Eva, Sasha, Kolya, and their friends toe the thin line between childhood games, dreams, and fantasies, and life in war-stricken eastern Ukraine. This is a heartwarming film about a halfway house for children whose families cracked and crumbled under reality’s crushing weight.
L’s letters to her lover, who left her, expose the deep faultlines in Indian society—faultlines students try to skip over on their way to a free and liberated future. A mixture of texts and authentic and staged footage gives this story a dreamlike, surreal, and spellbinding feel.
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.
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.
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.
Kathryn, who has ALS and only communicates by blinking at a letter board that generates a mechanical-sounding voice, is getting ready for her daughter’s wedding. Filmed from her point of view, the film creates a layered and sober family portrait, heart-melting and sincere, showing the pain, but also love and laughter.
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.
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.
They both came from wrecked homes, but once they found each other, they were happy, at least for a while. A decade of love between the filmmaker and her partner is captured with rhythmic, gritty cinematography and backdropped by the harsh reality of life in a crumbling Russia.
The interpreters at an international war crime tribunal are supposed to hide their feelings, even when the testimonies are similar to their own experiences.
The Turkish music scene in Germany that emerged in the 1960s out of migrant workers’ homesickness and disappointment, has undergone many musical, political, and social changes over the years. The film shows the brightest stars to have graced the genre over the years, their music, and the communities that grew around it.
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.
Lithuania’s separation from the USSR required a careful, levelheaded approach. Vytautas Landsbergis, the first leader of an independent Lithuania, shares the untold stories of how he navigated the situation with Gorbachev and the Kremlin. Directed by Sergei Loznitsa, the film won the IDFA grand prix.
120 years after it was published, men of all ages audition—together and separately—by reading from an infamous erotic text that had been banned for years. What has changed since it was written? What fantasies, memories, and feelings of awkwardness does it evoke today?
Pauli Murray was there before (almost) all the others. A poet, lawyer, activist, scholar, and Black queer person, Murray paved the way for the big civil rights and women’s rights revolutions in the US. Julie Cohen and Betsy West paint the portrait of a true luminary.
Having survived an assassination attempt, Aleksei Navalny is determined to prove that it was Putin who gave the order. The film follows him and his team through an investigation so dark and gripping that at times it feels like a Hollywood thriller instead of a disheartening look at Russian reality.
The obstacle course migrating polar bears must navigate to avoid tourists and wildlife officers, shown from the bears’ point of view.
German ornithologist Max Schönwetter collected, categorized, and drew nearly twenty thousand bird eggs with unwavering dedication. In the chaos of war, he and his colleagues held on to this passion as a way to escape a ruined, lost, carpet-bombed Europe into a place where everything made sense like before.
When her daughter Penelope was diagnosed as autistic, Claire Doyon went to war in hopes of saving (or at least fixing) her child. Armed with a camera, she filmed every twist and turn on her long journey toward accepting her daughter—and herself.
“I’m a little boy from Peperklip,” sings 14-year-old Shabu, who lives in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Rotterdam. Between his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend, Shabu learns all about love, heartbreak, and growing up, and still dreams of becoming a superstar.
For two years, Polish filmmaker Paweł Łoziński stood on his balcony in Warsaw and filmed the passersby. Young and old, suspicious and amiable, happy and melancholy—all shared with him the most personal, surprising, and disturbing stories about their lives.
In 1989, Christine Choy began to film the leaders of the nonviolent student protests at Tiananmen Square. 33 years later, the eccentric documentarian goes looking for the exiles, whose country branded them as traitors, to show them the never-before-seen footage.
Poland’s biggest pawnshop hardly sees any customers anymore, its shelves laden with unwanted products. Between cigarettes and shouted arguments, the staff organizes a carnivalesque one-day sale in an attempt to breathe new life into the store and neighborhood. This heart-stirringly human film is brimming with compassion and humor.
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.
Even when, on paper, the ceasefire was still in effect, Donbas in Ukraine was anything but quiet. The camera gets to know the soldiers, young men and one woman, up close and personal. In the trenches, between bursts of shelling, their conversations are intimate and open, and the tension is almost palpable.
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.
Not so much a documentary murder investigation as a meticulously constructed meditation on race relations, economic forces, and the failings of the American legal system - all of which comprised the backdrop for the murder of a Chinese-American automotive engineer in Detroit in 1982 - Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña’s Who Killed Vincent Chin? remains a stirring, absorbing elegy for justice unserved.
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