HUMAN FLOW - Doc 2017, USA 2hrs 20mins
More than 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war, the greatest displacement since World War II. Filmmaker Ai Weiwei examines the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact. Over the course of one year in 23 countries, Weiwei follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretch across the globe, including Afghanistan, France, Greece, Germany and Iraq.
*Harwood Union’s International Relief Club is presenting Monday’s screening, followed by Q&A with refugees and organizers of the VT Refugee Resettlement Program.
IN BETWEEN - Drama 2017, Israel 1 hr 43min
Three Palestinian women sharing an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv find themselves doing the same balancing act between tradition and modernity, citizenship and culture, fealty and freedom. The women are three very different personalities driven by a common desire.
Their stories are the vehicle for début Israeli director Maysaloun Hamoud’s exploration of the daily lives of women straining against the yoke of social convention in the Middle East.
*Q+A following 4pm screening on Saturday 1/13.
CHASING CORAL - Doc 2017, USA 1h 29m
Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called "coral bleaching"-a sign of mass coral death-has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater. Chasing Coral taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense, and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won't have audiences sitting idle for long.
*Q+A with filmmaker Jeff Orlowski following Saturday night’s 7pm screening (1/13).
CROWN HEIGHTS - Drama 2017, 1hr 34min
In the spring of 1980, a teenager is gunned down in the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The police pressure a child witness to identify a suspect. As a result, Colin Warner, an 18-year-old kid from nearby Crown Heights, is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Colin's childhood friend Carl 'KC' King devotes his life to fighting for Colin's freedom. He works on appeals, takes loans for lawyer fees and becomes a legal courier to learn the court system. This incredible true story is adapted from the acclaimed This American Life segment by writer/director Matt Ruskin, with Lakeith Stanfield playing Colin Warner and Nnamdi Asomugha as Carl King.
MACHINES - Doc 2017, 1 hr 11min
Moving through the corridors and bowels of an enormous and disorientating structure, the camera takes the viewer on a descent down to a dehumanized place of physical labor and intense hardship. This gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India might just as well be the decorum for a 21st century Dante’s Inferno. In his mind-provoking yet intimate portrayal, director Rahul Jain observes the life of the workers, the suffering and the environment they can hardly escape from. With strong visual language, memorable images and carefully selected interviews of the workers themselves, Jain tells a story of inequality, oppression and the huge divide between rich, poor and the perspectives of both.
JANE - Doc 2017, 1hr 30min
Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall - a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world's most admired conservationists.
STEP - Doc 2017, 1 hr 24min
The senior year of a girls' high school step team in inner-city Baltimore is documented, as they try to become the first in their families to attend college. The girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in the troubled city. Deeply insightful and emotionally inspiring, STEP embodies the true meaning of sisterhood through a story of courageous young women worth cheering for.
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL - Doc 2017, 1 hr 40min
A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes — in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.
*Sun afternoon’s 1pm screening (1/14) is sponsored by SunCommon.
JUNCTION 48 - Drama 2016, Israel/Palestine 1hr 37min
Junction 48 is inspired by the true life story of Tamer Nafar, who created the Palestinian Hip-Hop Scene from scratch. Nafar grew up in the crime-ridden ‘hood of Lod, a poor Israeli city where Arabs and Jews live side-by-side. It’s a place rife with violence, crime and drugdealers, just twenty minutes from metropolitan Tel Aviv and right next to Ben Gurion airport — the only gateway to the State of Israel. In this cursed and impoverished place, Nafar reinvented hip-hop in its purest form: rage without hate, social-political awareness without empty materialism, and large audiences without selling out. He imported the style of hip-hop into the Arab- Muslim ghetto and exported it back to the world with an Arabic flavor and a feminist message. Nafar serves as a role model for young Arabs across the globe — a generation searching for new meanings, both political and personal, in a world where the values of yesterday are quickly disappearing from right under their feet.
*Special Q+A with filmmaker Udi Aloni following Friday night’s 7pm screening (1/12).
GOOK - Drama/Comedy 2017, 1hr 35min
Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, own a struggling shoe store in L.A. and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street wise 11-year-old African American girl. Kamilla ditches school, Eli stresses about the store, and Daniel tries to have a good time. It's just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break out. With the chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family.