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12th and Clairmount
Fifty years ago, in the heat of July, the city of Detroit was irrevocably shaken by five of the most pivotal and divisive days in its history. The turmoil of that summer left 43 dead, hundreds injured, and more than a thousand buildings destroyed. Drawing from over 400 reels of donated home movies, this important and carefully crafted documentary delves into the complex causes and effects of the 1967 Race Riots. Weaving together found footage with newly recorded oral histories and powerful illustrations, Brian Kaufman showcases his adroit storytelling skills in a debut feature that is at once complicated and seamless. Produced by the Detroit Free Press in collaboration with Bridge Magazine, WXYZ-TV, and a group of metro Detroit cultural institutions led by the Detroit Institute of the Arts, this is the perfect companion piece to Kathryn Bigelow’s new film, “Detroit,” capturing the full spectrum of life in Detroit and the explosive tensions that are still alive today.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:82 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Brian Kaufman
Produced by:Brian Kaufman
Kathy Kieliszewski
Bill McGraw
Screenwriter:Brian Kaufman
Kathy Kieliszewski
Bill McGraw
Editing By:Brian Kaufman
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500 Years
How could genocide occur in a country without its citizens ever knowing? In this sweeping documentary, filmmaker Pamela Yates gives a powerful new voice to the previously silenced Mayan people of Guatemala, who suffered the slaughter of entire villages in the 1980s under former president Rios Montt. The murders committed by Montt and his army, backed by the Reagan administration, went mostly unnoticed by the Mayans’ fellow countrymen, many of whom still do not believe a genocide ever occurred. Yates juxtaposes moving interviews with Mayan survivors and footage of Montt’s 2013 trial, which culminated in a fierce citizen uprising that flooded the streets of Guatemala with protestors demanding long-overdue justice. “500 Years” is an important and inspiring film that bears witness to the stories and strength of Guatemala’s indigenous people.
Film Info
Section:Foreign Documentary
Cinema Salon
Original Title:500 Años
Release Year:2017
Runtime:105 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Guatemala
Original Language:Spanish
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Pamela Yates
Produced by:Paco de Onis
Cinematography:Melle van Essen
Rene Soza
Editing By:Peter Kinoy
Cast:Irma Alicia Velàsquez
NimatujMatilde
Terraza Gallego
Daniel Pascual Hernàndez
Andrea Ixchìu Hernàndez
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Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
After the 2008 financial crisis, only one bank was targeted for mortgage fraud in the US. It wasn’t Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, JP Morgan Chase, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac; instead, the feds targeted a small immigrant-run enterprise called Abacus Federal Savings Bank. After one of the bank’s employees was caught taking bribes, the Manhattan DA’s office accused Abacus of corruption. In this searing documentary, as riveting as any legal thriller, Oscar-nominated director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) unravels the judicial witch hunt that Abacus owner and Chinese immigrant Thomas Sung and his family endured over the next three years. James asks the crucial question: Why did federal investigators target a small, family-run business instead of any of the large corporations responsible for the Great Recession? Amid our current climate of suspected government corruption and regulation rollbacks, this is a vital reminder of all that is at stake when profits and not people come first.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Release Year:2016
Runtime:88 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Steve James
Produced by:Julie Goldman
Mark Mitten
Cinematography:Tom Bergmann
Editing By:David E. Simpson
John Farbrother
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ACORN and the Firestorm
An essential part of documentary filmmaking’s DNA is the capacity for nuance, a trait the world of 24-hour cable news does not share. This is demonstrated all too clearly in this riveting look at a heated scandal of the 2000s, the explosive political collapse of the longstanding nonprofit ACORN. The community organizing group that played a critical role in the 2008 election of Barack Obama, once boasting over 500,000 members worldwide, was taken down by a pair of undercover conservative activists posing as a prostitute and a pimp. The carefully staged operation, orchestrated by Andrew Breitbart, led to ACORN’s eventual bankruptcy, setting the stage for today’s polarized political climate and the rise of Breitbart News. A compelling cautionary tale, this true-life political thriller shines an unquestionably fascinating light on our troubled present.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Cinema Salon
Release Year:2017
Runtime:84 min.
Premiere Status:Midwest Premiere
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
India
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Reuben Atlas
Sam Pollard
Produced by:Reuben Atlas
Sam Pollard
Cinematography:Frank Larson
Spencer Chumbley
Naiti Gamez
Natalie Kingston
Editing By:Francisco Bello
Music By:Khari Mateen
Cast:Bertha Lewis
Hannah Giles
Wade Rathke
Maude Hurd
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Ada for Mayor
Imagine Occupy Wall Street rising in Spain, and you’ll get a sense of the public movement that propelled unlikely folk hero Ada Colau from street raconteur to Barcelona’s first female mayor in 2015. Along for the whirlwind ride was director Pau Faus, who had an exclusive front-row seat to document Colau’s journey from a housing rights activist repeatedly arrested for disruptive protesting, to an unlikely seat of political power in the course of a few short years. Through a combination of first-person video confessionals and up-close coverage of Colau’s public campaign appearances, Faus focuses an intimate lens on Colau’s initial self-doubt and discomfort with being in the public eye, and the eventual aplomb with which she took office. “Ada for Mayor” is a rousing tribute to the power of everyday activists and the ability of one individual to change the system from within by speaking out in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds
Film Info
Section:Foreign Documentary
Original Title:Alcaldesa
Release Year:2016
Runtime:88 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Spain
Original Language:Catalan
Spanish
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Pau Faus
Produced by:Ventura Durall
Screenwriter:Ventura Durall
Pau Faus
Silvia González Laá
Cinematography:Pau Faus
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After the Storm
For Ryota Shinoda—a failed writer, third-rate private detective, and luckless gambler estranged from his family—a massive incoming typhoon is just the latest in a series of disasters to hit his life. But the storm may also be Ryota’s last shot at redemption. Forced to find shelter with his ex-wife, their young son, and his recently widowed mother, Ryota struggles to regain his family’s trust during the long night as the storm rages around them. Funny, rueful, and wistfully melancholic, acclaimed Japanese auteur Hirokazu Koreeda’s beautiful family saga is dotted with illuminating dialogue about the intertwined mysteries of family and personal destiny—and the unexpected moments that define us. “I really just can’t understand how things turned out like this,” says one character during the storm, reflecting the bittersweet truth of how easy it is to misunderstand each other and also—suddenly, wonderfully—find each other again.
Film Info
Section:Foreign Fiction
Original Title:Umi yori mo mada fukaku
Release Year:2016
Runtime:117 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Japan
Original Language:Japanese
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Hirokazu Koreeda
Produced by:Tsugihiko Fujiwara
Takashi Ishihara
Kazumi Kawashiro
Kaoru Matsuzaki
Hijiri Taguchi
Tatsumi Yoda
Akihiko Yose
Screenwriter:Hirokazu Koreeda
Cinematography:Yutaka Yamazaki
Editing By:Hirokazu Koreeda
Cast:Abe Hiroshi
Maki Yoko
Yoshizawa Taiyo
Kilin Kiki
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