DEAR WHITE PEOPLE (R) - Drama/Comedy 2014, USA 108min
A sly, provocative satire of race relations in the age of Obama, the film follows a group of African American students as they navigate campus life and racial politics at a predominantly white college. The unexpected election of activist Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) as head of a traditionally black residence hall sets up a college culture war that challenges conventional notions of what it means to be black.
The New York Times writes: “Seeming to draw equal measures of inspiration from Whit Stillman and Spike Lee, but with his own tart, elegant sensibility very much in control, Mr. Simien evokes familiar campus stereotypes only to smash them and rearrange the pieces.” The sharp and funny feature film debut earned director Justin Simien a spot on Variety’s annual “10 Directors to Watch”.
THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY - Doc 2014, USA 105min
This is the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz's help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz's groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron's story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.
SOLD (R) - Drama 2014, USA 97min
Patricia McCormick’s award-winning international bestseller is transformed into a deeply affecting film which gives voice to the millions of invisible children trafficked each year across the globe. Sold focuses on Lakshmi, an extraordinary 13-year-old Nepali girl, whose father accepts an advance for her to work as a domestic servant in Kolkata, India. Believing she will earn enough money to purchase a tin roof for her mother, she travels with “Auntie” Bimla to Happiness House. Her new home is ruled by the madame Mumtaz, and soon Lakshmi discovers the horror that she has been sold into prostitution. Academy Award®-winning director Jeffrey D. Brown (Molly's Pilgrim) elects to see this world through an innocent child’s eyes, successfully navigating a delicate balancing act between the brutality of human trafficking and the tenderness and compassion of the brothel community. Featuring a tremendously empathetic performance by Niyar Saikia and excellent supporting work by Gillian Anderson and David Arquette, Sold is an unforgettable experience that not only breathes life into an incredible story but also inspires viewers to action beyond the screen to stop the trafficking of children worldwide.
FED UP - Doc 2014, USA 92min
Upending the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and how to lose it, Fed Up unearths a dirty secret of the American food industry—far more of us get sick from what we eat than anyone has previously realized. Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead us through this potent exposé that uncovers why—despite media attention, the public’s fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity—generations of American children will now live shorter lives than their parents did. Through riveting interviews and sharp examination of data the film reveals a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history.
THE GREEN PRINCE - Doc 2014, Germany 95min
The Green Prince is such an extraordinary story that one is tempted to think it is fiction, if only somebody had the audacity to invent it.
A Palestinian in Ramallah, Mosab Hassan Yousef grows up angry and ready to fight Israel. Arrested for smuggling guns at the age of 17, he’s interrogated by the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service, and sent to prison. But shocked by Hamas’s ruthless tactics in the prison and the organization’s escalating campaign of suicide bombings outside, Mosab agrees to spy for Israel. For him, there is no greater shame. For his Shin Bet handler, Gonen, there is no greater prize: “operating” the oldest son of a founding member of Hamas. Based on Yousef’s memoir, Son of Hamas, The Green Prince is a story of two men, spy and handler, whom history insists must be adversaries. That they could reach a point of trust or friendship seems absurd. Embroidering a tangled web of intrigue, terror, and betrayal, Nadav Schirman builds superb tension throughout a surprisingly emotional journey. Ultimately, The Green Prince is less about political struggle than personal coming-to-terms with responsibility and moral duty.
PLASTIC PARADISE - Doc 2014, USA 57min
"Plastic Paradise" is an independent documentary film that chronicles Angela Sun's personal journey of discovery to one of the most remote places on Earth, Midway Atoll, to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the way she encounters scientists, celebrities, legislators and activists who shed light on what our society's vast consumption of disposable plastic is doing to our oceans -- and what it may be doing to our health.
FISHING WITHOUT NETS (R) - Drama 2014, US/Kenya/Somalia 109min
Shot in East Africa using Somali non-actors, Fishing Without Nets tells the mesmerizing and sobering story of the pirates from the Somali point of view. First-time feature filmmaker Cutter Hodierne combines the epic cinematic vision of a glorious action-thriller with intimate, textured qualities of an art film, humanizing the pirates by bringing us inside their moral dilemmas and gut-wrenching struggles.
E-TEAM - Doc 2014, USA 88min
Anna, Ole, Fred and Peter are four members of the Emergencies Team — or E-Team — the most intrepid division of a respected, international human rights group. Trained to deal with unfolding crises, the E-Team flies to hotspots all over the world as soon as allegations of human rights abuse surface. Then they get to work — gathering crucial evidence to determine if further investigation is warranted and, if so, to investigate, document, and capture the world's attention. They also immediately challenge the responsible decision makers, holding them accountable. Human rights abuses thrive on secrecy and silence, and the work of the E-Team, backed by their international human rights organization, has shone light in dark places and given voice to thousands whose stories would never otherwise have been told.
HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY - Doc 2013, USA 67min
It has launched both purity balls and porn franchises, defines a young woman's morality-but has no medical definition. Enter the magical world of virginity, where a white wedding dress can restore a woman's innocence and replacement hymens can be purchased online. Filmmaker Therese Shechter uses her own path out of virginity to explore why our sex-crazed society cherishes this so-called precious gift. Along the way, we meet sex educators, virginity auctioneers, abstinence advocates, and young men and women who bare their tales of doing it-or not doing it. "How To Lose Your Virginity" uncovers the myths and misogyny surrounding a rite of passage that many obsesses about but few truly understand.
MY NEIGHBOURHOOD - Short Doc 2012, US/Israel/Palestine 25min
Mohammed El Kurd is a Palestinian teenager growing up in the heart of East Jerusalem. When Mohammed's family is forced to give up a part of their home to Israeli settlers, local residents begin peaceful protests and in a surprising turn, are quickly joined by scores of Israeli supporters. Mohammed comes of age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.
Followed by: GMGF talk with Josh Ruebner - author, director of US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation
What can American citizens do to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories? Josh Ruebner, author of Shattered Hopes will share his insights and thoughts and lead the community in discussion.
CITIZEN FOUR - Doc 2014, USA
CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name “CITIZENFOUR,” in January 2013. He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated. When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film.
CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them.
CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.