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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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All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone
Independent journalist I.F. Stone built a legacy uncovering the deception of the powers that be, inspiring generations of maverick journalists to do the same. Using archival footage and new interviews, this sobering documentary is less a portrait of the legendary news figure than it is a critique of the mainstream media and a call to arms for the necessarily adversarial relationship of journalists to government, particularly in times of crisis and war. Stone’s work through the latter half of the 20th century is portrayed as hugely influential and, in the context of the chaos of the 2016 presidential election, as the type of reporting needed now more than ever. Writers like John Carlos Frey, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, and others are presented as following in Stone’s footsteps, which are traced backwards to McCarthyism and through the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. This debut documentary from TV news veteran Fred Peabody, which also features a talking head appearance from our own
Film Info
Section:Foreign Documentary
Cinema Salon
Don't Miss
Release Year:2016
Runtime:91 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Canada
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Fred Peabody
Produced by:Jeff Cohen
Andrew Munger
Steve Ord
Peter Raymont
Cinematography:John Westheuser
Editing By:Jim Munro
James Yates
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AlphaGo
If scientists are lucky, the work they do in cloistered labs might get presented at a conference. But once in a while, science takes the world stage, as it did in this fascinating doc about scientists testing the limits of rapidly-evolving AI technology. The engaging, brilliant team at London-based intelligence think tank DeepMind try to program a computer to beat Lee Sedol, the charming world champion of the ancient Chinese board game Go, long considered the holy grail for artificial intelligence. With its near-infinite number of possible outcomes, Go is exponentially more complex than chess. Because mastery of the game requires creativity, expert players and the AI community long believed we were at least a decade away from computers beating human Go players. You won’t know who to cheer as DeepMind takes on Lee Sedol in a weeklong 2016 tournament in Seoul, with much more on the line than a million dollar prize
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:90 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Korean
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Greg Kohs
Produced by:Gary Krieg
Kevin Proudfoot
Josh Rosen
Cinematography:Greg Kohs
Editing By:Cindy Lee
Cast:Lee Sedol
Demis Hassabis
David Silver
Aja Huang
Fan Hui
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The Blood is at the Doorstep
On April 30th, 2014, Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed, schizophrenic black man dozing in a Milwaukee park, was shot 14 times in broad daylight by a police officer responding to a non-emergency complaint from a Starbuck’s employee. This emotionally and politically charged documentary traces the events surrounding his tragic death, focusing on the Hamilton family as they grieve and work for justice. When rising tensions in the the city’s black community led to large-scale protests, Dontre’s initially-reluctant brother and mother became committed activitists for police reform and mental health advocacy. Filmed over the course of three years, documentarian Erik Ljung intimately captures a family trying to put their lives back together, a police department under fire, and a community in crisis. Opening with a recreation of the event that captures the chaotic incident with shocking realism, “The Blood is at the Doorstep” is an essential document of the ongoing epidemic of police violence, and is
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Cinema Salon
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:98 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Erik Ljung
Produced by:Erik Ljung
Cinematography:Erik Ljung
Daniel Thomas Peters
Editing By:Michael T. Vollmann
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City of Ghosts
It is not easy to follow the overwhelming tragedy going on right now in Syria. But if you only watch one thing, make it this definitive Syria documentary about the citizen journalist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS). These brave Syrian journalists are capturing the everyday horror of living under ISIS in the city of Raqqa through photos, videos, and written testimonies. They do so at great personal risk to themselves and their families, and many have paid the ultimate price. Oscar nominee Matthew Heineman (“Cartel Land”) trains an unflinching eye on RBSS’ heroic actions and the trauma its members experience as a result, whether they remain at home, or continue to face persecution abroad from both ISIS loyalists and anti-refugee protestors. “City of Ghosts” reveals the harsh truth of ISIS’ impact in the Middle East and the deadliness of daring to rise against them. This remarkable film about true heroes is absolutely necessary viewing
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Travel Ban
Cinema Salon
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:92 min.
