Documentaries

The documentary films of social and environmental injustice that artist Susan Swartz has contributed to including Academy Award winners Born into Brothels and The Cove

Icarus

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 2017 Sundance Film Festival - U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: The Orwell Award, Bryan Fogel

 2018 Winner of the Academy Award for Documentary Feature

The ruthless worlds of international sports and politics rarely collide as spectacularly on screen as they do in Bryan Fogel’s thriller that is sure to set off convulsions of controversy.

While investigating the furtive world of illegal doping in sports, Fogel connects with renegade Russian scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov—a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia's highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory.

Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. ICARUS places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.

 

Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/i...

Will You Be My Neighbor?

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Fred Rogers led a singular life. He was a puppeteer. A minister. A musician. An educator. A father, a husband, and a neighbor. Fred Rogers spent 50 years on children’s television beseeching us to love and to allow ourselves to be loved.  With television as his pulpit, he helped transform the very concept of childhood.  He used puppets and play to explore the most complicated issues of the day—race, disability, equality and tragedy. He spoke directly to children and they responded by forging a lifelong bond with him—by the millions.  And yet today his impact is unclear.  WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? explores the question of whether or not we have lived up to Fred's ideal. Are we all good neighbors? 

Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/w...

Bisbee '17

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BISBEE ’17 is a nonfiction feature film by Sundance award winning director Robert Greene set in Bisbee, Arizona, an eccentric old mining town just miles away from both Tombstone and the Mexican border. 

Radically combining documentary and genre elements, the film follows several members of the close knit community as they collaborate with the filmmakers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bisbee Deportation, where 1200 immigrant miners were violently taken from their homes by a deputized force, shipped to the desert on cattle cars and left to die.

When the last copper mines closed in 1975, the once-booming Bisbee nearly became another Arizona ghost town, but was saved by the arrival of a generation of hippies, artists and eccentrics that give the place its strange vibe today. Bisbee is considered a tiny “blue” dot in the “red” sea of Republican Arizona, but divisions between the lefties in town and the old mining families remain. Bisbee was once known as a White Man’s Camp, and that racist past lingers in the air.

As we meet the townspeople, they begin to confront the violent past of the Deportation, a long-buried secret in the old company town. As the 100th anniversary of Bisbee’s darkest day approaches, locals dress as characters on both sides of the still-polarizing event, staging dramatic recreations of scenes from the escalating miner’s strike that lead to the Deportation. Spaces in town double as past and present; reenactors become ghosts in the haunted streets of the old copper camp.

Richard plays the sheriff in a Western, Fernando portrays a Mexican miner in a Musical, a local politician is in her own telenovela. These and other enacted fantasies mingle with very real reckonings and it all builds towards a massive restaging of the Deportation itself on the exact day of its centennial anniversary.

Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/b...

The Feeling of Being Watched

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2018 Tribeca Film Festival

“The grey area between paranoia and the truth is a dangerous place,” says filmmaker Assia Boundaoui at the outset of The Feeling of Being Watched. Boundaoui hails from a predominantly Arab-American enclave of Bridgeview, Illinois, just south of Chicago, where rumors of F.B.I. surveillance circulated throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. A public radio journalist by day, Boundaoui sets out to uncover why her family and neighbors were targeted and whether that scrutiny was justified; in the process, she discovers the wide-reaching effects of constant surveillance on the community’s relationships with law enforcement and with each other. 

Fueled by interviews with community members, a dogged pursuit of F.O.I.A. requests, and even Foucauldian theories, The Feeling of Being Watched is an eye-opening look at the perils of xenophobia and prejudice. Despite her own mounting fears as she closes in on the truth of the surveillance program, Boundaoui uses her documentary to boldly take on the F.B.I. and to tirelessly confront racial and religious profiling. “The opposite of surveillance is a two-way gaze,” she says. “It’s about making sure the systems of power also feel watched.” 

—Matt Barone

Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/f...

Bathtubs Over Broadway

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2018 Tribeca Film Festival

As a writer on Late Night with David Letterman, Steve Young’s duties included scouring through record bins in search of potential subjects for the show’s “Dave’s Record Collection” segments. Little did he know, his hunt for offbeat vinyl would thrust him into the world of Broadway-style “industrial musicals” put on by such companies as General Electric, McDonald’s, Ford, and Xerox at their annual sales meetings in the ’50s through the ‘80s. These productions dazzled and motivated their only intended audience, each company’s salesforce, which was regaled with lavish productions such as Lipton on the Move, Lucite, You and ’72, and The Bathrooms Are Coming.

Dava Whisenant follows Young’s odyssey as he tracks down these shows’ souvenir albums, finds kindred fanatics, interviews the performers, songwriters and directors, and discovers rare performance footage of songs such as “My Bathroom” and “Everything’s Coming Up Citgo.” These shows helped pay the bills for then-emerging performers like Florence Henderson, Martin Short, and Chita Rivera, as well as songwriters Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock. A fascinating and hilarious homage to Young’s unique obsession, Bathtubs Over Broadway opens up a seat alongside Young as he takes the audience into a previously unknown world of corporate song and dance. 

—Brian Gordon

Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/b...

Meet the Patels

MEET THE PATELS is a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian-American who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams ... and his parents. Filmed by Ravi's sister in what started as a family vacation video, this touching film reveals how love is a family affair.

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Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/m...

Unrest

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Jennifer Brea is a Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s "all in her head," she goes online and finds a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.

Unrest is a first-person story of resilience in the face of life-altering loss, exploring how we treat people with illnesses we don’t yet understand — how confronting the fragility of life teaches us its value and, ultimately, how we all have the need to find community and connection.

SXSW 2017

 

Source: https://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/films/u...

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

 Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP 

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP 

1991’s Clarence Thomas vs. Anita Hill hearings were raw, gripping theater which united a firestorm about sexual misconduct and gender inequality in the workplace. More than 20 years later, filmmaker Freida Mock empowers Anita Hill to tell her own story through a series of intimate interviews. In the end, the film acknowledges how far we’ve come on these issues, but also reminds us how much more work there is to do. Premiered at 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Source: http://madamenoire.com/258804/unsilenced-n...

Born Into Brothels

A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art, this documentary by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in the red light district of Calcutta, where their mothers work as prostitutes. Briski, a New York-based photographer, gives each of the children a camera and teaches them to look at the world with new eyes. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature 2005.

Source: http://www.kids-with-cameras.org/bornintob...

Connected

“An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology.” Tiffany Schlain’s vibrant and personal documentary is an exhilarating roller coaster ride that explores what it means to be connected in the 21st century. Her love/hate relationship with technology serves as the springboard for an exploration of modern life… and our very interconnected future. Premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. 

Source: http://connectedthefilm.com