FLEE Brings Secrets to Animated Life

By C.J. Hirschfield

More and more often, documentary filmmakers are turning to animation to tell stories—or parts of stories—that can’t be represented in any other way. In the case of the compelling new film FLEE, the storyteller spent much of his life since childhood in the shadows as an illegal Afghan refugee, and even now does not feel comfortable sharing his last name, or his face. It’s understood that traditional documentaries involve some degree of manipulation, and animated nonfiction films provide even more leeway to let imaginations take flight.

February 2022 Movies | Moviefone

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Try Harder!

By Risa Nye

For those whose memories of high school days are a bit clouded and sentimental, TRY HARDER!, Debbie Lum and Nico Opper’s documentary about students at San Francisco’s academic powerhouse, Lowell High, will be an eye-opener. Parents of toddlers who are already buying Ivy League sweatshirts in size 3T might do well to observe what happens when kids who try hard sometimes learn that they need to re-define what success means in the college admission process.

try harder!

While this film is about the students, it is also about the way support from caring teachers, parents, counselors, and peers has an enormous impact on the levels of stress these kids experience while trying to do all the things necessary to be competitive in a process with nearly impossible odds. As an example, the kids hear that Stanford’s acceptance rate is around 4%. They already know how hard it is, but some will try and beat the odds anyway.

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FUR, FEATHERS, AND FILOSOPHY: In Search of Snow Leopards

By Gaetano Kazuo Maida

Ignore the misleading title. The film opens with what appear to be two Chinese military observers speculating on the work and fate of an expedition that they have been watching from afar through telescopes. One says, “There was a pack of wolves at the summit… he went to photograph them, the wolves were following him. I thought they’d gobble him up, but he came back. I have no idea what they’re doing…” And we are truly and deeply hooked.

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UNDERSTANDING WHAT HAPPENED AT ATTICA

Ashia Lance Interviews Stanley Nelson

Co-Directors Stanley Nelson and Traci Curry brilliantly reshape race narrative in ATTICA by giving voice to the unheard minorities and disrupting the dominant historical narrative. It is a strategy that Nelson has used in his many films including THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL, JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE and MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL.

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NEW YEARS CHEER- A Nostalgic Look at Past New Years Through Images, Movies and Music

Welcome 2022!

We have brought back some of our favorite images, videos and music from our last version of this celebration in January 2020 and added a lot of new finds and fun. You will find music, food, drinks, photos and more. From Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald to Chuck Berry, Etta James, The Ramones, L’l Nas, Nina Simone, and  watch The Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve 4+ hour concert to close Winterland following a collection of Dead NYE concert posters. There are superheroes, favorite cartoon characters, comedians including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges plus how to  countdown to midnight with Star Wars.

 

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WRITING WITH FIRE

By C.J. Hirschfield

The recent convictions in the Ahmaud Arbery case were only possible thanks to a video shot on a smartphone; the device is now ubiquitous around the world and is shining light in places where darkness used to thrive.

 

The power of this portable camera to obtain justice is never more apparent than in the brilliant new documentary WRITING WITH FIRE now playing in theaters. The movie follows the lives and journalistic pursuits of reporters from India’s Dalit (formerly called untouchables) caste, who write for the country’s only news platform run by women.

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