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Entries tagged with “Film Reviews”

Awakening the Fire

R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman Canyon Records Not counting birdsong, cicada rhythms, and ocean waves, the most ancient music on earth was probably created by the human voice. N…

Film Review: "Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey"

This documentary from 2012 follows filmmaker Suzanne Bryant as she seeks healing and transformation of spirit through the practice of yoga. Bryant, a successful…

Film Review: 100 YEARS: One Woman’s Fight for Justice

100 YEARS: One Woman’s Fight for Justice Melinda Janko Fire in the Belly Productions In the 1880s, the U.S. Federal Government became trustee of vast amounts of land owned by Na…

Film Review: A Quest for Meaning

a Ménardière and Nathanaël Coste, one a slick, successful bottled water salesman, the other a documentarian who’s just made a film about water access in India, reconnect after many…

Film Review: A Tale of Love and Darkness

A Tale of Love and DarknessNatalie PortmanFocus FeaturesAdapted from Israeli writer Amos Oz’s hefty 2002 memoir, this intimate historical drama is set in the years immediately foll…

Film Review: A Will For The Woods

A Will for the WoodsDirected by Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, and Brian WilsonOVERWHELMING UMBRELLA PRODUCTIONS, INC  “I’d like to use whatever time I have left …

Film Review: Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America

Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & AmericaMatt OrnsteinSound & Vision“How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” That’s the hypothetical question that renowned…

Film Review: After Spring

After SpringDirected by Ellen Martinez and Steph ChingBusBoy ProductionsDocumenting the day-to-day lives of the families and administrators at Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, d…

Film Review: Aloft

AloftDirected by Claudia LlosaSONY PICTURE CLASSICSPeruvian director Claudia Llosa’s moody, ethereal drama is a curious, sad little tale. It follows two timelines: In one, a s…

Film Review: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

This powerful, poetic film shows the stunning beauty (and horrific impact) of humanity's creations as we leave the Holocene Epoch and enter the Anthropocene.

Film Review: Band of Sisters

This new documentary by debut filmmaker Mary Fishman offers an informative look at the activism of Catholic nuns in the United States, particularly in the years following Vatican I…

Film Review: Because I Was a Painter

Because I Was a PainterDirected by Christophe CognetUNIFRANCE FILMSChristophe Cognet’s quiet, almost experimental documentary asks that eternal question, “Can an artistic depiction…

Film Review: Before the Flood

Before the Flood Fisher Stevens National Geographic Movie star and longtime environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio and director Fisher Stevens travel across the world to learn…

Film Review: Bending the Arc

Bending the ArcKief Davidson and Pedro KosImpact Partners FilmThis is a great, great story. About 30 years ago, a team of dedicated individuals—two young doctors named Paul Farmer …

Film Review: Bugs

BugsDirected by Andreas JohnsenRosforth FilmsOpening with a culinary feast involving bowls of soldier fly larvae, locust tabbouleh, and dung beetle stew, Andreas Johnsen’s fascinat…

Film Review: Catching the Sun

Catching the SunThe Race for the Clean Energy FutureShalini Kantayya7th Empire MediaFor years, when we talked about solar power, it was either as some kind of hippy-dippy, bac…

Film Review: Chasing Coral

Jeff Orlowski’s suspenseful and heartbreaking documentary focuses on the phenomenon of “coral bleaching”—the process by which dying corals turn white and fall apart—and…

Film Review: Cielo

Alison McAlpine’s visually ravishing documentary takes us to the Atacama Desert in Chile, where various scientists and oddball locals contemplate the immense, crystal-clear night s…

FIlm Review: City of Joy

The “city of joy” referred to in the title of Madeleine Gavin’s documentary is not a city at all, but a complex that serves as a shelter, rehabilitation center, and education organ…

Film Review: Dark Waters

If you just read a synopsis, director Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters might seem like a standard-issue socially conscious legal drama. It’s based on the true story of attorney Robert…

Film Review: Desert Dreams

Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert

Film Review: Desert Dreams, Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert

DIRECTED BY THOMAS WIEWANDT It took four years for filmmaker Thomas Wiewandt to bring his mesmerizing Desert Dreams to the screen. It took decades longer to develop the transcende…

Film Review: Far from the Tree

EVERY PARENT at some point has to contend with the fact that their child is a different person, with his or her own desires, needs, and ways of seeing the world. Based on Andrew So…

Film Review: Food Chains

Food ChainsDirected by Sanjay RawalSCREEN MEDIA  The ghastly labor practices that America’s food workers have to endure are nothing new—everybody from John Steinbeck to…

Film Review: Gauguin

Voyage to Tahiti

Film Review: Genesis 2.0

Alternating between strikingly shot footage of ivory hunters in the New Siberian Islands north of Russia, looking for woolly mammoth tusks, and a gathering of young scientists in B…