Rating:R
Production Country:USA
Original Language:Arabic
English
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Matthew Heineman
Produced by:Matthew Heineman
Cinematography:Matthew Hamachek
Pax Wessermann
Mathew Heineman
Editing By:Matthew Heineman
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Flames
Artists and real-life couple Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell decided from the start of their time together to film every minute of their relationship, no matter how intimate, no matter what came. Over the course of five years together, we see passionate love, bitter arguments, adventurous sex, performance art collaborations, and everything in between. After they separate, they continue filmming, dissecting what happened and where it went wrong. They wonder if the film project merely captured their break-up—or if it caused it. Questions about the way art imitates life and reality blends into fiction haunt them both, along with the emotional pain caused by a relationship gone wrong. This gripping docu-art film is one of the most original love stories, and tragedies, you’ll see at the festival.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:84 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Zefrey Throwell
Josephine Decker
Produced by:Michael Melamedoff
Screenwriter:Josephine Decker
Zefrey Throwell
Cinematography:Ashley Connor
Editing By:Zefrey Throwell
Cast:Josephine Decker
Zefrey Throwell
Michael Melamedoff
Hollis Witherspoon
Joe Swanberg
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Gilbert
A stand-up comic since he was 15-years-old, Gilbert Gottfried has nearly 150 acting credits on his resume. But while audiences may think they have Gottfried pegged—the brash persona, the iconic voice that’s given life to characters from Iago in “Aladdin” to the Aflac duck—director Neil Berkeley reveals an entirely different side of the famous comedian, exploring Gottfried’s most surprising role to date: that of devoted family man. The notoriously private comedian opens up about unexpectedly marrying and having children after age 50, and offers new insight into the highs and lows of one of Hollywood’s longest-running careers (like a series of Tweets that got him fired from his Aflac gig). A rare and surprising treat for fans, and a engrossing introduction to a comic legend for the uninitiated, “Gilbert” is an entertaining, and highly profane, look at one of comedy’s most complicated and magnetic figures. In Person: Gilbert and Dara Gottfried, Director Neil Berkeley
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:98 min.
Premiere Status:Michigan Premiere
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Neil Berkeley
Produced by:Neil Berkeley
James Andre Leche
David Heiman
Maggie Contreras
Screenwriter:Neil Berkeley
James Andre Leche
Cinematography:Neil Berkeley
Editing By:James Andre Leche
Jake Hostetter
Music By:John Adair
Steve Hampton
Cast:Gilbert Gottfried
Jay Leno
Bill Burr
Jeff Ross
Whoopi Goldberg
Howie Mandel
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Gook
As America recognizes the 25th anniversary of the LA riots, revisit that moment in history from a perspective you’ve never seen before. In writer/director/star Justin Chon’s sophomore feature, the friendship between two Korean-American brothers and an 11-year-old African-American girl is tested when they’re trapped in the brother’s struggling South Central shoe store while the riots erupt around them. As the barbed title implies, Chon isn’t afraid to tackle prejudice head-on, but he does so with remarkably endearing good humor—this is a film that makes its social justice underpinnings known, but also makes time for a little karaoke to Hall & Oates. Winner of the NEXT Audience Award at Sundance, Chon’s starkly beautiful black-and-white imagery draws from his childhood memories, and the result is a stunning portrait that mixes the in-your-face sensibilities of early Spike Lee with the slacker charm of Kevin Smith. It marks the arrival of a bold new voice in American cinema, and it’s trul
Film Info
Section:US Fiction
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:94 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Justin Chon
Produced by:Alex Chi
James J. Yi
Screenwriter:Justin Chon
Cinematography:Ante Cheng
Editing By:Reynold Barney
Rooth Tang
Cast:Justin Chon
Simone Baker
David So
Curtiss Cook Jr.
