Documentary Films

THE BEAUTIFUL COLORS OF JEREMY SICILE-KIRA

Dir. Aaron Lemle USA, 2020) 9:26- Short Doc

Jeremy Sicile-Kira uses painting to transcend his disability and communicate his dreams to others.

COVID AND WHO I AM NOW

Dir. Diana Dai  (Canada, 2020) 11:58  Short Documentary

A young Chinese Canadian medical student was attacked during the Covid-19 pandemic. The doc explores Mary’s deep emotional journey and how she struggles with her self identity amid rising anti-Chinese racism during this unprecedented time.

CRYPTOPIA: BITCOINS, BLOCKCHAINS AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET

Dir. Torsten Hoffmann and Michael Watchulonis (Australia, 2020) 1 hr 26 min- Documentary

Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our times, threatening banks by building an alternative and decentralized currency system. Its “blockchain” could provide a blueprint for a better Internet – challenging the dominating technology giants. Despite this potential, Bitcoin is undergoing severe price volatility and the community is facing a bitter internal ‘civil war’. Moreover, much of the media coverage is often misinformed or misleading and the general public is still confused about the technology and its larger implications. Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralized network, really provide a robust alternative? Can it and the people behind it be trusted to secure elections, prevent financial meltdowns and keep our private information safe? Or are cryptocurrencies just as unfairly distributed, easily manipulated and dangerous as our current systems?

DEAR CHAEMIN

Dir. Cyan Bae  (Korea, Netherlands, 2020)   17:15-Short Documentary

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of video letters are sent to the director’s sister in Seoul. Should we want to return to the ‘old normal’?
The auto-fictional film juxtaposes the Korean and Dutch contexts of contact tracing, biopolitics, and crowd control practices, each of which intensifies the stigmatization and violence against queer communities and people of Asian descent.

This film addresses the very real challenges of our time, painting a portrait that is at once deeply personal and frustratingly universal. The filmmaker touches on the irony of racism’s triumph over homophobia, the implicit threat of technology, and the anxieties of the COVID crisis with grace and nuance, bringing us through the narrative with the precision of a surgeon. This film uses a vertical camera style in a way I’ve never seen before and to great effect, edited in such a way as to present overwhelming information in a realistically overwhelming way while pulling back and giving the quiet, poignant moments room to breathe. I struggle to imagine a better portrayal of the problems affecting our world today. TC

DRAWINGS AGAINST BULLETS

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Dir. Alicia Calderón  (Mexico, 2019) 1hr 30 min- Documentary

Director Statement
Mexican boys and girls are suffering more than ever from the effects of violence related to organized crime and the militarization of the country. The hotspots were ignited ever since the announcement of the so-called “war against drug trafficking” in 2006, by then President Felipe Calderón.

Every day more and more images become viral on social media and are added to our collective memory; pictures of girls lying flat on their bellies and singing in order to calm them down during a shootout on the street outside their school, or of boys who were participating in a Spring parade and got caught in a crossfire, and had to run to take refuge wherever they could.

This is really good. Engaging, well made, shows how children live with mortality and death so close to them, shows the people who work to make their communities better, shows how dystopian the world we live in can be. TC

END OF THE WORLD AND MISSED CALLS

Dir. 설은아 seoleuna (Korea, 2019) 17:20- Experimental Doc

Nature and landscapes shot with wide lens juxtaposes beautifully against the concept of an infinitely small moment of time, encapsulated for eternity in a voicemail. Composed in stillness with an underlying and powerful current of tumultuous surrender, this auditory anthology is a meditation on the human spirit. KS

FALSE ALARM

Dir. Nick Lyell  (USA, 2021) 53:54- Documentary

False Alarm investigates the diverse reactions to the surreal and traumatic morning when families, soldiers, tourists, and every person on Hawaii was forced to confront an unthinkable reality—an incoming nuclear missile. The film offers a picture of the hope of resistance and tragedy of acceptance around militarism, colonialism, and nuclear weapons through the lens of the 2018 Hawai’i false missile alert.

FIRE REPORT

Dir. Katarína Jonisová  (Slovakia, 2019) 15:28- Short Doc

I like this. I love the idea that charisma alone and appealing to mob mentality/basic insecurities can entice any number of people to pay exorbitant amounts of money for literally nothing but empty words. The film doesn’t give the viewer much context, but being alive on Earth right now is context enough to understand what’s going on here. Films about pyramid schemes and time shares are always relevant, because there are always people who fall for that kind of thing and its extremely interesting to look at the reasons why. TC
I appreciate that the message of the film is nearly one hundred percent implicit, and that just watching the seminar in itself against only the brief shots and dialogue of the one skeptic in the crowd unveils the injustice behind this type of consumerism. AH

