Documentary Voices 2012

1/25/12 to 4/18/12

Focusing on the past and the present of documentary filmmaking, this series is presented in conjunction with the UC Berkeley course History of Documentary Film. The January/February lineup spotlights PFA's recent preservation of David Holzman's legendary cinéma vérité film and an innovative array of recent documentary animations , including a program of shorts, The Green Wave, and Kongo. The series continues in March and April with additional programs that explore new directions in documentary film.

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Past Films

  • Granito: How to Nail a Dictator

    • Wednesday, April 18 7 pm

    Pamela Yates (U.S., 2011). Documentarian Yates revisits footage from her groundbreaking 1984 film on the war in Guatemala, When the Mountains Tremble, to help prosecute the former Guatemalan dictator. “Doesn't simply relate history; it is also part of history” (New York Times). (93 mins)

  • 24 City

    • Wednesday, April 11 7 pm

    Jia Zhangke (China, 2008). A Sichuan industrial complex is razed to make way for upscale condos. “Blending fiction with documentary, (Jia) brings huge stretches of long-repressed history to life on an intimate scale” (The New Yorker). (107 mins)

  • Distinguished Flying Cross

    • Wednesday, March 21 7 pm

    Travis Wilkerson (United States, 2011). Travis Wilkerson in person. A father and his two sons discuss the older man's experiences in the Vietnam War-these simple visuals, intercut with footage shot by soldiers, comprise the majority of this new film, a step towards a cure of our cultural amnesia regarding the war. From the director of An Injury to One. Preceded by Wilkerson's short essay film Fragments of Dissolution (2011). (87 mins)

  • Le Quattro Volte

    • Wednesday, March 7 7 pm

    Michelangelo Frammartino (Italy, 2010). Described by J. Hoberman as “grave, beautiful, austerely comic, and casually metempsychotic,” Le Quattro Volte is set in southern Italy in the ancient mountainous region of Calabria. Virtually wordless, it chronicles cycles of life in a small village. “Nearly every shot contains a revelation, sneaky or overt, cosmic or mundane”(New York Times). (88 mins)

  • Making it (Un)real: Animated Documentary Shorts

    • Wednesday, February 22 7 pm

    Introduced by Jeffrey Skoller. This program of hybrid animated documentaries highlights a variety of approaches and concerns with work by Sonia Bridge, Chris Landreth, Ken Jacobs, Kota Ezawa, Sheila Sofian, and Jacqueline Goss. (95 mins)

  • The Green Wave

    • Wednesday, February 8 7 pm

    Ali Samadi Ahadi (Germany/Iran, 2010). Introduced by Jeffrey Skoller. This riveting documentary for the twenty-first century combines powerful animation, minute-by-minute Twitter feeds, blog accounts, and cell phone footage with conventional on-camera testimonies to recount the abortive 2009 antigovernment Iranian youth revolt. Dubbed the Green Wave, it was a revolution in flux, yet evergreen with hope. (80 mins)

  • David Holzman's Diary

    • Wednesday, January 25 7 pm

    Jim McBride (U.S, 1968) New PFA Preservation Print! A New Yorker's artistic quest to record his own life on film soon turns to disaster in Jim McBride's prophetic take on cinema verité, even more relevant in today's twenty-four-hour reality-show saturations. “A totally delightful satire on 'the blubber about cinema vérité'" (New York Times). (73 mins)