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Things Are Good: Celebrating Resiliency

The Rockefeller Foundation has produced a new documentary celebrating areas humans live in that are designed to be resilient to climate change. By building our cities and countries around the concept of resiliency we can better prepare for what’s ahead when it comes to unpredictable and extreme weather. It’s design thinking applied on a . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Celebrating Resiliency

Things Are Good: Watch Before the Flood Right Now

When I started this website about good news I never thought I would be mentioning Leonardo DiCaprio, but here we are. The award winning actor teamed up with Fisher Stevens to create a really good documentary about the state of climate change. The documentary weaves together the historical context we find ourselves in and . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Watch Before the Flood Right Now

ezra winton: Fighting Fascism by way of Understanding the Fascists

One of the common criticisms of advocacy films like Bully that I’ve heard and share is that the filmmakers narrowly focus on victims without ever exploring those who perpetrate. These films help along the equivocal knee-jerk reaction to oppression when we have a two-dimensional villain to point to: kids today! But why do kids bully and what are their lives like? Answering, or at least interrogating, these questions would move us in a direction to better understand the complexities of bullying and would likely elicit a more nuanced, thoughtful reaction…read more . . . → Read More: ezra winton: Fighting Fascism by way of Understanding the Fascists

Things Are Good: Minimalism

Minimalism is good. Read more. Thanks to Delaney! The post Minimalism appeared first on Things Are Good. . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Minimalism

Art Threat: Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema

Documentary festivals are certainly not immune to scandal and controversy, and this year’s RIDM, which took place in Montreal in November 2015, was no exception. Following on the heels of the festival’s public screenings of Dominic Gagnon’s film Of the North, Inuit artists like Tanya Tagaq and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril took to social media to express […] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema

Things Are Good: Documentary: This Changes Everything

The Toronto International Film Festival starts today and one of the documentaries that will be screened is based on the book This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein. The film shares the same title and looks like it carries the same optimistic and clear message: we can change the world and we have to!

Filmed . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Documentary: This Changes Everything

Things Are Good: A New Documentary Looking Into Food Production

Voices of Transition is a new documentary film with limited release but you can buy it online now! The film examines how we grow our food and ideas around how to make the whole agriculture system make more sense.

The film deals with community building, resilience and sustainability through urban farming. It draws on . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: A New Documentary Looking Into Food Production

Art Threat: From Exposé to Opacity: With The Migrant Image, T.J Demos Rethinks Documentary Aesthetics

Though often situated at the centre of grandiose political and activist projects, tasked time and again with capturing visible evidence of exploitation, violence, deprivation, and inequality, documentary, as both a genre and a practice, rests on a fundamental paradox: that of being perpetually too early and too late. If, as T.J. Demos writes near the . . . → Read More: Art Threat: From Exposé to Opacity: With The Migrant Image, T.J Demos Rethinks Documentary Aesthetics

Art Threat: Hot Docs 22: CanCon and BrandCon

North America’s largest and most sweeping doc-deluge, the Canadian International Hot Docs Festival, is once again in full swing, and the moment wouldn’t be complete, for me at least, without some form of commentary that assesses this institutional giant as it marks another year. In that spirit and as with past “taking stock” previews of . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Hot Docs 22: CanCon and BrandCon

ezra winton: Hot Docs 22: CanCon and BrandCon

North America’s largest and most sweeping doc-deluge, the Canadian International Hot Docs Festival, is once again in full swing, and the moment wouldn’t be complete, for me at least, without some form of commentary that assesses this institutional giant as it marks another year. In that spirit and as with past “taking stock” previews (2014 is here, 2013 is here and 2012 is here) of Hot Docs, I humbly present my take on this year’s fest, divided into three Sergio Leone-inspired sections: what’s promising, what’s looking like a fixer-upper, and…read more . . . → Read More: ezra winton: Hot Docs 22: CanCon and BrandCon

Art Threat: Petition to Save Film Heritage in Former Yugoslavia

An appeal from the international community of film scholars, cinephiles and archivists:

Dear Colleagues,

Avala Film, the former Yugoslavia’s oldest film studio – which was at the heart of Mila Turajlic’s 2010 internationally acclaimed documentary CINEMA KOMUNISTO – is to be sold by the Serbian government for the value of the terrain that the “film . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Petition to Save Film Heritage in Former Yugoslavia

Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

Nearly two dozen filmmakers have yanked their films from the 34th Istanbul Film Festival in response to the last-minute cancellation of documentary screening about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The growing censorship protest, which now involves a majority of the filmmakers participating in the event, has led organizers to cancel competitions and the closing . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

Art Threat: Performing Aloha in Queer Times

In 2001, filmmakers Kathryn Xian and Brent Anbe broke new ground with their documentary Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place. The film, which documents the lives, struggles, and aspirations of several queer and trans Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiians), also made an important and, at the time, novel effort to explore how the . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Performing Aloha in Queer Times

Art Threat: Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism

“>Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism is a collection of essays and interviews related to the films and filmmakers of Cinema Politica (CP), and as such provides an excellent source of Canadian documentary work that pursues effecting positive social change.

