REVIEW: Fantastic Fungi [2019]

“We brought life to Earth” Scientific study has recently shown that trees “talk” to each other. Suzanne Simard explains the process during the course of Louie Schwartzberg‘s documentary Fantastic Fungi as being the result of communication via mushroom. Much like the neural pathways in our brains, fungi in the ground (mycelium) create a network upon […]

REVIEW: American Factory [2019]

“The future is bright” Directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert were in Moraine, Ohio (a Dayton suburb) when the local General Motors plant closed to film a short documentary for HBO Films entitled The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. By interviewing ex-employees to learn how the factory impacted their lives on a personal […]

REVIEW: Love, Antosha [2019]

“I never eat the boogers” In an attempt to comfort after the death of their son, Viktor Yelchin suggested to his wife Irina Korina that they should just pretend he’s off on a very long movie shoot. That’s what Anton Yelchin often did anyway with sixty-plus film and television credits to his name by the […]

REVIEW: The Feeling of Being Watched [2019]

“No. I’m not paranoid.” Public radio journalist Assia Boundaoui was awake at her mother’s home at three in the morning when she saw men on a telephone poll with bright lights working. She went across the hall to wake-up Rabia Boundaoui, unsure what to think and desperate to figure out what was happening. Her mother’s […]

REVIEW: One Child Nation [2019]

“I wondered if the thoughts I had were my own or if they were simply learned” Death is inevitable in war. That’s what a former government official who’s still loyal to China’s communist party tells co-director Nanfu Wang during her (and Jialing Zhang‘s) documentary One Child Nation. While the sentiment is correct, I’m not certain […]

REVIEW: For Sama [2019]

“I don’t regret anything” After five years of footage depicting the rapid decline in Aleppo as college protests turn to rebellion with a dictatorial regime finding friends in Russia to decimate innocent civilians it intentionally refuses to differentiate from soldiers and extremists, Waad al-Kateab realizes that the snippets she’s uploaded to expose these atrocities to […]

REVIEW: Bisbee ’17 [2018]

“Thank you for riding the deportation express” On the surface it appears to be an illegal deportation of anti-union Americans at the hands of newly deputized company loyalists in Bisbee, Arizona. Approximately 1,200 copper mining strikers and sympathizers were rounded up at gunpoint in 1917, ushered into cattle cars, and driven over the border to […]

OIFF19 REVIEW: סיבת המוות [Cause of Death] [2019]

“I can’t stop thinking about it” Director Ramy A Katz leaves three text cards at the end of his Cause of Death to share responses to the film that were supplied by the Israeli police department, Ministry of Health, and the medical examiner of Officer Salim Barakat’s body upon his death at the scene of […]

OIFF19 REVIEW: Advocate [2019]

“It’s always heavy” The crucial truth within Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche‘s documentary Advocate arrives courtesy of their subject Lea Tsemel. She explains how there will be no end to the violence between Israelis and Palestinians until a human understanding of the motives can be reached. Israel’s staunch stance as the unequivocal victim was […]

REVIEW: Where’s My Roy Cohn? [2019]

“A love of a good fight” The documentary about the man who one interviewee calls “The Teflon Fraud” starts and ends with another: Donald Trump. A close personal friend of Roy M. Cohn‘s as well as a client/protégée, the real estate magnate’s ascent from reality television host to President of the United States is easily […]

REVIEW: Honeyland [2019]

“Now we’ll leave them half” Shot over three years about 20 km from the city directors Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska call home (Skopje), Honeyland looks at the delicate balance tenuously held between nature and mankind. The duo take us into an abandoned farming village to do so—a place where Hatidze Muratova continues to live […]