April 2011 films

FRIDAY, APRIL 29

6.30 p.m. Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders

Director: Mark Hopkins / United States / 2009 / 94 minutes / Rated R
English and French with English subtitles

2010 Academy Awards® Shortlist for Best Documentary

“Artfully made…spirited, complex and fascinating.” – Hollywood Reporter

For the first time ever, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Medicines sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) organisation gave a documentary crew uncensored access to its field operations. Set in war-torn Republic of Congo and post-conflict Liberia, the film interweaves the stories of four doctors – first-timers and combat-weary veterans – as they struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions.  Elegant Italian Chiara Lepora heads the Liberian team, Australian veteran Chris Brasher is a work-hard, party-hard gypsy, while American Tom Krueger and Australian Davinder Gill are newcomers to seat-of-the-pants medicine. Together, they make up an uncommonly spirited, complex and fascinating group in this unforgettable film.



8.45 p.m. This Way of Life

Director: Thomas Burstyn / New Zealand / 2010 / 85 minutes / Rated G

2011 Academy Awards® Shortlist for Best Documentary

“Will stun you with its subtlety, honesty and heart.” – TV New Zealand

Filmed amidst the stunning landscape of New Zealand’s rugged Ruahine Mountains, this is an intimate, beautifully-filmed portrait of Peter Karena, his Maori wife Colleen, and their six children. Though European, Peter was adopted into a Maori family, and is Maori in all but skin. Masterful in the saddle and Hollywood handsome, Peter lives by an internal code of values largely lost in modern times – he is a horse whisperer, philosopher, hunter and builder, husband and father. He and Colleen teach their children to respect the natural world in a beautiful, heartfelt film that shows us how to create a meaningful and satisfying way of life. We are taken on an emotional and spiritual journey by a loving family and the 50 horses who are their companions, revealing the beauty of nature – and how to live in it.



SATURDAY, APRIL 30

2 p.m. Autumn Gold

Director: Jan Tenhaven / Austria-Germany / 2010 / 94 minutes / Rated G
Czech, English, German, Italian and Swedish with English subtitles

  • Filmmakers Award, 2010 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
  • Audience Award, One World International Human Rights Documentary FF
  • Grand Jury Prize, Guangzhou International Documentary FF (China)
  • Doc U Prize (Favourite Film) of the Youth Jury, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
  • Second, Audience Choice voting, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
  • Top 10, Audience Choice voting, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

“The very definition of a crowd-pleasing film.” – Toronto Screen

This life-affirming testament to the power of the human spirit shadows five athletes in their preparation for the World Masters Track and Field Championships. Meet 100-year-old Alfred Proksch, who throws the discus when he isn’t painting nudes in his studio; 93-year-old 100 metres specialist Herbert Liedtke, Germany’s 85-year-old shot putter Ilse Pleuger, 82-year-old high jumper Jiri Soukup from the Czech Republic, and coy Italian discus thrower Gabre Gabric, who doesn’t easily volunteer her age. These are serious athletes, seeking gold medals and world records, before the ultimate finish line comes into view. They talk about their lives, loves – and hopes for the future! – in this touching and inspiring homage to how life can be: not smooth and wrinkle-free, but full of humour and determination.



4.15 p.m. Shed Your Tears and Walk Away

Director: Jez Lewis / United Kingdom / 2010 / 92 minutes / Rated R

Best UK First Feature, East End (London) Film Festival

“Stunning….this is determined, marvellous filmmaking. Five stars.” – Financial Times

Bermuda-born director Jez Lewis returns to the Island for the first time since his early childhood with this remarkably intimate film set in the postcard perfect Pennines town of Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Lewis lived in the town before moving away to London, but kept getting called back home for the funerals of former classmates. Determined to find out why his friends continued to die at their own hands, he set off on a personal journey of discovery – and has made a deeply moving film about drug and drink addiction amidst bucolic surroundings. Told with exceptional warmth, humanity and humour, the film is about trouble in paradise – Bermuda anyone? Staggering and heartbreaking, this is also a film about the power of friendship. Filmmaker Jez Lewis will be in attendance.




6.30 p.m. Thunder Soul

Director: Mark Landsman / United States / 2010 / 83 minutes / Rated PG

Audience Choice Awards, Hot Docs, SXSW, Los Angeles, Dallas, Aspen

“A sheer delight … one of the best films of the year.” – Eye for Film

It was a time of afros and pleated shirts, James Brown and Bootsy Collins. It was the 1970s, and an inner-city Houston high school was about to make history. Charismatic band leader Conrad “Prof” Johnson would turn the school’s mediocre jazz band into a legendary funk powerhouse – with a hit album, Texas Thunder Soul, and tours of France and Japan. Thirty-five years later, his students prepare to pay tribute to the inspirational teacher who changed their lives, showing the Prof and the world that the Kashmere Stage Band has still got it. Archive footage of the band’s heyday, interviews with the thoughtful, passionate, articulate adults the band members have become, and a cracking jazz and funk musical score knit together to create a great and moving tapestry of love, humour, talent and inspiration.

