God Loves Uganda
2009 | UK | NR | 76 min.
In a remote Kurdish village in Iraq that had been devastated by Saddam Hussein’s regime, filmmaker Mark Cousins (“The Story of Film,” TCFF ‘12) set up an impromptu cinema to screen classics for villagers who had never experienced the magic of film. Taking his experiment one step further, he gave cameras to the children and let them film. The images that came back weren't those of war and suffering, but rather movies filled with children's fantasies and boundless sense of wonder. This inventive magic realist documentary shows the power of cinema to inspire and is a testament to the imaginations and resiliency of children.
Thu 3 pm Old Town Playhouse | Fri 12 noon Milliken Auditorium
2012 | Israel | NR | 91 min.
Each day, garbage trucks take loads of trash from neighboring Israeli settlements to the landfill on Mount Hebron, where groups of Palestinian men and boys pick through it in search of scrap metal and other recyclables. Two hundred families in the Palestinian village of Yatta unite in this daily struggle to survive off of their neighbors’ garbage. Avoiding an overtly political message in favor of intimate character study, this documentary charts the cycle of poverty brought on by the occupation, and shows the humanity of those who toil against it in hopes of a brighter future.
Thu 9 am Old Town Playhouse | Sat 12 noon Bijou by the Bay
2012 | USA | NR | 96 min.
Fifty years ago, the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v Wainwright mandated that state courts were required to provide counsel for those unable to afford representation. With millions of Americans facing trial each year, the criminal justice system is still struggling to keep up. This documentary confronts the issue head on by following the daily battles of three young public defenders in the Deep South as they take on staggering caseloads and work long hours for low pay to uphold the notion of “Justice for All.” An intimate and inspiring portrait of some of our country's unsung heroes, this Sundance award winner offers a sobering reminder of the hard work that goes into maintaining the ideals of the US justice system. In Person: Director Dawn Porter.
Thu 3 pm Milliken | Sun 3 pm Old Town Playhouse
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia
2013 | USA | NR | 89 min.
The life of fiery provocateur and ferocious thinker Gore Vidal is celebrated in this fascinating documentary, which pays timely tribute to a man who was a thorn in the side of the establishment and a major voice in our national debate. A multi-talented writer whose work spans fiction, film, theater, philosophy and politics, Vidal never shied away from voicing his opinion on the state of our democracy in typically sharp-witted fashion. Centered around one-on-one interviews that catch Vidal at his best, this spirited documentary shows us why Vidal loomed so large over our cultural landscape.
Wed 6 pm City Opera House | Sat 9 am Milliken Theatre