Dates and Venues Friday, 29 September 1:00 pm Pacific Cinematheque; Sunday, 8 October 7:00 pm Ridge Theatre; Tuesday, 10 October 3:30 pm Empire Granville 7 Theatre 2
A Film by George Gittoes
This 103-minute DocFeature by Aussie filmmaker Gittoes is a sequel to his docufilm Soundtrack to War, Iraq (2004) which made Elliott Lovett into a local hero in his ghetto hometown of Brown Sub, Miami, one of the poorest housing projects of the US. In this sequel, he explores the rap skills of his second brother Lil Marc who was shot in a drugs and community violent shooting.
The film mixes rap music and war: the rappers of US Urban culture, and the violence in Iraq. The film's message: people get shot more in US ghettos than in Baghdad.
Another sequel is surely going to come out as the film ends with the third brother, Denzell, a 14-year old rapper, getting an endorsement from New York's hiphop recording company Swizz Beatz.
Despite the jerky footage of the film (I recommend not sitting in the front rows, or you'll get dizzy), this is an exceptionally great and powerful docudrama.
OUR OWN PRIVATE BIN LADEN (2005)
A Film by Samira Goetschel
Dates and Venues Tuesday,10 October 8:45 pm Empire Granville 7 Theatre 5 and Thursday, 12 October 10:30 am Empire Granville 7 Theatre 5
Goetschel, in a series of interviews with such personalities as former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, political activist Noam Chomsky, former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former CIA Director of Operations Stansfield Turner, and others comes up with interesting insights on how Bin Laden became a folk hero because of American media.
This documentary was impeccably filmed, and gives us a clear understanding of the persona of Osama bin Laden, connecting him to the economics of war and terrorism.
The film won the Best Foreign Documentary Award in the European Film Festival in Paris last March.
Goetschel received her MA in Modern European Studies at Columbia University in 1999, and won the 1992 BFA graduating film winner award at NYU.
RISING SON: LEGEND OF SKATEBOARDER CHRISTIAN HOSOI (2006)
A film by Cesario Montaņo
Dates and Venues Saturday, 30 September 1:00 pm Ridge Theatre; Sunday, 1 October 9:45 pm Empire Granville 7 Theatre 2; Tuesday, 3 October 1:00 pm Empire Granville 7 Theatre 2
One of skateboarding's superstars, Christian Hosoi, is chronicled in this film through a series of interviews from family and friends, as well as footage from skateboarding contests, where Hosoi rose to superstardom. The film also documents his fall, because of drugs, his incarceration, and his rebirth as a Christian while he was in prison.
Jailed in 2000 for drug-trafficking and paroled in 2004, Hosoi, as shown in Cesario Montaņo's film, is now an assistant pastor in a church in Huntington Beach, California, where he now lives with his wife and son. Despite the fact that the interviews were quite repetitive, the film was well documented. Oscar-nominated actor Dennis Hopper is the narrator.
TOCAR Y LUCHAR (To Play and To Fight) (2006)
A Film by Alberto Arvelo
Dates and Venues Saturday, 30 September 11:00 am Pacific Cinematheque; Friday, 6 October 7:15 pm Vancity Theatre; Monday, 9 October 10:00 am Visa Screening Room @ Empire Granville Th7
Arvelo has garnered fifteen international awards for his documentary films. This feature documentary is a moving and uplifting film about the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra which started as a modest program but is considered now as one of the most important social phenomena in modern music history.
Film footage includes interviews with such greats as tenor Placido Domingo (whom we see in tears as he listens to the orchestra's rendition of Handel's Messiah) and renowned conductors Simon Rattle and Giuseppe Sinopoli.
The children were also interviewed, with a girl who plays the violin saying "this is better than drugs". The amazing thing that caught my attention about the chorus who sang Messiah was the fact that they were disabled (blind and deaf) children! I was as much moved as Placido as I watched this film that was shot at a small coastal town of Venezuela where the children from this orchestra live.
The Railroad All-Stars (Estrellas de la línea) (2006)
Directed by Chema Rodriguez
Dates and Venues 3 Oct Noon Empire Granville 7 Theatre and 1 Oct 10 9:15 pm Empire Granville 7 Theatre 3 Reviewer Ed Farolan
Spanish filmmaker Rodriguez went all the way to Guatemala to film this documentary about a group of prostitutes who formed a soccer team to publicize their plight and fight for women's rights.
"La Linea" is the railway line that runs through Guatemala City to the Pacific Ocean. Here, prostitution is rampant and the "putas" who ply their trade here are at the bottom of the list, able to charge only a couple of dollars for their services while constantly being exploited by clients and police. Rodriguez, in this comic and sometimes tragic 94 minute documentary, films interviews with the women and scenes of their training and matches, including a scene when the team is banned from a local tournament just because they are prostitutes. I enjoyed this excellent and interesting documentary film, and it shouldn't be missed.
© 2006 Ed Farolan