8.30 p.m. Poverty In Paradise: The Price We Pay

Director: Lucinda Spurling / Bermuda / 2011 / 58 minutes / Rated G

World Premiere – Presented by the Coalition for the Protection of Children

Poverty in Paradiseexplores the causes and consequences of the widening gap between Bermuda’s wealthy and poor, the struggles families face in providing for themselves and their children, and the consequential spiral in crime plagu- ing the community. in 2000, 50% of black female-headed households with chil- dren were living at or below the poverty line and increasingly families are finding it impossible to afford basic necessities such as rent, food and electricity. The documentary gives a voice to the lives of homeless, low-income and working class mothers, addressing assumptions held by many as to why particular people live in poverty. The coalition’s hope is to affect the social and political will, transform- ing the way Bermudians understand their community and influencing the necessary policies to put Bermuda on a more positive and prosperous path for all.

Preceding Short

Higher Ground

Bermuda / 2011 / 32 minutes / Rated G / Produced by LookBermuda

Profile of the cahow Translocation Project designed by conservation officer Jeremy Madeiros.

SUNDAY, MAY 1

1 p.m.  Pink Saris

Director: Kim Longinotto / United Kingdom / 2010 / 96 minutes / Rated G
Hindi with English subtitles

  • Amnesty International Award, Copenhagen Doc Fest
  • Special Jury Award, Sheffield Docs
  • Inspiration Award to Kim Longinotto, Sheffield Docs
  • Best Documentary (shared), Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Accepting $50,000 prize money, director Kim Longinotto said she would give the money to the girls and women in the film who needed help).

“Complex, ambiguous, uncompromising, dramatic, transformative.” – indieWIRE

Acclaimed director Kim Longinotto (Sisters in Law, Rough Aunties) has made a multi-layered portrait of both a woman and a movement, following Sampat Pal Devi, the leader of the “Pink Gang”, rural women in pink saris who fight social injustice in Uttar Pradesh, India. The region is one of the country’s poorest, a place where women bear the brunt of poverty and discrimination in a highly caste-ridden, feudalistic and male-dominated society. Combating violence and discrimination, the Pink Gang vigilantes strike fear into the hearts of wrongdoers. Asserting “there is no higher power than a woman”, Sampat Pal combines the sensibilities of vigilante and opinionated auntie in this stirring film full of hope and feelings of empowerment. Sampat Pal is the author of Warrior in a Pink Sari.

3.15 p.m.  !Women Art Revolution!: A (Formerly) Secret History

Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson / United States / 2010 / 83 minutes / Rated G

Official Selection, Toronto, Sundance, Berlin, San Francisco, Human Rights Watch International film festivals and invited to screen at Museum of Modern Art, New York

“Upsetting, informative and cool.” – Film Threat

Part social survey, but mostly celebration, this is the “secret herstory” of the feminist art movement in the United States. In Bermuda, women play a prominent role in the art community. In the United States of the 1960s, though, women artists were excluded from museum exhibitions, art journals, educational literature and historical documentation. The filmmaker was an active participant in the movement, and has spent 42 years documenting it. Deftly combining intimate interviews, provocative art and rarely seen historical film and video footage, she illuminates what many historians feel is the most significant art movement of the late-20th century. Featured artists include Ana Mendietta, Yvonne Rainer, Howardena Pindell, Judy Chicago and many more – and, of course, the Guerrilla Girls, feminist masked avengers who agitate for change.



5.15 p.m.  The Green Wave

Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi / Germany-Iran / 2010 / 80 minutes / Rated PG
English and Farsi with English subtitles

  • Vaclav Havel Jury Special Award, One World Human Rights Documentary FF
  • Best Director, One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
  • Official Selection, Sundance FF and International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
  • Opening Night Film, Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • Fifth, Audience Choice Award, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

“An anguished cry of despair and fury … eye-catching and powerful.” – Variety

Before the 2011 rebellions across the Middle East, there was the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Green is the colour of hope, and of Islam – and it was the symbol of recognition for the supporters of popular presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Surveys indicated that the chances of unseating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were good, but when the “results” came in, the incumbent was returned. Convinced that the vote was rigged, thousands of Iranians hit the streets in protest only to be brutally set upon by government security forces. Weaving together interviews, blogs, tweets, cellphone footage and animation, this powerful and urgent film is a remarkable portrait of modern political rebellion, an expose of government sanctioned violence, and a vision of peace and hope that continued resistance may galvanise a new Iran.



7 p.m.  Kinshasa Symphony

Directors: Claus Wischmann, Martin Baer / Germany / 2010 / 95 minutes / Rated G
French and Lingala with English subtitles

  • Audience Award, Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Audience Award, Festival of German Cinema, Buenos Aires
  • Jury Award, Best Documentary, Salem Film Festival
  • Grand Jury Prize, Jocheon (South Korea) International Film and Music Festival
  • Best Documentary, CMJ International Film Festival (NYC)
  • Cinematography Prize, Rhode Island Film Festival
  • Nominated, Best Documentary, Lola Awards (German Oscars)
  • Fourth, Audience voting, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

“A beautifully photographed ode to the power of music.” – Variety

This beautifully photographed film profiles eight members of the 200-strong Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo — the only symphony orchestra in Central Africa. In the symphony’s 15-year history, its musicians have survived two coups, various crises and a war. Performing is a moment of escape for them, taking them away to a better world. This uplifting film vividly captures the joy of the players, one of whom claims to hear African rhythms in Beethoven, as they prepare for the biggest public concert they have ever given to mark the country’s independence. Electricity may be spotty in Kinshasa, but this film about Congo, and the people of Kinshasa, is a fully charged ode to the power of music in a region ravaged by war and poverty.