Sang Chon
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I Am Evidence
All across America, thousands of rape kits sit in storage, remaining untested and ignored each year. Tens of thousands of rape victims have experienced unimaginable trauma, only to be disregarded by the same system that invasively tests them and promises to bring them justice. Only eight states have laws forcing police departments to test rape kits. Michigan is not one of them. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has made it clear that her mission lies in righting these egregious wrongs. She is joined by directors Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir, and producer Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”) as they interview experts, victims, and scholars to figure out how and why this backlog happened, how rape kit testing would prevent further crimes, and how all of us can be agents for the changes that need to be made.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Cinema Salon
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:89 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Trish Adlesic
Geeta Gandbhir
Produced by:Mariska Hargitay
Cinematography:Tony Hardmon
Nadia Hallgren
Editing By:Geeta Gandbhir
Viridiana Lieberman
Richard Hankin
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I, Daniel Blake
Legendary British director Ken Loach (“The Wind that Shakes the Barley”) won the Palme d’Or—the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival—for this luminous feature film about the impact one individual can have in an indifferent world. Self-reliant Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter in England, suddenly finds himself in need of government assistance after suffering a debilitating heart attack. But he quickly discovers that the dehumanizing welfare system is set up to deter people from receiving aid, rather than to help those in need. With the assistance of a young single mother he meets during his ordeal, Daniel attempts to stand up and fight the bureaucratic forces stifling his dignity. Brimming with deep humanity, warmth, and compassion—along with tender and true moments of sadness and fury—“I, Daniel Blake” is a triumphant social drama and one of the very best films in recent years.

This film is specially priced for Opening Night:
State Theatre - 6 pm: $50
City Opera Hous
Film Info
Section:Opening Night
Don't Miss
Release Year:2016
Runtime:100 min.
Rating:R
Production Country:UK
France
Belgium
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Ken Loach
Produced by:Rebecca O'Brien
Screenwriter:Paul Laverty
Cinematography:Robbie Ryan
Editing By:Jonathon Morris
Cast:David Johns
Hayley Squires
Dylan McKiernan
Briana Shann
Kate Rutter
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Icarus
For a solid decade, doping has been a ubiquitous problem in the world of competitive sports. Director Bryan Fogel decides to see how far he can get competing with the aid of banned substances—and ends up stumbling into Russia’s state-sanctioned doping program. “Icarus” follows Fogel as he connects with Grigory Rodchenkov, the Russian doctor who helped Russia dominate several competitions in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In the end, Fogel concludes that doping goes much deeper than he initially thought it did. In addition to documenting his own journey using anabolic steroids, “Icarus” questions the relationship between art and exposing truth for the greater good, explores how far a country like Russia will go to maintain its innocence, and asks who slips through the cracks along the way.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:120 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Bryan Fogel
Produced by:Dan Cogan
David Fialkow
Bryan Fogel
Jim Swartz
Screenwriter:Bryan Fogel
Mark Monroe
Timothy Rode
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Junction 48
Palestinian rap artist Tamer Nafar plays Kareem, the central character in Udi Aloni’s “Junction 48,” and infuses his every action with music, from meeting friends and family dinners to video chats with his girlfriend Manar. When his father is killed in a car accident that critically injures his mother in a crime-ridden Arab neighborhood, the aimless Kareem becomes motivated to pursue his passion as a hip hop artist. Kareem and his group members use music to express the pain they feel as Palestinian youth in a predominantly Israeli rap scene, and try to earn money to help their band manager, Talal, whose goat-herder father is threatened with homelessness because the state wants to tear down his house and erect a Museum of Reconciliation. A vibrant look at Arab-Israeli life, hiphop is used to fight oppression in Udi Aloni’s upbeat musical drama.
Film Info
Section:Foreign Fiction
Don't Miss
Release Year:2016
Runtime:95 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Israel
Germany
USA
Original Language:Arabic
Hebrew
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Udi Aloni
Produced by:Udi Aloni
Stefan Arndt
Lawrence Inglee
David Silber
Screenwriter:Oren Moverman
Tamer Nafar
Cinematography:Amnon Zlayet
Cast:Tamer Nafar
Samar Qupty
Salwa Nakkara
Ayed Fadel
Sameh "SAZ" Zakout
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Long Strange Trip
This relentlessly entertaining music doc on the history and legacy of the Grateful Dead is of course an absolute must-see for Deadheads, but it also captivates anyone interested in rock music or American history. Amir Bar-Lev’s sprawling, richly detailed epic traces the Dead from the band’s humble beginnings, to the group’s ascent to fame, to the drastically changed lives of each member in the wake of the band’s success. For those who have rarely uttered the name “Jerry Garcia,” it’s a surprisingly emotional and compelling portrait of rock stardom. The soundtrack, peppered with previously unreleased tracks, sweetens the deal for a film that’s an instant classic in the hallowed rock-doc genre.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:238 min.