Film Review: GMO OMG

Directed by Jeremy Seifert Jeremy Seifert’s advocacy documentary GMO OMG isn’t the first film to express concern over genetically modified crops. Nor, unfortunately, is it even cl…

Film Review: HappyFilm

HappyFilm Directed by Ben Nabors, Stefan Sagmeister, Hillman Curtis SoSo Productions Internationally renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister’s introspective documentary focu…

Film Review: Human Flow

The dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s immensely ambitious new documentary explores the world’s refugee problem by traveling to various hot spots and displaced person camps&mdash…

Film Review: Hungry for Change

Hungry for Change: A New Look at Dieting and Healthy Living Over the past several years, food documentaries have become immensely popular. Teaching us about factory farms, process…

Film Review: I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your NegroRaoul PeckVelvet FilmAt the time of his death in 1987, the great novelist and essayist James Baldwin left an unfinished 30-page manuscript called Remember This H…

Film Review: In Pursuit of Silence

What exactly is silence? Patrick Shen’s hypnotic documentary, shot around the world, seeks to explore both the scientific and psychological concepts of silence, and posits the idea…

Film Review: Inuk

Directed by Mike Magidson Inuk opens on a haunting scene from its protagonist’s childhood, as young Inuk (Ivaq Morch) witnesses the freezing, drowning death of his father (Hendrik…

Film Review: Inventing Tomorrow

Can kids save the world? They might have to. In Laura Nix’s absorbing documentary, we watch four groups of teens from around the globe as they work on scientific projects to help t…

Film Review: Itzhak

THE GREAT Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman makes for a lively guide to his own life and career in this charming documentary. Alison Chernick’s film follows the 72-year-old…

Film Review: Jane

Brett Morgen’s thoroughly absorbing documentary about the life and career of world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall is founded on a treasure trove of footage—countless…

Film Review: Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet

Kahlil Gibran’s The ProphetDirected by Roger AllersGKIDS There are few things in life more glorious than the sound of Liam Neeson reading lines from the great poet Gibran’s The Pr…

Film Review: Landfill Harmonic

Landfill HarmonicGraham Townsley and Brad AllgoodMeetai FilmsThe Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a group of young Paraguayan musicians who play instruments created out of items foun…

Film Review: Love Is a Verb

Love Is a VerbTerry Spencer Hesser and Stephan MazurekDark Sky FilmsThe Muslim thinker and academic Fetullah Gulen has been a controversial figure in his homeland of Turkey for&nbs…

Film Review: Mantra

Sounds into Silence

Film Review: Marie Curie

The Courage of Knowledge

Film Review: Natural Resistance

Natural ResistanceDirected by Jonathan NossiterGOATWORKS FILMSMore than a decade ago, director Jonathan Nossiter released Mondovino, an ambitious, fascinating documentary look at t…

Film Review: Nise: The Heart of Madness

Nise da Silveira was a Brazilian psychiatrist who revolutionized the way mental patients were treated in the 1940s and ’50s. This elegantly made biopic shows her struggles against …

Film Review: One of Us

“Nobody leaves unless they’re willing to pay the price,” says one subject in Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s documentary about three former Hasidic Jews who have left their communit…

Film Review: One Track Heart - The Story of Krishna Das

Directed by Jeremy Frindel Krishna Das—an American chanter of an ancient Indian devotional music known as kirtan—was born Jeffrey Kagel on Long Island in 1947. He grew…

Film Review: Paulo Coelho’s Best Story

Paulo Coelho’s Best StoryDirected by Daniel AugustoMUSIC BOX FILMS This biopic about the internationally best-selling writer of The Alchemist isn’t quite the hagiography you might…

Film Review: Planetary

PlanetaryDirected by Guy ReidPLANETARY COLLECTIVEDirector Guy Reid’s documentary fuses the highly aestheticized style of such classics like Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka—with their word…

Film Review: Quest

SHOT OVER the course of nearly a decade, Jonathan Olshefski’s absorbing, often heartbreaking documentary looks at the life of one North Philadelphia family, their challenges and jo…

Film Review: Remote Area Medical

Remote Area MedicalDirected by Jeff Reichert, Farihah ZamanCANDESCENT FILMS The titular organization at the heart of Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman’s documentary was originally c…

Film Review: Sacred

Director Thomas Lennon’s film examines the role of faith by following various rituals from different religions and countries. Shot by more than forty crews from all over the world,…

Film Review: Seasons

Seasons Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud Music Box Films Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud specialize in enchanting, nonnarrative nature documentaries that portray …

Film Review: Seed: The Untold Story

Seed: The Untold Story Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel Collective Eye Films Documentaries about the environment and food safety are a dime a dozen, but here’s a topic that’s rarely …

