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2007 - 2008 Contemporary Documentaries


2007 - 2008 Contemporary Documentaries

March 19th - June 11th
A survey of outstanding work in the documentary field.

The 26th annual Contemporary Documentaries series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2006 Academy Award® nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

All films in the series screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible. Admission for all screenings is FREE.

Wednesday, March 19th at 7:00p.m.

Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Produced by Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Z. Burns
An Inconvenient Truth offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s fervent crusade to halt global warming’s deadly progress, by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. That man is former Vice President Al Gore, who in the wake of defeat in the 2000 election, reset the course of his life to focus on his decades-long effort to help save the planet from irrevocable change. 35mm. 97 mins. Academy Award winner: Documentary Feature

Directed by Chris Paine
Produced by Jessie Deeter
It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions, and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry. The lucky few who drove it never wanted to give the car up. So why did General Motors crush its fleet of EV1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert? Who Killed the Electric Car? chronicles the life and mysterious death of the GM EV1, examining how its cultural and economic ripple effects reverberated through the halls of government and big business. 35mm. 91 mins.

Wednesday, April 2, at 7:00p.m.

Directed by Peter LeDonne
Produced by Steve Kalafer
Immaculée Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994, her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. The Diary of Immaculée reveals the horrific, yet inspiring, true story of a remarkable woman’s experiences in the midst of one of history’s most tragic events. 35mm. 39 mins.

Directed and produced by Kim Longinotto
Co-directed by Florence Ayisi
Sisters in Law examines one small courthouse in Cameroon, where two women, determined to change a village, are making legal inroads that could change the world. The tough-minded state prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba are working to help women in their Muslim village find the courage to fight cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and community members to remain silent. With fierce compassion, they dispense wisdom, wisecracks and justice in fair measure – while handing down stiff sentences to those convicted. 35mm. 106 mins.

The series will continue with the following films:

Wednesday, April 16th at 7:00p.m.

Directed by Leslie Iwerks
Produced by Mike Glad
For over 60 years, thousands of families have made their home in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, the largest and most toxic landfill in Central America. Yet to the many people living in this landfill, the trash is their treasure. Children were born and raised in this toxic world until 2005, when a disastrous event exposed this hidden human rights crisis and finally forced city leaders to act. 35mm. 39 mins.
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

Directed by Yael Klopmann
Produced by Micky Rabinovitz and Jim Abrams When Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai desert following its 1979 peace agreement with Egypt, many of those displaced chose Gush Katif, a bloc of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, as their new home. Then in August 2005, the Israeli government ordered the evacuation of Gaza as part of its disengagement plan. Storm of Emotions documents the massive political and social turmoil resulting from the historic decision. 35mm. 106 mins.

Wednesday, April 30th at 7:00p.m.

Directed and produced by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld
The U.S. vs. John Lennon illuminates a little-known chapter of modern history, when a president and his administration used the machinery of government to wage a covert war against the world’s most popular musician. Exploring an era roiled by many of the same issues confronting us today, the film speaks powerfully to our own unsettled times. 35mm. 120 mins.

Directed and produced by Lian Lunson
Produced by Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey Since bursting onto the scene in 1967, Leonard Cohen has become one of the most original and enduring artists to emerge from the 1960s, inspiring generations with his unique personality and haunting music. Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man offers an intimate look at the songs, poetry and life of one of music’s most celebrated and influential troubadours. 35mm. 104 mins.

Wednesday, May 21st at 7:00p.m.

Directed by Nathaniel Kahn
Produced by Susan Rose Behr, Kahn
At the height of his career, Leon Fleisher, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, lost the ability to play with his right hand. Two Hands tells the story of his 35-year quest to find a cure for his mysterious ailment – and how he reinvented himself as a teacher, conductor and performer of music written for the left hand along the way. 35mm. 18 mins.
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

Directed by Lori Benson
Produced by Benson, Jonathan Stack, Anthony Ciaccio, Donna Santiago
Lori Benson, 38, a quintessential downtown New Yorker, was diagnosed with breast cancer just 14 months after the birth of her daughter Talula. Moments after she received “the call,” Benson enlisted her friends and husband to document this emotionally charged year. Digibeta. 34 mins.

Directed by Amy Berg
Produced by Berg, Frank Donner, Hermas Lassalle, Matthew Cooke
Deliver Us from Evil is the story of Father Oliver O’Grady, one of the most notorious pedophiles in the history of the modern Catholic Church. His own account of his years in various Northern California parishes is chilling as it is remarkable – devoid of any sense of shame or guilt. 35mm. 101 mins.
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

Wednesday, May 28th at 7:00p.m.

Directed by Deborah Scranton
Produced by Robert May and Steve James
With footage from cameras mounted on gun turrets, Kevlar helmets and vests, The War Tapes captures not only the experience of front-line soldiers in Iraq, but how combat survivors stumbled, triumphed and ultimately became something greater than they imagined possible. 35mm. 97 mins.

Directed and produced by Patricia Foulkrod
In The Ground Truth, soldiers returning from Iraq learn that the war was a prelude to the even more challenging battles they encounter with personal demons, an uncomprehending public and an indifferent government at home. As they bear witness and support one another in their struggles, they learn to fearlessly wield the most powerful weapon of all – the truth. 35mm. 78 mins.

Wednesday, June 11th at 7:00p.m.


*Academy Award Nominee
**Academy Award Winner

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, 1313 North Vine Street, Hollywood. Free parking is available behind the building through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain). Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved. For additional information, please call the Academy at (310) 247-3600.