Mined in Greece, prized blocks of marble are sent to China, where they are carved into replicas of historic statues, and back to Europe, which yearns for ancient beauty (on the cheap). Their surprising journey tells the story of a historical-economic pendulum now swinging from West to East.
“The Grind,” the traditional whale hunt of the Faroe Islands, has activists enraged. The locals, who see whale delicacies as part of their identity, denounce the demands as hypocritical, and it turns out both sides have thought-provoking arguments.
Over 6,000 children died in an earthquake in Sichuan in 2008. This sensitive and intimate film closely follows three families for over a decade of coping with the physical and emotional challenges of raising new children to “replace” the ones they had lost.
New Delhi’s air pollution is so bad that birds fall from the skies, exhausted and struggling to breathe. Brothers Saud and Nadeem rescue birds of prey, mostly black kites, in their makeshift basement clinic. This incredibly optimistic and heartwarming film won the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.
On the edges of the Venice Lagoon, adrenaline runs high as boat engines roar. Daniele is an outsider, but like his peers, he is determined to break speed records. This visually stunning film often crosses the boundary between imagination and reality—both over and under the water.
A mother and her daughter live in almost complete seclusion in a rundown house in rural Poland. The seasons dictate the rhythm of their lives, and their deep connection to nature is fertile soil for dreams and visions. Despite the hardships, the two find much satisfaction and happiness in their way of life.
Cesária Évora’s incredible voice paved her way from a poverty-stricken childhood in a former slave colony to the world’s most iconic concert halls. Chock full of previously unseen footage, the film follows the ups and downs in the story of the celebrated singer, who never let anyone run her life.
School has given her a glimpse of the outside world and its progressive values, but in her insular community, in the misty mountains of North Vietnam, the tradition of child bride kidnapping is still alive. 12-year-old Di is about to face the divide between tradition and her dreams.
Director Ahsen Nadeem leads a double life. To find a solution for his problem, he travels to a remote Japanese monastery on a scenic mountaintop—home to an ancient, secretive sect of Buddhist monks who perform extreme acts of endurance. Will he find answers there, or are they inside him already?
Each winter, 20 thousand nuns embark on a journey through the snowy expanse of the Tibetan Plateau. This mesmerizing intimate film follows them through one hundred very cold days of physical and spiritual tribulations, as their inner landscapes become one with the Tibetan wilderness.
The Dirndl—a colorful traditional dress typically associated with the postcard-idyllic Austrian landscape—hides a dark, complicated, history and a heavy burden of guilt.
The bigger, taller, and more unpredictable the waves are, the stronger Kerby Brown’s burning urge to conquer them. In a film overflowing with breathtaking visuals, the Aussie surfer’s remarkable personality is revealed as he faces waves nobody has dared to face before.
Katia and Maurice Krafft were in love—obsessively so—with volcanoes. Their research led them into perilous adventures between clouds of ash and rivers of lava. Their story is accompanied by the breathtaking, otherworldly footage they left behind after their deaths in the eruption of Japan’s Mount Unzen.
His parents, who brought him into this world illegally during China’s one-child era, paid a heavy price for it. After years of guilt and estrangement, director Louis Hothothot returns home to try and unravel a painful secret that will finally put his family on the path toward healing.
Valeria is forced to leave her village after it had been flooded with toxic water from the mines. Before she says her final farewell, she remembers the life she had there.
For over 40 years Zoe Lucas has been living alone on Sable Island, surrounded by herds of wild horses and many seals, birds, and insects. Filmmaker Jacquelyn Mills gets to know the little island through Lucas’ eyes and paints a visually stunning portrait of both the island and its only human inhabitant.
On salt flats and in ore mines, on steep cliffs and in desert pits, Mexican laborers work with their hands, with simple tools, painstakingly and slowly—far slower than the pace of modern life. With the labor itself providing the soundtrack, this film offers an almost religious aesthetic and sensory experience.
On a remote coast of the Siberian Arctic in a wind-battered hut, a lonely man waits to witness an ancient gathering. But warming seas and rising temperatures bring an unexpected change, and he soon finds himself overwhelmed.
When he was little, Juan Camilo didn’t know that his parents had been guerilla fighters, his father had led The Popular Liberation Army, and his mother had been kidnapped and murdered. 25 years after his family fled Colombia, he returns and, using diaries and home videos, tries to understand his parents’ lives.
On his journey to the small village in the Atlas Mountains, in Algeria, the homeland of his foreign, distant father, filmmaker Karim Aïnouz carries with him the love stories of his mother, who raised him alone in Brazil. In his encounters with the people and the land, he reexamines his identity.
Hla and Nyo Nyo, a Buddhist and a Muslim, run a small, makeshift women's health clinic in Myanmar, where the Muslim minority is violently persecuted. In five years of personal and political upheaval, the two women’s unique relationship is often put to the test.
The obstacle course migrating polar bears must navigate to avoid tourists and wildlife officers, shown from the bears’ point of view.
In preparation for a festival celebrating Ganesh, laundrymen on the outskirts of Mumbai design a poster that will give them a moment of fame.
Early 20th century female travelers had no desire to conquer, just to learn. Seen through their eyes—and through the amateur films they made—the world looks different. This collection of rare travelogues and documentary footage invites the viewers on a historical and emotional journey through these women’s worlds.
Acclaimed filmmaker Tsai Ming-Liang turns his gaze to Hong Kong, which remains in motion all through the night, even when the streets are empty.
Traversing the barren snowy cliffs of the Tibetan plateau is very challenging, but these travelers burning passion for finding the rare snow leopard propels them forward. Wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and novelist and researcher Sylvain Tesson blend into the inhospitable terrain in hopes of meeting this magnificent big cat.
In return for billions of dollars in loan money, China bought the right to exploit Ecuador’s land and natural resources. Set in Ecuador’s powerful, pristine landscapes, the film follows those who stand against this new enslavement: whistleblowers and grassroots resistance leaders.
At the height of his career, Chef José Andrés decided to swap his high-end kitchen for the world’s most dangerous disaster zones—from Haiti to Ukraine—to cook for and feed the hungry. Director Ron Howard follows him into the field on his mission, now a major humanitarian aid organization.
Nestor, Benjamin, Aaron, and Rafiki are economics undergraduates in the Central African Republic. With convoluted mechanisms, corrupt lecturers, and rigid family traditions standing in the way of their dreams of a brighter future for themselves and their country, the four friends turn to each other for strength, advice, camaraderie, and laughter.
Lilian and her four children are fleeing Guatemala and making their way to the Mexico-US border in a migrant caravan numbering thousands. The road is hard, but it gives birth to unexpected and heartwarming human bonds, and the journey's end brings with it a new outlook on life.
In Moscow’s Metro stations, the opulence (marble and crystal and gold) is a remnant of a bygone era, and at times, it seems, so are the commuters. The camera encounters unexpected characters and gets immersed in their worlds without asking where they come from or where they are going to.
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