I, in the last few years, have been down the rabbit hole of exploring the mentality of why people are so easily drawn to these almost cult like MLM communities or seminars. This to me is a sad yearning for community and belonging that post modern globalism has extracted from our culture. People looking for connections online and through these groups fascinates me. Should we judge if they are happy? They are willingly paying for it all. Interesting to see it is a global phenomenon and not just American. This doc is so unobtrusive…and the content so farcical, I thought I was watching a fiction narrative. Brilliant. AN

FOURTEENTH STATION

Dir.  Greta Alfaro. (Spain, 2019)  41:00 Experimental

This is a phantasmagorical train journey across the scrubland stalked by Cain’s wandering shadow.
Metaphor for a failed idea of progress, emblem and also facilitator of the Industrial Revolution, the train was an agent of colonialism, globalization and environmental destruction, and has helped shape the identity and fate of the world we live in.

In this endless journey we pass through abandoned stations, like Stations of the Cross without hope of salvation. The clattering, swaying train recalls the to and fro of the Costaleros bearing on their shoulders a huge but invisible weight.

In the contemporary epic, though, the legends are different. Solitary men battle against nature and other men in a world where everything is permitted. Land, death, violence and greed from now until the end of the world. The tracks stretch ahead and the gunmen advance with them, each clearing the way for the other. Together they lay the foundation stone of the most savage neo‐liberalism. A road of dust, sweat and iron.

L.A. ROLL

Dir. Helki Frantzen  (USA, 2019) 17:45- Short Doc

We are trying to plan a live demonstration to accompany this screening!

L.A. ROLL follows members of Sk8 Mafia, a crew of Los Angeles-based dance skaters, as they reflect on the closure of their beloved home rink and seek out a new rink despite adversity and setbacks.

LAST CALL FOR TOMORROW

Dir. Gary Null and Valerie Van Cleve  (USA, 2020)  1hr 34 min

We are witnessing the 6th Mass Extinction of our planet. We are loosing about 200 species a day. Humanity has killed 83% of all wild mammals and half of all plants. Of the birds left in the world, 70% are poultry chickens and other farmed birds. Global industrial pollution is killing over 9 million people a year, through bad air and water.
What recourse can the people take, when there are no effective institutions to deal with the global one world order. We face a clear choice: radical political transformation or deepening mass extinction.
To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we think, who we are, and how we live.

THE LEGACY

Dir. Jens Klingebiel  (Germany, 2020) 34:00 Short Documentary

What traces do we leave behind after death? Climate change, extinction of species, environmental pollution – the last few decades have clearly shown that the earth is at its limit. And some people wonder if this is what they want to bequeath to future generations. This film is the legacy of such a person. After a cancer diagnosis, a man is facing the end of his life. And he decides to invest the money he has saved in a project that is dedicated to these issues. A film that takes stock of how we humans deal with the environment and nature.

LOI 2004-228

Dir. Kashif Alvi (USA, 2020) 18:22

loi 2004-208 explores the historical relationship between France and its Sikh community from the first mass migrations of Sikhs to Europe during WWI to the present-day discrimination against turban-wearing Sikhs on
the basis of a law against displaying religious symbols in schools, courts, and government offices. The film provides a striking example of the ways in which modern societies enact oppression through cultural and governmental institutions, and the disastrous effects that follow for
communities whose identities are not welcome even in their native lands.

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

Dir. Michael Oswald  (UK, 2020)  1hr 9 min- Feature DocumentarY

A British Army PsyOps operative falls out with the intelligence community and is framed for a murder.

Director Statement
I stumbled across the incredible story of Colin Wallace in 2018, the story seemed so outlandish it was hard to believe it could be true. Colin Wallace had worked as a Senior Information Officer in Britain’s Ministry of Defence, in a psychological warfare and propaganda department in Northern Ireland called Information Policy. He claimed to have targeted British politicians and members of the clergy among others in PsyOps and fake news campaigns orchestrated by various elements in Britain’s vast secret state. Colin Wallace had a falling out with sections of the intelligence community after he refused to continue work in areas of PsyOps that he felt were undermining parliamentary democracy. He was subsequently accused of leaking a classified document and made to take voluntary redundancy, he was given the choice between taking voluntary redundancy and keeping his pension or being sacked. He attempted to gain redress by contacting MPs and he engaged with the press. One day he found himself accused of a murder.

THE MAYBERRY EFFECT

Dir. Christopher Hudson  (USA, 2020) 1 hr 30 min

Sunday June 6 12:00 PMPacific City C220 Theater
*Director in Attendance!

The Mayberry Effect, is a thought provoking film investigating the topic of nostalgia through the lens of The Andy Griffith Show asking the questions; did a simpler time actually exist, how did the show influence our American culture and society and will future generations continue to enjoy the sitcom or will it fade away like so many other television shows over the past 60 years?

