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True/False 2011: Your guide to the films

Sunday, February 13, 2011 | 8:15 p.m. CST; updated 10:42 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An African Election

Synopsis

As other countries on the continent flare into violence and Obama faces McCain, Ghana holds a crucial election resulting in something alien to any observer of American politics, post-1972.

Reviews

Trailer


The Arbor

Synopsis

From the perspective of British playwright Andrea Dunbar, Bradford neighborhood Brafferton Arbor was a hotbed of domestic dysfunction, emotional violence, casual racism and chemical dependence. Her autobiographical work, exemplified in Alan Clarke's Rita, Sue, and Bob Too, attests to that.

Reviews

Trailer


Armadillo

Synopsis

For the new Danish recruits of Camp Armadillo in Afghanistan, war is an utterly alien culture marked by tacit masculine codes and crushing expectation punctuated by violent explosions and skull-shattering debris.

Reviews

Trailer


At the Edge of Russia

Synopsis

This is an absurdist look at Russian border guards on the frontier of northern Russia, where young recruit Alexei gets flown in and is oriented to the ritualized ways of living and working in the permafrost.

Trailer


Benda Bilili!

Synopsis

Staff Benda Bilii are a group of paraplegics who play great music featuring complex vocal interplay.

Reviews

Trailer


The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1974

Synopsis

Based on newly rediscovered 16mm films made by Swedish journalists, the film provides surprising glimpses at an array of black activists such as Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton, and some wonderful scenes of everyday urban life.

Trailer


Blood in the Mobile

Synopsis

Danish director Frank Poulsen investigates the source behind minerals used in Nokia phones, minerals that he has heard are financing the bloody war in the Eastern Congo, a war that has killed millions of people over 15 years and caused thousands of women to be brutally raped.

Reviews

Trailer


Bobby Fischer Against the World

Synopsis

From the age of 7, Bobby Fischer devoted himself to the study of chess completely; his unmatched obsessive genius allowed him to single-handedly challenge the brute force of the Soviet chess machine. He became the game’s first rock star, only to lapse into isolation, paranoia and misanthropy.

Reviews


La Bocca del Lupo

Synopsis

Underneath his tough skin, the rugged but photogenic Enzo is a kind-hearted man who dreams of a home in the country with “puppies, ducks, a pond, an orchard to tend” and Mary, the love of his life, whom he met decades ago in prison. When Mary was released, she moved to a small neighborhood and waited patiently for Enzo, along the way exchanging secret audio tapes and letters.

Trailer


Buck

Synopsis

It takes Buck Brannaman about three minutes to turn even the most unruly mustang into a calm, obedient horse; and what secret weapons does he deploy? Respect, love and discipline, plus a little red flag.

Reviews

Trailer


The Burger and the King

Synopsis

In James Marsh’s final film for the BBC, he goes to America to explore a time-honored story of indulgence and excess: Elvis Presley's ravenous appetite for life and for cuisine. In this black comedy, we meet the amazing Mary Jenkins, the King’s personal chef who was on call 12 hours. And surprisingly Dr. Nick shows up too. Somehow through what’s more or less an illustrated cookbook of the King’s favorite dishes, Marsh improbably snags a fresh angle and new psychological insights on one of the most well-told lives of the 20th century.

Reviews


El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

Synopsis

Ferran Adria is the kookiest cook in the world, having spearheaded a new movement called molecular gastronomy at his restaurant El Bulli in Catalonia.


Fake It So Real

Synopsis

Across America, thousands of passionate athletes undertake grueling training to participate each week in a spectacle that transcends sport — independent wrestling.


Family Instinct

Synopsis

A young woman, prematurely aged by the rigors of hard manual labor, waits with her two children for her brother, their father, to be released from prison unsure if he will return to attack them.

Trailer


Foreign Parts

Synopsis

A sure-handed look at a rundown junkyard community located next to a flashy baseball stadium in Queens.

Review


Gravity was Everywhere Back Then

Synopsis

The story of Leonard Wood, a visionary self-taught architect whose ramshackle home additions were all part of a master plan designed to revive his terminally ill wife.

Reviews


Habana Muda

Synopsis

A deaf couple with two young children struggles to make ends meet in the capital of Cuba. Chino, the husband, is also in an open relationship with his Mexican lover, Jose, who promises financial support from abroad. But is it love? Though the subjects of Habana Muda are richly sketched, it's hard to pin down their motivations, and this ambiguity helps carry its surprising narrative.


Hula & Natan

Synopsis

Hula and Natan own a junkyard on the border with the Gaza Strip, a particularly volatile region. Aside from dodging artillery and enthusiastically berating each other, their attentions are diverted by Israeli authorities who can't stand the eyesore scrap-heap that is their livelihood.


