A Place to Breathe: Prescribing Community

By C.J. Hirschfield What if health providers and practitioners prescribed ceremonies, rituals, festivals and other community activities as medicine to treat trauma?  The excellent new documentary A Place To Breathe would argue that distressed refugees, in particular, would benefit greatly, and the film effectively argues this route as a way to foster resilience.

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

By Frako Loden The tagline for DocFest, the 19th San Francisco Documentary Festival, is “Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction”—a saying we all appreciate more than we’d like during these days of COVID-19, wildfires, racist domestic terrorism and unhinged presidential campaigns. But however much we might want to hide from some of these truths, we […]

THE RARE VANTAGE – Women Behind the Camera

by Frako Loden In all my filmgoing career, spotting a female name for the cinematographer credit has been a rare and confounding experience. First, its rarity makes me take notice. (Rachel Morrison was the first woman nominated for a cinematography Oscar, for 2017’s Mudbound. The first woman invited to join the American Society of Cinematographers, […]

Jacques Becker: An Introduction to a Master

by Frako Loden This past week has been an exhilarating and deeply moving experience for me as I’ve explored the films of French director Jacques Becker for the first time. For my teacher I have another French writer/filmmaker, Bertrand Tavernier (Coup de Torchon, Life and Nothing But, The Princess of Montpensier), whose 2017 documentary My […]

Bergman 100: The Early Years

by Frako Loden On the 100th birthday of Sweden’s most famous film director Ingmar Bergman, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive is presenting three programs of films. One program, The Early Years, is screening five of his 1940s works in Theater 2 or the “salon,” the much smaller room downstairs that’s previously been used for film […]