October 2011 films
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
6 p.m. – Buck
United States (2011), 88 minutes, Rated PG
Director: Cindy Meehl
Audience Award, U.S. Documentary, 2011 Sundance Film Festival
“Buck rides easily into your heart.”– Time Out New York
One of the most visually stunning and uplifting films of the year, Buck tells the story of charismatic American cowboy Buck Brannaman, who was the model for Robert Redford’s role in The Horse Whisperer. Buck follows Brannaman as he travels the United States teaching people how to communicate with horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. With dignity and a certain grace, Brannaman dramatically transforms horses – and people – with his understanding, compassion and respect. The animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life in this warm and sweet-natured film about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds. This crowd-pleasing film has won multiple awards on the film festival circuit, and is now in theatrical release.
8 p.m. – The Interrupters
United States (2011), 142 minutes, Rated A
Director: Steve James
Best Documentary, 2011 Miami Film Festival
“Look for Steve James’ The Interrupters to win next year’s Oscar for Best Documentary.” – Movie City News
With gang violence rife in Bermuda, violence prevention pro- gramme CeaseFire in Chicago is being considered as a model for transforming our community. This film from acclaimed director Steve James and producer Alex Kotlowitz tells the moving and surprising stories of three ‘violence interrupters’ from CeaseFire, who try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year, this is an intimate journey into gang life in Chicago at a time when it became a national symbol for America’s violent cities. CeaseFire believes that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases, and so the treatment should be similar: go after the most infected, and stop the infection at its source.
Violence interrupter Cobe Williams from CeaseFire and the film’s co- producer, Zak Piper, will attend the screening.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
2 p.m. – Gasland
United States (2010), 107 minutes, Rated PG
Director: Josh Fox
Nominated for Best Documentary, 2011 Academy Awards®
“Gasland just might be the best film of the year.”– The Huffington Post
The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudi Arabia of natural gas” just beneath the earth. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called Gasland. The film has won six awards on the film festival circuit, including a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
4.30 p.m. – Rejoice and Shout
United States (2010) 115 minutes, Rated PG
Director: Don McGlynn
“One of the most sheerly enjoyable films of the year.”– Film Journal International
Filled with hard-to-find performances and recordings by Mahalia Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Wards, James Cleveland, the Staple Singers, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and many others, Rejoice and Shout hon- ours and celebrates the musical history ofAfrican-AmericanChristianity. The film shows how gospel was, and remains, so much more than mere pop music — how it helped sustain the spirits during the darkest hours of repression during slavery, the Jim Crow era, and the civil rights movement. The film connects the dots that led to soul and R&B music — as Claude Jeter’s falsetto voice begat Al Green, so the Dixie Hummingbirds led to groups such as The Temptations. The film is a must-see not just for gospel aficionados but for anyone who appreciates the inspirational power of music.
7 p.m. – Tabloid
United States (2010), 87 minutes, Rated R
Director: Errol Morris
Official Selection,Toronto, London,Telluride film festivals
“One of the most thoroughly entertaining films of the year.”– Village Voice
Academy Award®-winner Errol Morris’ laugh-out-loud Tabloid follows the much stranger-than-fiction adventures of Joyce McKinney, a former “beauty queen” with a 168 IQ whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe and directly onto the front pages of the British tabloid newspapers in ‘The Case of the Manacled Mormon’. Joyce’s crusade for love and personal vindication takes her through a surreal world of gun point abduction, oddball accomplices, and dreams of celestial unions. This notorious affair is barking mad. Equal parts love story, film noir, brainy B-movie and demented fairy tale, Tabloid is a hilarious and delirious meditation on hysteria – both public and personal – from a filmmaker who continues to break down and blow open the documentary genre with his penetrating portraits of eccentric and profoundly complex characters.
