This is a portrait of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone as told by the survivors and the filmmakers who filmed it. Focusing on what happened and the work that was done by those who walked into the fray the film reveals what happened in ways that most of us have never seen before. While we no doubt seen the news stories and perhaps even some of the films turned out on the crisis, I don’t think any of us really could have understood what it was like to be there. Featuring footage shot as things went down as well as interviews who were there and who survived the film paints a portrait that only someone from in the thick of the crisis could do.
MY FATHER IS MY SISTER'S BROTHER
Portrait of a musician who takes custody of his young niece after his sister’s health declines. An observational look at a man and his defacto daughter is deeply moving. Dropping us into things in the middle the film just goes as we watch as the pair go through their paces and while dad tries to maintain his career as a singer. This is a super little film that is about life as lived and not as we want it to be. That’s the result of the film being very much there and in the moment. Cheers to director Vadym Ilkov for allowing the sequences to play out in real time because it adds a sense of reality that many docs don’t have.
Portrait of the people and villages around the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline is a gorgeous look at various people most of us know nothing at. A mix of travelogue and informational doc the film demands to be seen on the big screen thanks to beautifully framed images that put us into the landscape.
Record of the transition of power from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin. Its an unvarnished look since director Viyali Mansky was there and filmed it all as it happened. We get snide comments from the directors family and we see everyone without their perfect media faces. And it is a lear view about how tyrants gets into power It is an intriguing look behind the carefully controlled Russian media machine
WHERE THE PAVEMENT ENDS
Thought provoking look at race in America through the all white city of Ferguson and the all black Kinloch which were physically separated by a roadblock in the 1960's. You will forgive me if I don't say a lot about this film other than go see it because as I write this piece the Camden deadline looms and I find I'm still pondering the film and trying to come up with what exactly I want to say. That is high praise because director Jane Gillooly has made a film that forces you to ponder and feel it and not simply react. One of the best of the festival and maybe 2018's as well.