Film Review: Serenade for Haiti

Serenade for HaitiOwsley BrownOwsley Brown PresentsOver the years, Sainte Trinité Music School in Port au Prince, Haiti, has served as both a critical institution of learning and a…

Film Review: Strangers on the Earth

TRISTAN COOK’S intriguingly conceived documentary follows the American cellist Dane Johansen as he treks the famous pilgrimage path known as the Camino de Santiago, which stretches…

Film Review: Sunday's Illness

AN INTIMATE FAMILY DRAMA shot like a slow-burn horror movie, Spanish director Ramon Salazar’s film centers on an odd, evocative arrangement: An aging, wealthy woman is confronted o…

Film Review: Symbiotic Earth

How Lynn Margulis Rocked the Boat and Started a Scientific Revolution

Film Review: Te Ata

This handsome, well-mounted biopic of Frances Thompson Fisher, a Chickasaw actress from Oklahoma who persisted against all odds to become a major international performer in the ear…

Film Review: The Armor of Light

The Armor of LightAbigail DisneyFork FilmsAbigail Disney’s emotionally overwhelming documentary portrays one of the more surprising political and religious alliances of recent year…

Film Review: The Departure

Each unanswered call could be one more person on the edge who desperately needs his help.

Film Review: The Divine Order

As she gradually finds her voice, the women around her join forces in solidarity.

Film Review: The Human Face of Big Data

The Human Face of Big DataSandy SmolanRoco FilmsSandy Smolan’s documentary plays at times like an infomercial for Big Data—the technological phenomenon by which the millions of bit…

Film Review: The Man Who Saved the World

The Man Who Saved the WorldPeter AnthonyStatement FilmIt might be hard to believe, but Stanislav Petrov lives up to the hyperbolic title of the documentary about him. Petrov was a …

Film Review: The Mustang

Superb acting and tight directing elevate this film about an inmate training a wild mustang.

Film Review: The Pearl Button

The Pearl ButtonPatricio GuzmanKino LorberThe Chilean director Patricio Guzman has spent his career chronicling the murders, tortures, and other injustices committed in his country…

Film Review: The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West

The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey WestBarry StrugatzFirst Run FeaturesIn 1964, a 63-year-old Chinese academic and doctor named Cheng Man-Ching moved to New York and began to teach t…

Film Review: The Providers

“Last year, 70,000 deaths in rural America could have been prevented with better access to health care.” Those words open Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin’s The Providers, which loo…

Film Review: The Resilient Heart

Dr. Valentin Fuster has dedicated his life to promoting cardiovascular health, and he’s convinced that the way to do it is to get to people on a philosophical and moral level. Susa…

Film Review: The Seagull

MICHAEL MAYER’S frantic but atmospheric new film version of the classic play still makes the mistake of so many Anton Chekhov adaptations, which is to deemphasize the comedy. Chekh…

Film Review: The Search for Freedom

Directed by Jon LongITM FILM AND THE EARTH NETWORK We’ve gotten lots of documentaries about surfing, skating, and other types of action sports over the years—from the Endles…

Film Review: This Changes Everything

This Changes EverythingAvi LewisAbramoramaThere have been hundreds of environmental documentaries over the years, but This Changes Everything kicks off with an interesting philosop…

Film Review: Unacceptable Levels - Do You Know What's in Your Water Supply?

DIRECTED BY ED BROWN Director Ed Brown is not your typical activist, nor is he one of those thought leader types who pretend to have all the answers. As he presents himself in thi…

Film Review: Walk With Me

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (his rich, mellifluous baritone is immediately recognizable), this beautifully immersive documentary was produced over three years among the Buddhi…

Film Review: Weed The People

Its playful title notwithstanding, Weed the People is a tough watch—but it’s definitely worth sticking with it. Abby Epstein’s documentary looks at the use of medical marijua…

Film Review: What Lies Upstream

The cynical collusion between corporations and government to gut the regulations that keep our water safe and clean is tackled in compelling, infuriating fashion in Cullen Hoback’s…

Film Review: What They Had

Terrific performances and an authentic portrait of a heartbreaking illness mark the touching drama What They Had, in which Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon play two very different …

Film Review: Year by the Sea

“What if something happens to you out there, all alone?” “That’s the whole point!” The great Karen Allen shines as a woman who decides to strike out on her own after her son gets m…

Film Review: Zaytoun

Directed by Eran Riklis In Israeli director Eran Riklis’s sensitive drama, Fahed (Abdallah El Akal), a tough young Palestinian boy living in war-torn Beirut in 1982, finds himself…

The Interrupters

Directed and photographed by Steve James; produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James This inspiring, critically acclaimed documentary takes a revealing and heartbreaking look at w…

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