MORE THAN MIYAGI

Dir. Kevin Derek  (USA, 2020) 1 hr 32 min

The Oscar nominated actor best known for his role of Mr. Miyagi, left behind a painfully revealing autobiographical record of his much-too-brief time here on earth. Tracing his journey from being bed bound as a boy to the bright lights and discrimination in Hollywood. Deep inside that sweet, generous, multi-talented performer seethed an army of demons, that even alcohol and drugs couldn’t mask.

PEACE OF HER OWN

Dir.  Brynne McKee  (India, 2020) 19:28- Short Documentary

One woman in the farming community of Gujarat, India attempts to find Peace of Her Own amidst economic struggle, climate pressure and patriarchal oppression.

PIPETOWN, USA

Dir. Joaquín Ramón Herrera  (USA, 2019) 1hr 6 min

At the root of the cannabis culture, a small glass pipe for smoking marijuana became popular in the early 1980’s. Admiration of the little pipe grew when Bob Snodgrass of Eugene, Oregon created a technique called “fuming.” By introducing silver and gold metals to the glass, he could produce a beautiful rainbow effect that was layered in the glass and seemed to change colors when you smoked. Glassblowers from across the nation began to gravitate towards the area seeking his mentor-ship. The artistic, liberal community with the lush green countryside drew them in and by the 1990’s the glass pipe movement was well established. In interviews with glass artists they reveal the freedom, the joy, the struggles and the pure passion that drives them to survive in a competitive industry filled with challenges.

SCENES FROM TRIAL AND ERROR

Dir. Tekla Aslanishvili  (Georgia, Germany, 2020) 30:00- Short Documentary

The endless tests of developing a futuristic smart city and deep sea port reshape a small fishing village of Anaklia on the shores of the Black Sea in west Georgia. The documentary film investigates the material and social conditions that are produced as a result of these ambitious infrastructural investments, aimed at transforming the country into a trade corridor for the speculative New Silk Road project.

The cows shitting by the “future” building is the perfect metaphor for the zeitgeist. Cities full of “progress of the future” ultra modern buildings juxtaposed to people literally defecating on the streets of our urban spaces.  This seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. AN

STALKING CHERNOBYL: exploration after apocalypse

*Zeitgeist alumnus

Dir. Iara Lee  (USA/Ukraine, 2020)  56:58- Documentary

STALKING CHERNOBYL: exploration after apocalypse—directed by Iara Lee (a Cultures Of Resistance film)—a documentary that examines the underground culture of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Three decades after the world’s most infamous nuclear disaster, illegal hiking adventurers (known as “stalkers”), extreme sports afficionados, artists, and tour companies have begun to explore anew the mysterious, ghostly landscape, where trees and forest animals have reclaimed land abandoned by villagers. Even as survivors continue to reckon with a dishonest government’s attempts to cover up the extent of the disaster, and as humanity faces new nuclear incidents in place like Fukushima, the Chernobyl site has turned into a bizarre tourist attraction, drawing seekers with a taste for the post-apocalyptic

SWATTED

Dir. Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis. (France, 2018) 21:14- Short Documentary 

Once upon a time in a pre- pandemic world…this was actually a thing.  I had to do a bit of research to see if this was actually a thing, because my Gen X mind cannot wrap my head around the thought of why someone would even do this? This has to be a prank.  Sadly though, most of the news today sounds like headlines in  newspapers from the science fiction films I watched growing up as a kidAN

Online players describe their struggles with “swatting”, a life-threatening cyber-harassment phenomenon that looms over them whenever they play. The events take shape through youtube videos and wireframe images from a video game

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

Dir. Hope Ballard  (USA, 2020) 18:00- Short Doc

Gun violence has been heavily prevalent in the lives of young adults such as the filmmaker, Hope Ballard. This film documents Hope’s personal journey as she works with a civil rights expert, a father of a Columbine victim, and a gun enthusiast in search of answers to the gun violence crisis in America.

UZZI

Dir. Ido Weisman  (Israel, 2018)  20:21- Short Doc

At the age of 94, Prof. Uzzi Ornan continuing his lifelong ongoing struggles for upholding the Secular and Democratic image of the State of Israel with his last endeavor to establish and secure Civil Burial rights where he lives.

WOMAN OF COURAGE

Dir. Michael Ross  (USA, 2020) 6:06

A suburban housewife escapes her abusive 25-year marriage and finds her own voice in the world.

Your Friend, Ranger Doug

Dir. Claire Jantzen and Sara Rose Nell  (USA, 2020)  16:47- Short Documentary

A 94-year-old Glacier National Park ranger confronts the decline of the park he calls home as he reflects on his life and the legacy he will leave behind.

I thought it was beautifully strung together from beginning to end. Touching on both climate change as a seriously impending threat to the fabric of our planet, and the life of ranger Doug as he spends his days loving and caring for it. He sets an example for the type of people we all should be; in love with our surroundings and dedicated to protecting them. The score was also fantastically executed and made the whole video that much more beautiful. AH