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2008–2009 Contemporary Documentaries part 2

Synopsis:

2008–2009 CONTEMPORARY DOCUMENTARIES

A SURVEY OF OUTSTANDING RECENT WORK IN THE DOCUMENTARY FIELD

PART TWO: MARCH 25 TO JUNE 3, 2009

The 27th annual Contemporary Documentaries series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2007 Academy Award® nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

The films included in the series are “Sari’s Mother,” “Sicko,” “Ochberg’s Orphans,” “The Rape of Europa,” “Darfur Now,” “The Devil Came on Horseback,” “Portraits of a Lady,” “A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman,” “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience,” “Body of War,” “Lake of Fire,” “Salim Baba,” “Please Vote for Me” and “My Kid Could Paint That.”

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 25th at 7 p.m.

SARI’S MOTHER
Filmed in Iraq over a period of one year, “Sari’s Mother” follows an Iraqi woman’s struggle to help her 10-year-old son, Sari, who is dying of AIDS. 35mm. 21 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

SICKO
Directed by Michael Moore
In this portrait of the U.S. health care system, ordinary people face extraordinary and bizarre challenges in their quest for basic health coverage. 35mm. 123 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature


Wednesday, April 1st at 7 p.m.

OCHBERG’S ORPHANS Directed by Jon Blair
By 1921, after six years of war, famine and disease, 300,000 Russian Jewish children who were orphaned in murderous anti-Semitic attacks were fighting to survive. “Ochberg’s Orphans” chronicles a South African businessman’s heroic efforts to save them. 35mm. 40 mins.

THE RAPE OF EUROPA
Directed and produced by Richard Berge
“The Rape of Europa” tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. 35mm. 117 mins.


Wednesday, April 15th at 7 p.m.

DARFUR NOW
Directed by Theodore Braun
Offering hope in one of humanity’s darkest hours, “Darfur Now” calls for people everywhere to take action against the catastrophe unfolding in Darfur, Sudan. 35mm. 99 mins.

THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK
Directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern
“The Devil Came on Horseback” exposes the tragedy in Darfur through the eyes of an American witness who has since returned to the U.S. to try to stop it. 35mm. 85 mins.


Wednesday, April 29th at 7 p.m.

PORTRAITS OF A LADY
Directed by Neil Leifer
When 25 artists participate in an October 10, 2006, painting session with former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the range of results raises an intriguing question: Have historical portraits accurately captured their subjects? 35mm. 40 mins.

A PROMISE TO THE DEAD: THE EXILE JOURNEY OF ARIEL DORFMAN
Directed and produced by Peter Raymont
“A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman” is an exploration of exile, memory, longing and democracy by Ariel Dorfman, the renowned author of numerous novels, plays, poems and essays in Spanish and English. 35mm. 91 min.


Wednesday, May 13th at 7 p.m.

OPERATION HOMECOMING: WRITING THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE
Directed and produced by Richard E. Robbins
Offering a profound glimpse into the human side of America’s current conflicts, this powerful documentary draws upon a project created by the National Endowment for the Arts to gather the writing of soldiers and their families who have participated in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 35mm. 81 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

BODY OF WAR
Directed and produced by Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue
“Body of War” follows the story of 22-year-old Tomas Young, who volunteers to fight in Afghanistan but ends up being sent to Iraq. Within three days he is hit by mortar fire and sustains life-changing injuries. Upon returning home, Young’s personal challenges are juxtaposed against the nation’s own struggle to understand its leaders' decision to go to war. 35mm. 87 mins.


Wednesday, May 27th at 7 p.m.

LAKE OF FIRE
Directed and produced by Tony Kaye
This graphic documentary explores abortion’s physical and psychological impact, covering arguments from both extremes of the spectrum, as well as those at the center. 35mm. 152 mins.


Wednesday, June 3rd at 7 p.m.

SALIM BABA
Directed by Tim Sternberg.
Since the age of ten, 55-year-old Salim Muhammad has made his living screening discarded film scraps for kids in North Kolkata, India, using a hand-cranked projector, which he inherited from his father. 35mm. 14 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME Directed by Weijun Chen
“Please Vote for Me” follows a third grade class in Wuhan, China, holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Chen’s documentary is an experiment to determine how democracy would be received if it ultimately came to China, and to understand whether democracy is a universal value that reflects human nature. 35mm. 55 mins.

MY KID COULD PAINT THAT
Directed and produced by Amir Bar-Lev
In a few short months, four-year-old Marla Olmstead rocketed from total obscurity to international renown – selling over $300,000 worth of abstract paintings before the family was accused of fraud. “My Kid Could Paint That” is a family drama that unfolds against a backdrop of media stardom, art-world excess, and the ephemeral nature of truth. 35mm. 83 mins.


Official Academy Webpage


 

Genre:

Documentary