Rating:R
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Amir Bar-Lev
Produced by:Alex Blavatnik
Ken Dornstein
Eric Eisner
Justin Kreutzmann
Cinematography:Nelson Hume
Editing By:Keith Fraase
John Walter
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My Life as a Zucchini
This unforgettable Oscar-nominated film tells the story of nine-year-old Icare, better known as “Zucchini,” who spends his life striving to maintain happiness in the face of deplorable circumstances. He decorates his attic bedroom with his alcoholic mother’s empty beer cans and imagines his absent father as a superhero. Then an accident lands him in a group foster home, and he’s lonelier than ever until he discovers the resiliency he shares with his fellow orphans. Magical stop motion animation creates a wondrous tone that perfectly balances painful subject matter about life’s harsh realities with an ultimate optimism. It will floor you. Occasional mature subject matter, including death and references to sex, abuse, violence, suicide, and deportation, makes the movie most appropriate for older tweens.
Film Info
Section:#Tween
Don't Miss
Original Title:Ma vie de Courgette
Release Year:2016
Runtime:66 min.
Rating:PG-13
Production Country:Switzerland
France
Original Language:French
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Claude Barras
Produced by:Marc Bonny
Armelle Glorennec
Pauline Gygax
Max Karli
Kate Merkt
Michel Merkt
Screenwriter:Céline Sciamma
Cinematography:David Toutevoix
Editing By:Valentin Rotelli
Cast:Gaspard Schlatter
Sixtine Murat
Paulin Jaccoud
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Newton
Black comedies about democracy are so hot right now, you’ll definitely want to check out this movie about the world’s largest democracy, India, as it prepares for an election with an expected 800 million voters. Idealistic rookie government clerk Newton is sent with military escort to run a dangerous polling station in the deepest jungle that has been besieged by communist guerrillas for decades. Never one to back down from a challenge, Newton holds tight to his democratic duty and goes to hilarious lengths to ensure that all 76 voters in the region have a chance to make their voices heard. Striking a balance between sincerity and humor, second-time director Amit V. Masurkar uncovers something important when the voters finally have a chance to talk to Newton about how they feel about voting. Equal parts silly and profound, “Newton” is a rare delight.
Film Info
Section:Foreign Fiction
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:106 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:India
Original Language:Hindi
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Amit Masurkar
Produced by:Manish Mundra
Screenwriter:Amit Masurkar
Mayank Tewari
Cinematography:Swapnil S Sonawane
Editing By:Shweta Vankat
Cast:Rajkummar Rao
Anjali Patil
Pankaj Tripathi
Raghubir Yadav
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Nowhere to Hide
Rarely does an audience have the opportunity to witness life in Iraq from a first-person perspective. Zaradasht Ahmed’s prize-winning documentary proves to be the exception by putting a camera into the hands of Nori Sharif, a nurse caught in the crossfire of what is commonly referred to as the “triangle of death” in central Iraq’s Diyala Province. Documenting four years in the life of an optimistic father while his relatively stable existence is thrown out of balance after Iraqi armies abandon his city due to militant activity, he’s faced with the impossible decision to either stay and dedicate himself to treating those who need help, or trading his home for a displaced future in order to protect his family. Striking in its simplicity, heartbreaking in its poignancy, this deeply personal film leaves a mark.
