Full Frame Documentary Film Festival round-up, part two

Family Affair was an incredible brave documentary about family life, incest, race, religion, truth-telling, and healing. Chico David Colvard takes the viewer on a riveting journey, starting with an accident that would change the course of his family life. After little Chico accidentally shot his sister in the leg, the silence surrounding the family was fractured. His three sisters admitted to being raped repeatedly by their father, a veteran and authoritarian figure. Chico, now an adult, goes back and interviews everyone involved, trying to understand all of the different dimensions. Like all good art, this film asks way more questions than it purports to answer. Not surprisingly, it’s been picked up as the first doc film to be a part of Oprah’s new documetnary series, called OWN. Here’s the trailer:

You think you know about the Stonewall riots, but you don’t know the whole story until you’ve seen this awesome new doc, Stonewall Uprising. The filmmakers did a miraculous job of taking an event with no footage and only 7 still photographs and turning it into an amazing movie. They zoom out to give the wider context of homophobia in the late 60s/early 70s in America, complete with horrifying and hilarious public education videos about the dangers of homosexuals. The riots themselves, which participants argue should be framed more as an “uprising,” are elucidated in riveting detail, as is the very first pride march.
12th & Delaware is a film about abortion from the same documentarians who brought America Jesus Camp. These two incredible filmmakers–Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing–have an anti-Michael Moore style, committed to letting their subject speak for themselves. I believe it is way more persuasive in its restraint. In this film, they bring the viewer into one corner of the abortion debate taking place on 12th & Delaware in Fort Pierce, FL, where a crisis pregnancy center has opened up shop across the street from an abortion clinic. The characters that emerge, the philosophies that curdle, are impossible to look away from and offer all of us valuable insight into the hearts and minds of those that we vehemently disagree with. It’s a must-see for all feminists, in my humble opinion.
The Most Dangerous Man in America provides us with an example of heroism at great cost: Daniel Ellsberg‘s notorious leaking of the Pentagon Papers to American newspapers, the tipping point in the Vietnam War. It’s incredible to watch Ellsberg’s journey from RAND corporation, war-strategist insider to fugitive and friend of Howard Zinn and other radical, anti-war thinkers and activists. It made me so hungry to figure out how, in our own time, we can tell the truth about government corruption and the cost of war, and motivated me to re-ask critical questions about the power and decline of the media in our own time and the dearth of racial, large-scale activism against violence.

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