirut.
Description: On the surface, London is a buzzing, modern metropolis--but underneath lies a secret, hidden world. Secrets of Underground London uncovers 2000 years of subterranean history: a globe of ancient caves and perfectly preserved Roman remains; mysterious rivers and gruesome plague pits; impenetrable vaults and top-secret bunkers.
Description: Filmed in 2005 by Hisham Mayet predominately at the Jemaa Al Fna in Marrakesh Morocco, 'Musical Brotherhoods of the Trans-Saharan Highway' captures an assortment of spectacular musical dramas presented live and unfiltered on the home turf of the world's most dynamic string and drum professionals performing and manifesting the ecstatic truth. Ancient mystical brotherhoods have been flourishing for centuries in and around the towns of Marrakesh and Essaouira in Morocco where the trade caravans have gathered from their long adventures across the Trans-Saharan Highway. This is some of the last nice road melody on Earth. A gotta see for string aficionados looking for inspiration as electric ouds, banjos, mandolins and the Gnawa sentir peel flesh from bone right before your eyes!
Description: When her mother remarries and her newly blended family moves to Canada, a 9-year-old Tunisia girl's life takes a profound turn as she struggles to search her zone and maintain her Muslim identity in a fresh land.
Description: Frustrated with the traditional school system, a family in Los Angeles pulls their two kids out of one of the highest-rated schools in the zone and takes their education into their own hands. In the quest to better their children's lives, they gotta ovecome long-standing assumptions about education and face the social ramifications of their bold decision. Class Dismissed will challenge viewers to take a new look at what it means to be educated in the 21st century and offer up a radical fresh method of thinking about the process of learning.
Description: In the Forez, in the East of the Massif Central, France, 75-year-old Claudette and her neighbors, all peasant farmers from a rural underclass, feel that consumerist society is ignoring them while at the same time gradually taking over what remains of their cultural heritage and know-how. But, all do not intend to be pushed around...
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Lord of Kong (or Billy vs. Steve, basically), is an perfect movie about a rivalry that tells a lot about tournament in our culture. The film portrays Billy, the Donkey Kong Champion, doing everything in his power to hold his record and to deny Steve Wiebe (wee-Bee) the game of globe record holder in Donkey Kong. Steve is an outsider in this culture where Billy is an icon, and at first there are folks within the video minigame community who do not wish him to succeed. It becomes type of a struggle between nice and evil, as the powers that be test to keep down those not in power. Suddenly, Steve is the guy you're rooting for, if only just to beat that smart-ass Billy. It is a adventure that takes you through the darker and seedier side of the video minigame revolution of the '80s. If it seems silly to be writing about such weighty problems of nice and evil when a film is about a video game, watch the movie: it really does the job of making you care about what happens to these odd, fascinating people.
I saw this at the Traverse Town Movie Festival and it was probably the greatest movie of the festival.This perfect movie has everything that a film fanatic loves to see: the classic character and villain story, action, suspense, drama, and comedy. Who would have thought all of this would come out of a documentary about Donkey Kong? The storyline follows Steve Wiebe, a family boy from Washington trying to beat the arcade juggernaut Billy Mitchell's globe record score on Donkey Kong. The movie is perfectly edited by introducing both characters, showing their history in the video minigame culture, and giving the viewers a sense of which person to root for. It's hysterical the method this easy storyline is made out to look like an action journey film. Steve is the underdog, the boy that has a large adventure ahead of him. But to overcome the challenges and test to claim the game of Donkey Kong master, he gotta face the enemy Billy Mitchell and his video minigame minions.This movie is one of the most fun times I've had in a theater in long time. The entire audience was involved, cheering on some characters, laughing at others, and applauding many times. It's so much fun to watch an underground culture and see folks you didn't know existed.My favourite part in the movie is probably when Steve has to present up in person and prove his ability. It's so hilarious, suspenseful, and inspiring.The Lord of Kong is a terrific film. It's a lot of fun, there's never a dull moment, and it really shows what a nice movie is supposed to be like.
If it weren't for the sincerity of it all- or maybe because of it- Lord of Kong should be conceived of as a mockumentary. But there's no joking with these guys, which sometimes makes it a lot of fun to watch the tournament between Billy Mitchell and Steve Weebie (right method to tell the name?), where sycophants and idiosyncrasies fly on the former's self-spun empire/network and on the latter just your average suburban housewife and children going somewhat begrudgingly along the ride. It's a saga though not just about them, but about the globe of gaming, of the mind-set that pervades everyone from lawyers to 'Roy Awesome' to tiny old ladies competing at Qubert, and the nature of tournament itself. Not since Rocky- and maybe even better in its exuberance and humility- has one seen a tale of the underdog and the lord played out in odds that could seem somewhat silly.But what's so nice is how first-time director Seth Gordon plunges the viewer into this world, and it's instantly recognizable to anyone over 18 and under, well, 55 to 100- anyone who's ever gone to enjoy one of the "old-school" arcade minigames like Donkey Kong or Pacman/Mrs. Pacman or even Pong. We see how the users have to not just go into the minigames haphazardly by luck; like football, there's game-plans and strategies, and like that sport there are also some obstacles that are apart of the nature of the design of the sport. There's a entire wonderful facet one takes for granted, for example, about the technology of the machines, which despite being eclipsed many times over by fresh systems can still be tampered with, as is the situation with Steve's first machine that reaches the top score, and then discredited because of a chip possibly (or not) being replaced or implanted in to give leverage at a non-gamer store.Yet the more slippery side-stepping for users is what's even more intriguing. Characterization can be a tricky thing for the documentary director to deal with, but in Lord of Kong it becomes something of a controversy left by the wayside as Billy surpasses Steve's score with a minigame he played recorded on videotape- while Steve set his score by an official Twin Galaxies referee (Walter Day, to be exact, who's a hero in and of himself)- with more than a several skips right were the score could register. Telling it skims the line of reality and mockumentary comes with the territory- after a while watching Mitchell is like watching someone who's improvising as he goes along, hiding behind his perfectionist guise as a world-class champ and purveyor of fine hot sauces with his fake-buxom wife and lackeys watching each transport Steve makes.Aside from it being compelling storytelling as one sees the transformation of Steve from failed baseball pitcher and drummer to a Donkey Kong (and Donkey Kong Junior) champ, making all-time high scores while his children cry about their terrible behinds, it's one of the greatest kinds of sport-genre details in years. Many times one sees this played out, and it's been parodied in the likes of Dodgeball ("Nobody makes me bleed my own blood" came to mind once or twice looking at Mitchell, and his smart but biased cronies are like classic helping characters), and the clichés and conventions receive the better of the narrative. This time there's no pressure to push it into what's expected: we genuinely care what happens in this war of the joystick, as Steve sheds genuine tears testing his ass off at all accounts of live happenings whilst Billy sulks away in his living room hearing the upgrades on his phone.As far as triumph-of-the-human-spirit stories go, Lord of Kong is hilarious entertainment, sometimes for all the strangest (Day's would-be musical career) and silliest reasons (what's so unique about the Guiness ebook of records, Steve's daughter asks), but engrossing as documentaries could get- one of the greatest of the year in fact.
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