9 p.m. – Senna
United Kingdom (2010), 104 minutes, Rated PG13
Director: Asif Kapadia
(English and Portuguese with English subtitles)
Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary, 2011 Sundance Film Festival
“The greatest sports film I have ever seen.”– St.Louis Post-Dispatch
This is the remarkable story of the monumental life, and tragic death, of legendary world champion Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, widely regarded as the most talented driver of all time. Spanning the decade from his arrival in Formula One in 1984, the film follows his struggles on and off the track with his nemesis, French world champion, Alain Prost – and, off it, against the politics that infest the sport. Sublime, spiritual, charismatic – and, on the track, ruthless – Senna conquers the Formula One circuit to become a global superstar. The film makes full use of astounding footage, much of which is drawn from F1 archives and is previously unseen. Made with the full co-operation of Senna’s family and the Ayrton Senna Institute – the charitable foundation established after his death that provides educational opportunities for millions of deprived Brazilian children – Senna is one of the highest grossing British documentaries of all time.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23
3 p.m. – The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
Sweden (2011), 93 minutes, Rated R
Director: Göran Hugo Olsson
(English and Swedish with English subtitles)
Editing Award, World Cinema Documentary, 2011 Sundance Film Festival
“Nothing short of a revelation.”– Film Comment
From 1967 to 1975, Swedish journalists travelled to the United States to document the black power movement. Now, director Göran Hugo Olsson has compiled their work into a powerful documentary that chronicles the movement’s strength and evolution with never-before-seen footage of leaders such as Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver. Woven into the film are insightful commentaries from modern day artists and activists — Harry Belafonte, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, John Forte and Professor Robin D. G. Kelley — telling stories of how the heroes of the black power movement inspired and touched their lives. Features a stunning soundtrack by The Roots, Michael Jackson and Erykah Badu.
5 p.m. – Project Nim
United States-United Kingdom (2011), 93 minutes, Rated PG13
Director: James Marsh
Directing Award, U.S. Documentary, 2011 Sundance Film Festival
“The first great documentary of 2011 … James Marsh has done it again.”– Cinematical
From the Oscar®-winning team behind Man on Wire comes the incredible story of Nim Chimpsky, the chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment that aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Following Nim’s extraordinary journey through human soci- ety, and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets along the way, the film is an unflinching and unsentimental biography of an animal we tried to make human. What we learn about his true nature – and indeed our own – is comic, revealing and profoundly unsettling. Equal parts hilarious, poignant, and heartbreaking, Project Nim not only tells a compelling story masterfully, but also raises the flag on the darker side of human nature.
7 p.m. – You’ve Been Trumped
United Kingdom (2011), 95 minutes, Rated PG
Director: Anthony Baxter
Green Award, 2011 Sheffield Doc Fest
“A shattering chronicle of greed,hubris and stupidity.”– Toronto Star
In this David and Goliath story for the 21st century, a group of proud Scottish homeowners take on celebrity tycoon, Donald Trump. At stake is one of Britain’s very last stretches of wilderness. The flamboyant billionaire just needs to buy out a few more locals to make his dream of a luxury home, hotel and golf course development come true. The proposal should be preposterous – this is a protected conservation area. But, after the Scottish government – desperate to bring jobs to the region – overturns its own environmental laws to give Trump the green light, the stage is set for an extraordinary summer of discontent as the bulldozers spring into action. Funny, inspiring and heartbreaking in turns, the film is both an entertaining can’t-believe-it’s-true tale and an environmental parable for our celebrity-driven times.
9 p.m. – Fire in Babylon
United Kingdom (2010), 82 minutes, Rated PG
Director: Stevan Riley
Nominated for Best Documentary, British Independent Film Awards
“A riveting account of the glory days of West Indian cricket.”– Daily Telegraph
Fire in Babylon is the breath-taking story of how the West Indies side of the 1970s and 1980s emerged to dominate cricket at the highest level. Fast and fierce bowling by stars such as Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner, combined with batting from captain Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge and the incomparable Viv Richards, made the team both feared and loved as their undisputed skill and fearless spirit elevated the entire Caribbean region. Packed with archival footage, inter-views with the charismatic members of the team, and a superb reggae soundtrack by the likes of Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs and Burning Spear, Fire in Babylon is a joyous and uplifting account of one of the most gifted teams in sporting history.