The Inspiration for the Film “My Vote Registration Vanished in 2016” 

By Ashia Lance

It’s true – in 2016, I went to vote at the same polling place where I’d voted for a decade and had received a postcard in the mail confirming I was registered.  This time when I went to vote, I was told my name wasn’t on the voter rolls and was asked if I wanted a provisional ballot.  Reluctantly,  I voted with a provisional ballot because I knew a dirty little secret about us voting: provisional ballots do not have to be counted.  Whether a provisional ballot is counted varies according to county practices, and some practices can be biased.

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MR. BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS

By C.J. Hirschfield

March 14, 2022

Cinema junkies forgive iconic documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman for the length of some of his works that venture deep into American institutions; his most recent City Hall covering the government of Boston clocked in at four and a half hours. We absolve him because he is so good at taking us inside worlds that we don’t know, as his camera disappears and we learn so much by listening and observing, happy to have made the journey.

Comparisons to Wiseman’s work are inevitable as we describe the numerous joys of Maria Speth’s new documentary, Mr. Bachmann and his Class, the closing night film at Berlin & Beyond 2022, at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. It is now streaming on MUBI. Continue reading

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.

Stanley Nelson Making 'America Revisited II' for Independent Lens - Variety Continue reading

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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