Posts Tagged ‘A Film Unfinished’

Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Dokumente, Part 2

February 8, 2010

Gay life in and outside of New York dominates this year’s Dokumente sidebar. Both Rock Hudson and The Boys in the Band are placed beneath the camera lens. But if camp reappraisal isn’t your cinematic bag, then perhaps a lost Nazi propaganda film or Iran on the eve of a momentous election will be more to the taste. Too grim? In fact, the overall mood is one of celebration, whether it’s being LGBT in Israel or simply pounding the Berlin pavements.

Read the first part of our Panorama Dokumente preview here.

Hazman havarod (Gay Days)

Israel once had a reputation as a homophobic country, with police quick to crack down on gays and transsexuals with violent enthusiasm. In the last decade or so, homosexuality has been decriminalized and Israel now celebrates its gay heritage. A transsexual singer, Dana International, even won the Eurovision Song Contest for Israel in 1998. Yair Qedars examines what he calls “the pink revolution.”
Fun fact lazily taken from Wikipedia: Dana International is now a judge on Israel’s equivalent of American Idol.

I Shot My Love

A funny thing happen when director Tomer Heymann screened his last film Paper Dolls (2005) at the Berlin Film Festival. He met a German dancer, Andreas Merk, and fell in love. Merk moves to Tel Aviv to be with Tomer, but finds life in Israel difficult. The couple’s future also depends on Tomer’s patriotic mother, who is reluctant to let her son leave the country.
Fun fact lazily taken from Wikipedia: Paper Dolls took as its subject Filipino transsexuals working in Israel as caretakers for elderly Orthodox Jews.


Sundance 2010 Preview: International Documentary Competition

January 12, 2010

While Sundance is committed to documentary, its audience is a little less crazy about the international kind. Still, it gets you out of the Park City snow and you’re unlikely to be sitting behind Harvey Weinstein. This year’s picks range from the Cambodian killing fields to a Brazilian dump to the Warsaw ghetto. In all likelihood, they will have about six laughs between them. Roll your sleeves up and prepare to take your medicine …

Click here to read our U.S. Dramatic Competition Preview
Click here to read our U.S. Documentary Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Dramatic Competition Preview

Enemies of the People

Spalding Gray once likened the Cambodian genocide to the farmers of upstate New York killing everyone in Manhattan. Two million people died when the Khmer Rouge’s turned the clock back to Year Zero. The country has struggled to both recover and forget. This doc follows Phnom Penh Post reporter Thet Sambath, who befriended the former Rouge leaders in order to learn why his entire family had to die. Sambath gets close to a unique heart of Khmer darkness, but puts his own home life in jeopardy.

A Film Unfinished

After herding the Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto, the Nazis proceeded to make a film lauding what they called their humanitarian effort. The movie was never completed, but academics have pored over the rushes, often oblivious to its propaganda purpose. Using the original footage and interviews with the surviving cameramen, Yael Hersonski shows how reality was whitewashed and learns the stories behind the faces found on film.