Documentary Film

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Issue #150 Preview: Christiane Jatahy by Jay Scheib
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This weekend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Christiane Jatahy’s radical “mirror game” between film and live performance What If They Went to Moscow? plays for two audiences, one at BAM Fisher Theater and one at BAM Rose Cinemas—then they switch.

Living Matter by Claire Atherton
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I never made a decision to become a film editor—or, in any case, I didn’t decide upon it at a young age and follow a single career path.

Nanfu Wang by Hao Wu
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The two Chinese-born filmmakers reflect on Wang’s new documentary One Child Nation and her unique approach to blending the personal and political.

Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam’s The Sweet Requiem by Sabine Russ
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A film about departures, the kind without return.

Kazuo Hara by Ken Jacobs
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The pioneering filmmakers discuss morality and dissent in Hara’s highly subjective documentaries: “It takes a toll to discover what binds your heart to the subject.”

Native Sand: Yeo Siew Hua Interviewed by Sihan Tan
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The Singaporean filmmaker on migrant labor; visitations; and his recent work, A Land Imagined.

Life Before Death: John Bruce and Pawel Wojtasik Interviewed by Nicholas Elliott
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The filmmakers take an unexpected approach to documenting people in the final stage of life.

A Sense of Place: William Ferris Interviewed by Michael Blair
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The artist and documentarian on capturing the vernacular South. 

El Cine Quema: The Films of Raymundo Gleyzer by Will Noah
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The insurgent Argentine documentarian’s retrospective screens at Anthology Film Archives from February 22 through 28.

Looking Back: BOMB Contributors on Film in 2018
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Featuring selections by Sasha Bonét, Lisa Borst, Nicholas Elliott, Mark Harwood, and more.

In a Dark Time the Eye Begins to See: Michelle Memran Interviewed by Alix Lambert
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The director of The Rest I Make Up reflects on the life and companionship of María Irene Fornés.

The Treatment Sounded So Cinematic: Lana Wilson Interviewed by Penny Lane
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The two filmmakers probe the ethics and surprise of documentary.

Resisting Exploitation: Sky Hopinka Interviewed by Osman Can Yerebakan
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Films that combine documentary and poetics.

The Films of Emile de Antonio by Michael Blair
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Huddled in front of a suite of bulletin boards filled with military charts, folding his fingers over papers as if they were slices of pizza, licking his lips, jowls quivering—this is Senator Joseph McCarthy as he appeared live on ABC in 1954 as part of the 36-day, 188-hour televised extravaganza that would come to be known as the Army-McCarthy Hearings. He’s berating a colonel, insinuating that “phony charts” have been submitted to the floor of the Senate. “The television audience,” he yells, “they are the jury in this case.”

The Otolith Group’s O Horizon by Rahel Aima
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In the molten golden hour, a row of Santhal tribeswomen dance in an open field. Arms interlocked, they bounce as one centipedal body to the beat of a dhol, cymbals, and a purring bamboo flute. The musicians wear flowers in their turbans, while the dancers don expressionless metallic masks that impart an otherworldly timbre to the pastoral scene.

Stephen Maing’s Crime + Punishment by Stephanie E. Goodalle
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In the aftermath of Eric Garner’s murder, a Black protester shouts at a group of cops, “Black officers, Puerto Rican officers, nobody likes you! Nobody. You are hated. You’re hated in New York and throughout the United States. This isn’t ignorance. This is anger, officer!” This scene from Stephen Maing’s character-driven documentary Crime + Punishment is another testimony to the rampant racial inequity in the United States.

Migrant World: On Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow by T. J. Demos
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Examining the politics of representation. 

Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki’s El Mar La Mar by Matt Turner
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An experimental documentary on border crossing, less about that place than what it represents.

Looking Back on 2017: Film & Television
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Featuring selections by Jaime Manrique, David Grubbs, Molly Surno, Lynn Melnick, Lucio Pozzi, and more.

Dalya’s Other Country: Julia Meltzer Interviewed by Alaa Hassan
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A story of immigration and integration.

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