The Interrupters

Synopsis

A group of former gang leaders, many infamous in their day, who treat violence like a disease and act as a rapid-response team to try and quash an outbreak before it spreads.

Reviews

Trailer


Knuckle

Synopsis

Shot over the course of more than 10 years, "Knuckle" tells of an ongoing feud between several extended Irish Traveler families and the men (and it’s always the men) who bloody each other in the name of familial pride.

Reviews


Landmarks & Monoliths

Synopsis

Our built environment can give us shelter, transport us around the world, even become a repository for emotions tied to a specific time or relationship — and yet we can move through it unaware of the profound interaction between character and setting.


Life in a Day

Synopsis

What started as a corporate stunt ended as a true cinematic coup. YouTube invited users to submit their slice-of-life videos, all shot on July 24, 2010, and hired a crack team of professional filmmakers, led by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void, Last King of Scotland) to transform them into a feature film.

Reviews


Long Distance Dedication

Synopsis

Journeys can be physical or they can be cultural; but each journey must inevitably have an end, a final resting place where goals are achieved, a way of survival is settled upon, or we figure out our purpose or inspiration.


Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story

Synopsis

This is a work-in-progress screening of scenes from an unfinished film. The topic is clear – William Kamkwamba is a young man from Malawi who dropped out of school and taught himself how to make windmills. Then he proceeded to travel the countryside, helping others make their own.


North From Calabria

Synopsis

A man named Thierry schools the local women in cooking rabbit in the Italian way, while an actress directs the residents in an absurd play, and an imported handyman builds the town square stage. There are also girl scouts who sing in unison, and a tormented astronaut who says goodbye to what he’s known.


Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times

Synopsis

With bashing the “mainstream media” a popular new sport, public trust in journalists at an all-time low, and nearly every newspaper struggling through budget cuts, layoffs and plummeting revenue, it’s time to ask: Is journalism in big, big trouble?

Reviews


Project Nim

Synopsis

The story of Nim the chimp, taken from his mother at birth and given to a human family in New York City to raise as if he were their own.

Reviews


The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Synopsis

Saint Louis' famed Pruitt-Igoe urban housing projects were supposed to be a modernist exercise in utopian habitats. Completed in 1955, made up of 33 11-story buildings arrayed on 57 urban acres, the complex adhered to the overly optimistic city planning of the time. Of course, theory bumped up against practice, and racially charged relocation policies combined with poor maintenance to create deplorable conditions in less than two decades.

Reviews

Trailer


The Redemption of General Butt Naked

Synopsis

The story of brutal Liberian warlord Joshua Milton Blahyi, who earned his nickname by parading around naked to shock his enemies. Improbably, Blahyi now works as an evangelical preacher.

Reviews

Interview with directors


Resurrect Dead

Synopsis

Messages like this one — "Toynbee idea in movie 2001 resurrect dead on planet Jupiter" — have been appearing in tile mosaics in cities across the country and even in South America for decades. What do they mean?

Reviews

Trailer


Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure

Synopsis

In 1987, two guys from Wisconsin moved to San Francisco, where they moved in next to Peter and Raymond, raging alcoholics whose late-night rants became fodder for the Wisconsinites' underground recordings that went the '90s version of viral.

Reviews

Trailer


Subway Preacher

Synopsis

Dennis Ho documents the life of Brian, a small-time preacher in the subway tunnels of Manhattan who struggles to make a living and to keep it together.

Trailer


To Be Heard

Synopsis

The film documents the evolving friendship of three high-school-age slam poets in the Bronx.

Reviews

Trailer


Troll Hunter

Synopsis

Three Norwegian film students think they're investigating threats to the local bear population when they happen across something much deeper and more unexpected ... trolls?

Reviews

Trailer


Wisconsin Death Trip

Synopsis

At the end of the 19th century, the town of Black River Falls, Wis., was gripped by a series of bizarre crimes and disasters, documented in this 1999 film.

Reviews


The Woman With the Five Elephants

Synopsis

Svetlana Geier learned German during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Today, she is one of the premier translators of Russian literature into German, including the "Five Elephants" — the five great novels of Dostoevsky.

Reviews

Trailer


You Are All Captains

Synopsis

Filmmaker Oliver Laxe runs a film workshop for Moroccan street kids, who become the subject of his own film. 

Reviews

Scene from film (in Arabic, with French subtitles)


Zielinski

Synopsis

The work of freelance investigative reporter John Zielinski exposes human trafficking, pedophilia, drug-dealing and more — and it originates from his home here in Columbia.

Reviews

Trailer

 


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