This non-profit doc-screening organization, which started in Montreal’s Concordia University, has . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism

Things Are Good: Under the Dome: A Documentary on China’s Pollution

The Chinese documentary Under the Dome (I can’t find english subtitles, sorry) has taken China by storm. The documentary was released on last week and is already changing the conversation about pollution in the country. This could mark a massive change in how China enforces their pollution laws and improves how they treat nature.

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Under the Dome: A Documentary on China’s Pollution

Art Threat: Maidan: one of the most honest depictions of popular protest ever filmed

Sergei Loznitsa’s latest film, Maidan, falls firmly in the tradition of documentaries that use the real to question the possibilities of cinema. Those expecting a more activist documentary like Jehane Noujaim’s The Square might come away dissatisfied with Maidan, but this shouldn’t stop filmgoers from experiencing what is ultimately one of the most honest depictions . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Maidan: one of the most honest depictions of popular protest ever filmed

Art Threat: Ethnography 101: La cour de Babel and La marche à suivre

The only thing I hate more than bad puns is bad ethnography, and La cour de Babel walks a fine line on that.

Following an integration class for new immigrants at a Parisian high school, the entire film is shot from the teacher’s perspective. While this is not apparent at first, since the camera angle . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Ethnography 101: La cour de Babel and La marche à suivre

PostArctica: God Speaks!

The Canadian Progressive: Gazonto: Imagining Toronto Being Bombed Like Gaza (Video)

With short film, Gazonto, Canadian filmmaker and activist John Greyson reimagines Toronto as Gaza being bombed by Israel during the ongoing Gaza conflict.

The post Gazonto: Imagining Toronto Being Bombed Like Gaza (Video) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Art Threat: Engaging and Enraging: A Review of The Secret Trial 5

The Secret Trial 5, director Amar Wala’s first feature, is an engaging and enraging look at five men labelled security risks by the Canadian government and detained without trial for a combined total of 30 years in prison, and another 20 years (and counting) under strict house arrest.

Shot over four years, the film follows . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Engaging and Enraging: A Review of The Secret Trial 5

Art Threat: The Condemned exposes the dark lives of convicted murderers

On the outside, The Condemned is what you would expect of a documentary about a prison: bad food, unsympathetic guards, tearful family reunions, letters from Lonely Hearts, and a lot of tattoos. But Federal Penal Colony 56, buried deep in the wilderness of Russia, contains so much more.

A prison exclusively for murderers with 260 . . . → Read More: Art Threat: The Condemned exposes the dark lives of convicted murderers

Art Threat: Sheen and gloss, personal and political: A Review of We are the Giant

We Are the Giant, a powerful portrait of five human rights activists in Syria, Libya, and Bahrain, personalizes the multiple, simultaneous, and in many ways ongoing struggles often monolithically referred to as the Arab Spring.

Through first-person interviews as well as archival, news, and cell phone footage, director Greg Barker goes beyond Western media’s surface . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Sheen and gloss, personal and political: A Review of We are the Giant

Art Threat: Evaporating Borders explores asylum-seekers in Cyprus

“… it’s a place I call home, although I blend in only as a familiar stranger.”

Evaporating Borders, written and directed by Iva Radivojevic, is a five-act exploration of asylum-seekers in Cyprus.

Beginning with a personal, essayistic voiceover and lush compositions, the film’s first act also uses subtly executed re-enactments of events in order to . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Evaporating Borders explores asylum-seekers in Cyprus

Art Threat: Hot Docs 2014 preview: politically punchy program, diversity festival gap still needs work

It’s springtime in Toronto and that means Canada’s premiere documentary showcase is back for another jam-packed ten day event that will deliver the world of doc to eager local audiences and international festivalgoers.

This is Hot Docs‘s first year with new Executive Director Brett Hendrie steering the ship (Chris McDonald is now overseeing the Bloor . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Hot Docs 2014 preview: politically punchy program, diversity festival gap still needs work

ezra winton: Halifax and Beyond

Earlier this month I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in NSCAD’s Cineflux Symposium, an academic gathering that explores the “old new” forms, modes, practices and theories of cinema. My Postdoctoral supervisor, Dr. Darrell Varga, invited me to present a paper on the politics of presence and documentary activist screening spaces, which was . . . → Read More: ezra winton: Halifax and Beyond