Friday, May 27, 2011

Hot Docs

The Hot Docs festival took place earlier this year, and I haven't had a chance to write about it until now. This year we finally made a point to attend; we loved both films, and we're actually thinking of getting a pass next year.

First, we saw Foreign Parts, which was an unexpectedly engrossing and emotional view into the community of Willets Point, a small area behind the New York Mets stadium, where people make a living stripping broken down cars and reselling the parts. It is interesting to see how a community has formed in a geographically unfriendly space, and the residents care for their own.

Second, we saw Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, which didn't do so well in the reviews, but I feel like it was put under a microscope due to the subject matter. There was some criticism which suggested that the film was cold and that the footage didn't feel exclusive. To me, that's partly the point of the film, which was fully intended to be a montage of lost footage, taken 30 years ago by Swedish journalists, who are known for their detailed, factual approach to the subjects they explore. Anyway, we loved it. It was visually stunning and had a great soundtrack. I can't confirm the "exclusivity" of the content, but I have been inspired by Angela Davis all my life, and have seen a great deal of video featuring her speaking, and I have never seen the piece that is included in this film. If you watch this movie for no other reason, you've got to hear Angela Davis answer the question "do you advocate violence?" It takes her a good 10 minutes of verbal brilliance to give the simplest of answers: "you're asking ME about violence?" Anyway, there's a decent review of the movie here: .The Documentary Blog » Sundance Review: Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

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