Film Info
Section:Travel Ban
Don't Miss
Release Year:2016
Runtime:86 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Norway
Sweden
Iraq
Original Language:Arabic
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Zaradasht Ahmed
Produced by:Mette Cheng Munthe Kaas
Screenwriter:Zaradasht Ahmed
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Quest
Spend eight years getting to know one of the most incredible American families you’ll ever get to meet, edited down from 300 hours of vérité footage to an intimate, moving, inspirational, heartbreaking portrait. Jonathan Olshefski’s living, breathing, stunning documentary study of an African-American family in North Philadelphia weathering a tumultuous decade gives the world the Rainey family, who open up their basement studio to local musicians and young rappers, offering a creative sanctuary away from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Both personal tragedy and national events punctuate their day-to-day life as they raise their own two children in the face of immense adversity and work tirelessly to prove that love and music can heal and conquer all.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Cinema Salon
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:104 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Jonathan Olshefski
Produced by:Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
Cinematography:Jonathan Olshefski
Editing By:Lindsay Utz
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Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Winner of more festival awards than you can shake a stick at, this unique and insightful twist on the classic rock and roll documentary explores the legendary musicians of Native American descent who have dramatically influenced popular music throughout the 20th century, nearly undetected. Divided into 10 separate portraits, the film leads off with a focus on astonishing guitarist Fred Lincoln “Link” Wray, Jr., and his influential, fuzzed-out and swaggering instrumental single “Rumble.” Director Catherine Bainbridge (“Reel Injun,” TCFF 2010) deftly traces the incredible contributions of Native artists from Charley Patton, known as the “Father of the Delta Blues,” to Jimi Hendrix (who was part Cherokee), and The Band’s Robbie Robertson. A litany of music and film greats are interviewed, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler, and Iggy Pop, in this eye-opening and celebratory film for anyone who loves music.
Film Info
Section:Foreign Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:103 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Canada
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Catherine Bainbridge
Alfonso Maiorana
Produced by:Catherine Bainbridge
Christina Fon
Jake Kent
Linda Ludwick
Claire Mackinnon
Lisa M. Roth
Screenwriter:Catherine Bainbridge
Alfonso Maiorana
Cinematography:Alfonso Maiorana
Editing By:Jeremiah Hayes
Ben Duffield
Cast:Robbie Robertson
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Martin Scorsese
Tony Bennett
Steven Tyler
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True Conviction
Real-life crime isn’t entertainment for Christopher Scott and his colleagues. After spending over 60 years between them incarcerated in jail for crimes they did not commit, three exonerated men formed a detective agency in Dallas, Texas, in the hopes of bringing justice to other innocent people serving time. The agency does its best to find wrongfully convicted inmates and return them to their lives outside, but as the story unfolds, we see just how difficult that turns out to be. The three men have developed methods for finding the right people to help, but the more time passes, the harder it is to uncover evidence. Investigations are time-consuming and frustrating. And once the men are released, they often get in trouble and return to prison— something that happened to one of the partners in the agency, too. Director Jamie Meltzer has created a fascinating portrait of freedom fighters who are doing their best to use lessons learned the hard way to affect real systemic change.
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Don't Miss
Release Year:2017
Runtime:84 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Jamie Meltzer
Produced by:David Alvarado
Kate McLean
Michael May
Screenwriter:Jamie Meltzer
Jeff Gilbert
Cinematography:David Alvarado
Editing By:Jeff Gilbert
Cast:Christopher Scott
Johnnie Lindsey
Steven Phillips
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The Young Karl Marx
Few, if any, other thinkers have impacted modern society as much as Karl Marx, and in this incandescent biopic, the brilliant philosopher is brought to vivid and dramatic life. A fascinating tale of Marx’s intellectual awakening, “The Young Karl Marx” deftly charts his dramatic rise from a struggling family man and hopeless romantic to one of the most influential minds in human history. Sparring with fellow philosophers and oppressive government leaders over issues ranging from child labor and assembly-line factories to injustices caused by capitalism and class systems, Marx is a firebrand ready to bring revolution. Whether you love or loathe Marxism, this timely film, directed by Raoul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro,” also playing at this year’s festival), sheds new light on the flesh-and-blood figure whose groundbreaking ideas forever changed history.
Film Info
Section:Foreign Fiction
Don't Miss
Original Title:Le jeune Karl Marx
Release Year:2017
Runtime:118 min.
Rating:NR
Production Country:Germany
France
Belgium
Original Language:English
French
German
Subtitles:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Raoul Peck
Produced by:Nicholas Blanc
Rémi Grellety
Robert Guédiguian
Raoul Peck
Screenwriter:Pascal Bonitzer
Raoul Peck
Pierre Hodgson
Cinematography:Kolja Brandt
Editing By:Frédérique Broos
Cast:August Diehl
Stefan Konarske
Vicky Krieps
Hannah Steele
Olivier Gourmet
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